Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I am temporarily off the grid for a while at the cabin since a severe thunderstorm swept through last evening. Power was out. Internet was out. TV was out. The power came back on fairly quickly but not the rest. The storm had threatened all evening, thundering from virtually every direction around me but always several miles off. Then came a brighter flash of lightning, followed by a loud boom of thunder and everything went dark. Floradora my cat bolted off the bed and ran under it. She is terribly afraid of thunderstorms, the only cat I’ve ever owned who even seems to notice them.
I don’t have a generator, though I do have a non-electric heat source to get me through winter power outages. The loss of internet and television is an inconvenience, but I’m used to it. Periodically, the lack reminds me of the days, years really, when I didn’t have access to either and didn’t really mind. These days, internet access seems as necessary as electricity, though I know it’s really a habit of connectivity more than anything.
I keep lanterns handy, both battery-powered and match-lit. I have a wind-up alarm clock, though these days an alarm app on my cell phone gets more use. I have a battery pack to charge the cell phone, too, for those times when power is out for days on end.
During outages I find I miss seeing a storm’s approach on radar more than anything. To me, watching a storm’s radar path is how I determine if I need to head to the basement to shelter or not. Knowing that the torrential rain that’s falling will be past its worst with the next radar pass is comforting, or it tells me if it’s time to drag out the sump pumps.
Not knowing when the storm will pass or if the rain will continue unabated for hours seems odd now, though not knowing was the norm for much of my life here in the cabin. It didn’t take very long to get used to having that information at my fingertips, and it’s only when it’s not available that I realize that what seems like a necessity really isn’t.