30 Day Power Outages?!
By Jeanette Vale
I had a power outage experience that I have never forgotten!
I was born and raised on a tropical island that measured in total, seventy-six square miles. It was small, but not to me. We lived up in the mountains and had our own waterfall. I had the best childhood - ever!
Our banana tree grove had soft black soil. It was my favorite place to run barefoot. I rarely wore shoes, not even to school.
The rest of our land was either carpeted with grass or lava rock gravel, my feet didn’t mind either. I’d run through the tree’s to get to my cousin Lenora’s house to play.
Money didn’t grow on trees, but chocolate did. We’d hack open the cocoa pods and suck the slimy white film off of each bean. We’d let these dry in the sun, then roast them in a shallow pan. Processing the cocoa beans smelled wonderful.
We had running water, electricity, a flush toilet, and television too. Life was good on the rock.
But then we began to have power outages.
I am not sure what caused these. One day, they just began. And it wasn’t just for a few minutes, the lights would go out for over a month at a time.
At least, that is what I remember. In doing my research, my family didn’t recall such long spells. But I was sure of it. I know we had to stop using our indoor kitchen and resorted to a kerosene stove in the cottage out back. These inconsistencies also seemed like it lasted over a year. I never got used to it.
It was very depressing to me. Let me rephrase that.
Losing electricity was super duper depressing to me.
As the natural light outside began to wane at the end of a day, I experienced a sinking dread. I don’t remember owning a flashlight. I don’t recall having oil lamps either. We were natural-resources-rich, but store-bought-stuff poor.
Do we realize how much we love our creature comforts? Most of us have had electricity since birth. We just expect the light to come on when we flip a switch. And when it is gone, I promise you, it is deeply disturbing.
What is craziest to me was my mother, who is from Fontana California. When she was pregnant with me (on this island) they lived in a grass shack with no electricity, or running water, with three other small children underfoot. She's still alive and guess what? She's tough as nails.
When future calamities hit, she'll be in her wheelchair with a smug look on her face saying "meh, I've seen worse".
Catastrophes can cause the lights to go out.
My sister shared her experience as a Red Cross Volunteer in November of 1996 when Spokane, Washington had a week long power outage.
There was an ice storm that loaded the trees causing them to topple onto power lines-everywhere. People who were on well systems were the worst off. Their wells ran on electricity, and they had no power nor water.
The city water worked fine. Having gas water heaters still allowed hot showers.
My sister had a kerosene stove that stunk and didn't warm her house, they couldn’t cook with it either. It has since been sold off. It’s good to test your equipment!
The food in the freezer thawed and everyone had a BBQ at the same time.
“Hey, come to my house for a BBQ!”
“Sorry, we’re having one too”.
“Yeah, so are we!”
I asked her, “it was winter, why didn’t you just put your food outside?”.
She responded, “you would think that would work, but it didn’t. The temperature fluctuated too much to keep the food safe”.
Hmmm….good to know. Throwing away good meat today is a high crime!
Shivering in her home, she realized, “I don’t know how to survive winter”. Wood burning fireplaces are great for ambiance but sucked the warmth right out of the house. Soon after this she discovered foam clothing.
As a Red Cross Volunteer, my sister responded to a woman in crisis. When she and her partner arrived at the home, the woman’s house was wonderfully warm (she had a well-designed fireplace built in the 60’s).
But the woman was mentally in shambles because she had to keep carrying wood from her garage to the fireplace. This was the crisis. Poor thing, bless her heart.
After a disaster we need power. We need to be able to see in the dark, to find our loved ones, our pets, and ways to restore normalcy as fast as possible.
This week we are featuring our power outage products and Power Stations from EcoFlow. I invite you to peruse the website and consider what you will need.
It is not IF the lights go out, but when.
We sell smaller power stations as well. Here is that amazing line up of products:
One last memory from my childhood during those power outages: There were seven of us children. As the night sky darkened (and we didn’t want to be in the house), we’d lay our blankets on the grass. The sky was pitch black and the stars shone brilliantly for us. Our gaggle of dogs were so happy to have us outside. They’d wag their tails and plunk down among us. Mom would teach us songs from her childhood.
One of these was a song from Finland and we learned to harmonize. You can find it on Youtube. It’s very beautiful.
Taivas on sininen ja valkoinen
ja tähtösiä täynnä.
Taivas on sininen ja valkoinen
ja tähtösiä täynnä
Niin on nuori sydämeni
Niin on nuori sydämeni
I was in my forties before I realized I had not a drop of Finnish blood in my veins. My mother is European-caucasian so I naturally assumed since I sounded so good singing that song…..I must be a Fin!
It was strange - a gaggle of brown skinned island children in the South Pacific, singing a song in a Uralic language– in rounds, mind you. We sounded amazing, could've toured, y'know.
Power outages can be fun IF you are prepared for them. Step on, prep on and come over for a power visit. www.emergencyzone.com