We\’ve been practicing for Irene for the last week, with two prolonged power outages brought on by relatively minor storms.
Now that we have a generator, we are spared the worst: lack of water from our electric well pump. The generator also ensures that the season\’s harvest stays frozen in the freezer, and the leftovers in the fridge don\’t morph into deadly poisons.
Otherwise, we have some choices to make: running the microwave vs. the computer, the chicken coop light vs. the TV. I can take a shower with hot water, but not blow-dry my hair, because that takes too much power. Ditto for the electric stove.
Meanwhile, in the garage, right next to the living room, the generator blasts on, making more racket than the battle of the Somme, upsetting the dogs–Bisou takes refuge between my ankles–and wreaking god-knows-what havoc in the psyche of the hens, whose shed adjoins the garage. And yards of thick extension cords snake through the house, tripping us in the dark.
Can you tell how spoiled I am? Here I enjoy, in the direst emergency, luxuries unimagined by the chieftains of Amazonian tribes, and I complain. Where are my mettle, my spirit of sacrifice? Power outages force us–except for the cans of gasoline needed to run the generator–to save a bit of energy. What will I do when (not if, alas) Armageddon strikes?
So, a grudging welcome to you, Irene. Next week may well prove the dress rehearsal for the man-made disasters that await us. And we need all the practice we can get.