Wednesday last, my area was hit by an ice-storm. Missus had been warning me about it for two days, whereas I tend to ignore forecasts. Not her, she is on it daily. In fact, the only reason I pay it much attention at all to what’s going on outside the house is because of her reports.
I have two weather station apps on my phone. One I keep calibrated to display in Celsius, the other in Fahrenheit. That is what I mostly use them for.
I was brought up on Fahrenheit and Imperial measures and had Metric and Celsius rammed down my throat late in my education.
So I have them mostly for reference, or to answer a question from the kids.
Not missus, she watches the weather like a hawk. You could say she does this out of habit because she also likes the smell of her clothes after they have dried out on her clothesline.
I set her up with a beauty system, even built her a set of steps up to a platform by an old cedar that takes advantage of the prevailing breeze.
From there, she dutifully dries her clothes in the sun and wind.
Four trees came down out back in this ice storm. Those were just the ones in my backyard. Hundreds more at Rooster Acres are down or damaged by the weight of ice. It took a day or so to melt and let go.
The four trees in my backyard surrounded my yard shack. I put a new roof and tar paper on it last year to better protect bedding straw we use for chickens and rabbits. To say nothing of the newish lawn tractor I keep in there. Nor the Kawasaki Mule 4×4 and other assorted tools and machines were affected.
The trees fell around and away from the shed.
I am thinking of how to compensate my kids for taking bush saws to the limbs of the felled trees and earn some coins.
More specifically, what argument to use with Missus to override her concerns about sharp objects and children.
Last year, Howie wanted to saw some wood for a grand plan he had to build his own “lab” out back, under the main fort and over the unused sand box, long since devoid of sand.
It’s the stray cats you see, they will use it as a litter box. I do not like my kids playing in Toxoplasmosis Gondi any more than the next guy. I have not put more sand in for five years at least.
Howie used the bush saw adequately. He is a chip off the old block because like his old man, whenever he uses a tool he might bleed, at least a little. That is the price you pay for learning.
I tell this to his ma, but she is not so convinced.
In any case, we had no power, no water, and no heat for a few days.
Missus and the kids rose to the challenge. Luckily, I got us a generator some time ago for times like these.
Unfortunately, I had to choose for heat for the kids and victuals, while the basement sump pump stopped working. I have devised a plan for next time: last week we had 18 inches of water in the downstairs for a couple of days.
High and low pressure switches on the furnace went out. The hot water heater automatically shut off too. And what did Missus do?
Not a word of complaint.
She went out and fetched water from the sisterhood who live closer to town while we brought up pails of water from the basement to operate the toilet.
As well as the using the toaster oven to feed the kids, I used the BBQ to make coffee.
Twice I took us all out to restaurants. Once for supper, once again on Friday morning for breakfast. It was to celebrate my daughter’s twelfth birthday (at least, that was our excuse).
Sure enough, after two days, power came on later in the afternoon just in time that day for Missus and daughter to bake her a cake and cupcakes.
Water and heat. Flush toilets, running water, hot water, and a heater of some kind. I do not have a woodstove, but you can bet my next place will have one if I have my way.
In fact, eventually I want solar panels and big storage batteries enough to power us for a week. But that is for later.
It was an adventure, for the kids and their mother. One night the kids slept in our room on mattresses because we did not have heat for both bedrooms. They loved that.
And the boy figured out that we could get internet if we ran an extension and plugged in the modem and antenna from a splitter because they do not draw that much power.
He had a “best of me” moment when he figured out that the antenna points toward a tower a mile or so away and has nothing to do with our utilities. We just had to tap in from my office. I didn’t even think of it.
I took him up on his suggestion and together, we ran the cable behind my desk. Soon, we were all connected. I kept him home from school and let him play on his tablet for that.
Yesterday, Missus used two big pots holding ten gallons each on the electric stove (which worked as of late Friday and did not interfere with her Easter dinner). These she used to draw me a bath, adding cold water to make it warm and cozy.
I got to take my first bath in at least a decade.
You know what I mean.
Not one complaint from her, the children or even the dog. We just handled the challenges, taking each issue in stride.
These moments are wonderful reminders of what a gift things like flush toilets, electric stoves and furnaces really are. Few people even camp anymore, many won’t even try.
Last night, my landlord’s son came over at eleven pm, having finally figured out the right way to reset the gas hot water tank. He kept apologizing for not figuring things out sooner. I told him to forget about it. Fuhgetaboutit.
Soon after he left, I could hear Missus sneak down to use the washroom and use the sink to wash her hands. Just now, she says she’s going to take a “well-deserved” long shower.
Bless her and the way she smells.
We are back to normal.
This is the day…