Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roughing It

I'm sooo over winter. Have I said that yet? Oh, hmm. Well, I'll say it again because I'm a big fat whiner when it comes to winter, and it's my blog so I'll whine if I want to. The ice is lingering, although temperatures are expected to hit 50 degrees tomorrow so hopefully, this mess will melt away, and things can get back to normal.

I have electricity at my house. The rest of my family is not so lucky. Mama, daddy, Super Cop and Handy Man are a few of the thousands of people in this area who have been without electricity since Monday evening. It could be a few more days before they get electricity again. They are managing okay, though. Super Cop and his fiance are staying with his future mother-in-law. Have I mentioned that he's getting married? No? Well, he is, and it's a good thing or he'd be sitting alone with a flashlight and a bowl of dry cereal in a cold, dark house right now. Mama and daddy are taking it all in stride. They are using a propane heater to take the chill off the house. They don't run it all of the time because they don't want to die in the middle of the night or in the middle of a nap of carbon monoxide poisoning. As the food in their refrigerator thaws and warms, they are grilling it on Handy Man's grill. He lives next door to them. I know. It's a trend in our family. He has a kerosene heater at his house, and he has plenty of bottled water to tide them all over until they can use their wells again. After years of living waaaay out in the country, they aren't ruffled by power outages. Whenever something like this happens, you can always pick out the folks who have roughed it a few times. Hubby's grandma was one of those folks.

Miss Hinda was widowed at an early age and lived alone on a large farm for years. She toted a pistol and wasn't afraid to use it on would be prowlers. In fact, she often carried it in her purse when she trekked to the store. She lived off the land and raised most of her food. She was a tough old bird as we say in these parts. A few years before she died, a severe ice storm rolled through her community, which is about an hour south of here. Traffic was stalled. Power was out for several days, and the phones were down. No one could reach her. It took two days for the roads to clear enough for Papa T. and his siblings to get to her house. By this time, they were worried sick about that frail 83-year old woman who was all alone. When they arrived, she didn't come to the door. They went in, searched the house frantically and finally found her in the basement. She was toasty warm thanks to the fire she had built in the fireplace. She had a makeshift bed set up and was eating food she had canned in the summer. She was rocking in her rocking chair beside the fire, reading her bible and old issues of the Reader's Digest. She didn't understand what all of the fuss was about and sent them home. After all, she survived for years without electricity and indoor plumbing. A little ice was nothing. They sheepishly tucked their tails and drove away from the farm, scratching their heads and laughing. I think of her every time we get an ice storm and laugh at what a candy butt I can be when my electricity goes out for an hour, even though I grew up in the sticks. My generation just doesn't compare to her's. I don't care what anyone says.


janjanmom said...

I have a good friend with two giant tubs of provisions. If there is an emergency-I know where I'm going.

Too me roughing it means generic toilet paper.

Mama Mia said...

I love this story about Miss Hinda!! I read through it twice. They just don't make them like that anymore do they?

Jason said...

We have truly become such spoiled brats with our conveniences, haven't we? A difficult day for many of us is when the cable is out or the internet connection isn't working.