Friday, March 11, 2011


Due to an ice storm last Sunday night, I spent four days without electricity. The trees become coated with ice, the branches break off, the electrical lines come down. The outage was widespread in southern NH and Vermont. We were some of the last to regain our power on Thursday afternoon.

You forget how many household tasks are completed using electrical current until you no longer have it. Because the water well pump is run by electricity, I had no water. The cooking stove and fridge were out and I threw away all my perishable food in the end.

Luckily I have a gas fired fireplace. Keeping it cranking day and night I was able to send heat down to the bathroom (furthest room from the fireplace) to keep the temperature at 48 degrees. Thus the pipes didn't freeze--one of my big worries.

I purchased gallons of water so I could flush the toilet (one gallon to flush, another half-gallon to refill the basin.) I slept in the den near the fire. Although in a practical sense I did well, in a psychological/emotional sense I was exhausted and overwhelmed. Not that life couldn't be worse of course.

Electricity is a phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of an electrical charge. Examples are lightning, static electricity and electrical current in an electrical wire.

The word comes from the New Latin word electricus meaning amber-like. This word was coined from the Greek electron meaning amber. Static electricity effects were produced by rubbing amber.

Nikola Tesla was a genius whose patents are the basis of modern AC electrical power systems. Briefly he worked for Thomas Edison, solving many of Edison's most difficult problems in working with electricity. However, he left his employment due to a conflict over payment for his work. He died penniless at 86 in New York City.

The dramatic thriller The Prestige, is about two rivaling magicians who develop tricks involving electrical current. They make a visit to Tesla's workshop in the southwest toward the end of the movie. An entertaining depiction of electrical powers.

I am so grateful for the ease of living that electricity brings. Thank you!!


Tess Kincaid said...

I was wondering about you this morning, Suki. Glad to hear your electricity is finally back on and that you are safe and warm. What an ordeal! Thanks for the movie suggestion. I've added it to my Netflix queue.

Robin said...

So glad we talked last night!
You are a true Walkure! (And Bibs is a Walkure Katze!) You are one brave lady.... now, time to go to the market - stock up the fridge again - eat something warm - and take some naps!

I saw "The Prestiege" several years's good...and the inclusion of Tesla was so informative to me. (Don't forget to rent "The Ice Storm.")


♥ Robin ♥

Lynn said...

Did you son have electricity? Could you have gone to his house if it became unbearable at yours?
sounded grim!

that movie looks scary but good! Thanks for sharing.

I'm glad your are back to normal living conditions. Makes me wonder about the homeless people in your area who live on the streets? How do they survive in winter?

Annie said...

How well I know how uncomfortable you were, having just gone through the same thing a month ago. It is no fun! Glad it's over, isn't it wonderful! xoxo

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

wow.. suki.. so glad you have it back on. its interesting what we take for granted. Glad nothing happened to the pipes. Maybe this is all telling you to move somewhere else soon. :)

Katiejane said...

You are a veritable encyclopedia of information! So glad you have your power back. Yep, we do rely on electricity for just about everything. Stay warm.

...louciao... said...

Four days! Ugh! I've previously suffered through an ice-storm/electricity black out for 2 days and it is definitely not a fun adventure, especially when the sun goes down. Thank goodness you had a heat source of sorts.

San said...

You've taught me something, Suki. I didn't know about the amber origins of electricity. How interesting.

I'm glad your juice is flowing again. We too have a well pump and are in the same boat when the electricity goes off. It's daunting when it happens for an afternoon. But FOUR DAYS--yes, that would overwhelm.

patti said...

It does sound exhausting Suki! So glad you are back to normal again.

ZenDotStudio said...

That sounds like quite an ordeal. And I think it always seems worse because you don't know when the power is coming on again.

We saw a play on Tesla a number of years ago and it was fabulous. Quite the character.

Mim said...

i hate being without electricity and have been pestering DH for a generator. I hate the fact about the water - we have a well also. At our old house we had an old, old outhouse attached to the barn, and you know what? it was a comfort to know it was there.
Glad you're back with the lights on

Marion said...

I'm really glad you are now comfortable again. What an experience!

I remember many power outages as a child, but haven't experienced many as an adult.Seems to me there used to be days without power, no school, no water, no heat. Us kids enjoyed it, but my parents were constantly running after us with sweaters and blankets.

The one thing I always looked forward to after the power came on was a hot felt sooo good!

kj said...

soooooo glad you are warm and dry again suki. that is a long time to be looking for warmth.

come on spring! we need you!

suki, the trailer for this movie is right up my alley. i love stories like this and i am fascinated with magic. i will watch this one cozy saturday night: maybe even this very saturday night.

take care of yourself ♥

Teri C said...

That is an amazing pix of electricity. It is quite an experience being without electricity, it happens to us in Wisconsin occasionally but not for that long. Happy to hear all is well now.

Kimmie said...

I am glad you have power again. We live with frequent power outages due to wind .... But never one lasting for 4 days!!! That would be nearly unbearable - especially in the cold wintertime!

Mary said...

oh, I don't envy that at this time of year. Glad you were at least able to stay warm. It gives us an interesting perspective, though....we lost power for almost 10 days I think after Hurricane Bob and that was almost surreal after a least is wasn't winter and there are lots worse things...but still...we have sure gotten used to it!

love the rest of your post, too...

kikipotamus said...

I'm so glad your power is back on. We do take it for granted, don't we? I am praying for the people who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Robin said...

Just checking in before I dash off to the de Young..... I hope all is working as it should - and that you and Bibs are warm and dry.

I ADORE your new header! SPRING IS COMING! (But the Groundhogs were SO WRONG!)


♥ Robin ♥

sixty-five said...

Recently finished a most entertaining novel about Tesla called The Invention of Everything Else, by Samantha Hunt. Takes place in NYC in 1943 by which time Tesla was living in the Hotel New Yorker and raising homing pigeons. Tesla was played by David Bowie in The Prestige; unforgettable. Glad you are back to normal

sukipoet said...

possibly needless to say I am fascinated by Tesla. I'll look that book up.