Blacked Out (again)

Well we survived another one. This latest blackout lasted about 48 hours. If we were set up to be self-sustaining, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to that point yet. But we were able to maintain better than a lot of others in our area, due to a wood stove in the main part of the house, a pellet stove downstairs, and a generator that is large enough to supply most of our daily living needs.

Blackouts are regular occurrences here in the meadow. It’s frustrating that just over the hill, toward town, the folks are served by a different electric company, and rarely loose power. Isn’t it funny how those things work. Winter is always a bad time for a blackout here. We were so thankful that the worst of the winter’s cold has already come and gone. The temperatures stayed in the low 30’s throughout the ordeal. This made our heating efforts slightly less stressful. But it was a good reminder for us to keep working toward becoming more self-sufficient. In all honesty, the experience wasn’t all bad. It was kind of nice to sit in the living room, listening to the crackle of the wood stove, playing old-timey music on the dulcimer. There is something very relaxing about it. We, as a society, have gotten so used to the modern conveniences that we forget how to just sit quietly. I reminded myself many times during the outage that it hasn’t been too many years ago when electricity in the home simply wasn’t an option. People lived without it a lot longer than we’ve lived with it.

Isn’t it easy to be lulled into a false sense of security? I look around at the different people I know, and think about how a long-term power outage may affect them. Some are choosing the life of self-sufficiency as farmers & gardeners, and quite a few still live the old way by maintaining food & essentials for basic survival. But many live day-to-day, paycheck-to-paycheck, not giving a thought about what would happen if their lives were to be interrupted. I think it’s odd that we put so much focus on insuring our autos from disaster, our families from illness, and our homes from the ills of nature and/or society, but we don’t stop and think that true insurance is more than writing a monthly check with the promise that a stranger will ‘come to the rescue’ when an emergency happens. I’m not even remotely recommending that people start hoarding food and other items, I simply think we need to consider alternative ways to provide for our families needs before a disaster happens. Conspiracy theory? No. All it takes is a flip of the wrong switch, a well placed bolt of lightning, an unannounced earthquake, or even a little too much snow, and life as we’ve come accustomed would stop.

Solomon tells us in Proverbs to look to the ant. As I see it, God wrote the laws of nature. The animals, insects, etc. that survive are equipped for whatever happens. God wrote those same instincts into us. We’ve just stopped listening to Him, and to the instincts that He gave us. We need to seek God’s guidance, as we look around us to evaluate “what if” scenarios. How can we better be prepared for a power outage, a flood, an earthquake, etc.? Can we become mobile in a short amount of time if it were to be unsafe to stay in our homes? Do we have the necessary equipment, items, and food to get through an extended power outage - not just at our homes but in the community as well?

We can’t live in worry and dread, but we can better equip ourselves to be more prepared for situations that may occur. The key is to seek God’s guidance. In learning to hear His still small voice, we can get through any storm. What I haven’t told anyone is that for two days before the snowstorm hit, this nagging thought about loosing power kept bothering me. But I had gotten so caught up in other things; I refused to pay attention to it. Fortunately, we made it through not much worse for wear; but I feel some of the hardships could have been avoided if I would have just sought God when the thoughts first started.

As for today, it’s 40 degrees and the smell of spring is in the air. Hopefully it will come early this year!

Have a wonderful day & may the Lord bless you!

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