Monday, December 28, 2009
Winter in Ohio
One of the biggest problems I remember having in the winter is when the power would go off. Neighbors would call neighbors to see if it was a regional problem or something that happened to just them. Then things got harder. If it were out for long periods, like the Blizzard of 1978, we were without power for over a week. Roads were impassable, living in the country doesn't make you a priority. We were breaking ice in water tanks to keep horses watered, they would normally have a water heater keeping water thawed. We were lucky enough to have a hand pump outside our house to pump water. To carry 5 gallon buckets of water to hogs morning, noon and night was not easy. Animals always came first, then we worried about our own needs.
Back in the 70's we were still pretty self sufficient. We had two freezers and always had our own meat and veggies stored away. Keeping our pipes from freezing and keeping warm were other matters to consider. We then had a wood stove, wood was stacked at the back door and we managed to stay warm. Of course wearing more layers of clothing helped. During that time we were going through a recession and were working hard to conserve energy. Heavy quilted window dressings were not uncommon. We learned to be creative with less, I see us needing to do that again in 2009. Do my children remember how to survive with no power? Do they have a freezer of food from their gardens? My son and his wife only heat with wood. Most winters their girls are wearing t-shirts and shorts in the house it is so warm!
Generators are the answer to today's power outages, but you need gasoline to run them. Do we have some on hand, just in case of a power outage? Last year when Hurricane Ike blew through Ohio from Florida, even the gas stations were closed because they had no power. Many people had to chain saw the trees off the road to even get to town. I remember driving through Xenia during this power outage. It looked strangely like a ghost town. The other comment I remember Emily saying, she lives in a town, people came out of their houses. They looked dazed and didn't seem to know what to do with themselves without a TV to watch. She said she saw people she'd never seen on her street before. How sad is that?