Monday, December 21, 2009
For the last three days, I've been part of the massive power outages that struck east Tennessee Friday. What can I say? I'm sorry. There were these pretty multi-color Christmas tree lights upstairs in my closet and I brought them downstairs thinking I might be able to put them on the mantle without something disastrous happening. (If you know me, part of my little magical thinking universe includes a moratorium on Christmas decorations--bad, bad things happen when I do this. Some of you know of what I speak). At any rate--I swear, all I did was bring them downstairs. That, was evidently enough.
So, I'm in the library in Newport right now posting this. Don't have computer access at home. I'm exhausted--have been having to stay up all night to feed the woodstove to keep the pipes from freezing. Dogs are cranky. I've been living off of sweet, hot tea and baked potatoes. I have a little enamel coffee pot I put in the woodstove to boil water and I wrap the potatoes in foil. And sashimi. See, I'd just bought the month's supply of groceries and since it was December, decided to treat myself to some fish. All my food is going bad because of the power outage.
The snow was not the most severe we have had since I moved here. We've had much worse weather than this. It was freakish in that it started falling, wet and heavy, at 3 in the afternoon and continued through the night. I was just getting home from Newport and it had only been snowing an hour--and Big Creek Road had been turned into a toboggan course for Subarus and Hondas. I made it up the mountain okay with the 4WD to find a tree across my driveway. My neighbor cut a path to me and I walked into a dark house.
Trees have been falling all over the place, electric lines down--weird, 'cause like I said, we've had way worse weather. I settled in thinking we'd have tops 12 hours down--we've never had more than that. I was wrong--three days later we still have no power off The 15th. I didn't have enough wood and had to put out an emergency call that was filled by my wonderful neighbor, Clinton. What a lifesaver. Please if you come visit, stay in his cabins. The cabins are wonderful and he and Irene are spectacular people. Scott and some other friends were very kind to check up on me--really know who's in your corner during such times.
Then, Friday night sometime, the mother of all trees fell across my driveway. It's actually three trees--one, a buckeye that is so huge you can't span your arms around it. Wesley will be coming by this evening to move it--cut it up--it needs a ginormous chainsaw.
It's been a tough few days. I've had more than a few good cries. Been bitch with the dogs who are cold and not understanding why we are rationing water. See, Fat Buddy's mouth is so vile that none of the other dogs want to drink after him. Yet Fat Buddy is always first in line to spit in the water. I've gotten some knitting done. Was time I plunked out some new tea towels. It's too dark to read and at least the knitting keeps my fingers nimble.
I'm in town today getting more lamp oil, batteries and wicks. Dogfood. Am taking a shower at the local community center--you know, I have that delicate white chick skin that needs constant washing. Never have done well with dirty. Also stopped by to tell the power company they would not be getting a payment from me this month--since their electric bill money has been diverted to firewood, lamp oil and general trying to stay alive expenses. I already feel guilty for splurging today on two pair of merino wool boot socks--takes very little to make me happy and socks and me go way back.
So, my darlings...that's the story. It may be another two days before I have power so if you don't hear from me, that's probably why. Call me if you like. I'm bored and need distractions. Send warmth, wood, lamp oil or snugglies.