We are into day four without power. The back roads leading from our house are still strewn with downed wires and large pine trees lying across the lines. Some people are angry at the utility companies, but you just need to look at the damage and the difficulty in removing large trees, replacing poles, reattaching lines, and ensuring that the lines are clear, to understand that this is a slow process.
Likely we will remain without power for a few more days. We have a generator that we run for a few hours in the morning, at mid-day, and at night. This powers everything in the house -- except the oven and dryer, but who needs those at a time like this. The furnace, well pump, freezer, refrigerator, hot water tank, and most importantly the coffee pot, work fine off the generator. Our neighbors who have a wood stove, but not a generator, came over last night for a hot shower. Back home they were cooking ham and macaroni and cheese on their wood stove. Their kids were thrilled to be sleeping next to the wood stove.
A local bakery -- Me & Ollie's -- is a little quieter this morning, although the tables are filling up with laptops. When I arrived at 8:30, each table had a beautiful bouquet of fresh carnations. In addition to offering free Internet access and wall plugs for recharging computers and cell phones, they serve delicious sandwiches on homemade bread and bagels. Outside the sky is gray, trees are swaying, and rain drips on and off. I am warm and comfortable inside. I appreciate the utility workers who are out there working to restore power.
We've spent more time over the past four days, reading books, playing cribbage, and talking with our neighbors. The pleasurable things we push aside when we're hooked to constant electric power and by extension our computers and the Internet. I feel like our young neighbors, a bit excited that the power is out. It will come back soon enough.