It’s been an exciting week here in East Tennessee. We’ve experenced some of the coldest temperature in the history of the state. It all stated on Sunday evening when a large winter storm took aim at the southeastern part of the US. By that evening ice had replaced the falling rain and started accumalating on everthing, from roads to rooftops the covering had begun. We weren’t too concerned, after all the pantry was full, the wood pile was covered and we were warm….but all of that changed rather quickly.
We woke Monday morning to a blanket of ice, trees bowing to mother nature and limbs falling on power lines.
By noon we had lost power. But still we weren’t too worried because we always loose power at the least little thing and the power company has us back on within a few hours. We just fired up the wood stove, put on the coffee and watched a movie on the laptop…all was good. But by the end of the 1st day without power and Alcoa Electric company not responding to phone calls we knew this outage was going to be different.
Beginning of day two….the reserve water tank is empty and we are waterless.
Thankfully we have a gas cooktop so I started breaking up ice and melting it so we had water to cook with and to flush the toilets with…once again we felt safe and secure…after all we have food, water, shelter and a great woodstove to keep us warm. Toward the end of day two we realized that the stuff in the refrigerator was going to ruin if we didn’t doing some cooking…so we had another task to fill our time. After empting the icebox I realized that it was really really cold out in the garage…sooooo…we boxed up everything that we didn’t want to cook and took it out to the garage where the temp was just above freezing…..we now had a 1500 sq foot refrigerator, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
Once we finished cooking dinner we really needed a movie but as you know we didn’t have any power….or did we. I went down to the studio and pulled out one of the Paul Buff battery packs that I use on location shoots. I hooked the pack up to the laptop and we were set for another evening of movies and entertainment. The battery packed was great, not only did it power the computer but also charged our phone and a small lamp.
Wow, who knew photography gear was good for things other than creating great portraits on locations.
Day three of no electricity or running water…..it got reallly cold last night and so I needed to make the fire hotter in the wood stove…the pups and I ventured out to gather wood and see that the road looked like. On Monday I had parked one of the cars at the top of hill so that we’d not be completely trapped if the weather got worse than expected. I was hoping that the county would scrape and treat the roads so we could maybe get out….to my delight I discovered that the road had been treated and slow careful driving out was actually possible. We invited ourselves over to our daughter’s home for a much needed shower and a hot bowl of chili. After a great visit we headed back to the house. When we arrived in our neighborhood we discovered the power workers were working on the lines, they told us that the power may be restored in a few hours….what a relief …power was going to come back.
To Freeze or Not to the that is the question……..
We were awakened in the wee hours of the morning to lights and the sound of the TV as the power came back on….wow…TV never sounded so wonderful. We still didn’t have water because the lines from the well were frozen…but I also knew that I had a heat lamp in the well house and that soon the lines would thaw…so I went to bed happy to have electric and to know that in the moring the water would flow again. But unknow to me durring the storm a huge limb had fallen under the weight of the ice and had disconnected the cord that powered the heat lamp…so when I woke there was still no water.
I walked up to the well house to find why the light had not come on….after moving the limb and freeing the cord from the snow and ice I was able to reconnect the light and get the heat flowing to the pipes. It took about 4 hours for the lines to thaw…but once they thawed the water flowed. Oh the joys of water! Have you ever thought about everything water does for us…OMG.
By this time I realized I really need to feed and water the chickens………so I ventured out into the cold again.
I know you’re asking yourself what in the world does a hammer have to do with feeding chickens…..well take a look at the water bucket…I had to break through over 6 inches of ice to get down to the water so I could give the chickens a drink.
It’s kinda funny, for a few weeks the girls had only been leaving me a couple of eggs a day so on Sunday morning I’d told them that if they didn’t start doing their job I was going to put them in the freezer…LOL…the next day the big freeze happened and the girls have been giving me 7 eggs each day since…LOL..guess they thought I wasn’t kidding and got busy. Or, maybe they just shivered so hard the things just popped out. LMBO.
This morning we woke to the heater not working because it’s totally frozen…but I’m sure in a day or so that will thaw and we’ll be back to whatever normal is. The temp is supposed to reach 42 today and rain…that sure would help thaw things out a bit.
Fingers crossed that the thaw will come soon…after all spring is less than 30 days aways.