Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lighting the Way

It's nights like this that I really appreciate anything that is powered by batteries, including my laptop computer. For, you see, the power is out at our house, thanks to the worst weather we've had all winter.

It's not very cold, and it didn't snow as much as in other storms. But it was a one-two punch, with maybe an extra kick in the behind thrown in. Overnight about five inches of snow fell, light crystaline snow that was easy to brush off the car but very difficult to drive on. By the time I got to work I was in the rain, but Karen and the boys (for school was cancelled) were still getting snow, and lots of it.

By the time the rain came to New Durham, it was falling on at least seven inches of snow, and turning it all to slush, under which was a layer of ice, and within which were deep puddles of trapped water.

At this hour, about 8:00 at night (don't go by the posting date; I will need electricity for that), Karen's car is stuck at the bottom of the driveway and mine is parked at the top. I haven't tried to lay sand yet, because there's nothing for it to sit on top of to provide traction. We'd shovel the slush, but there isn't anyplace useful to put it. So I have to hope that the temperature drops below freezing before I go to bed so I can get enough traction to move Karen's car. Then I'll probably have to get up before dark and spread sand on the ice so that Karen can get out in the morning.

Karen is reading to the boys using a gadget I picked up at the local bargain store that has come in quite handy. It's a flashlight that uses two super-bright LEDs as bulbs, and a capacitor that get's charged when you squeeze a handle on the side. I keep it with me in the car; in the cold weather around here you can never count on batteries.

Candles on the mantle and bathroom sink and flashlights pointed at the ceiling are our other sources of light tonight, until, according to the electric company's prediction, about 11:00, or about the time I go to bed most nights.

I will probably go to bed earlier tonight, depending on how many times I think I'll have to get up in the night to replace flashlight batteries and turn off lights when the power comes back on. It might also depend on how long my laptop battery lasts, although if I don't do anything more taxing than writing, it will last a lot longer than I will.

And I just remembered that I do have the current dial-up number for online service and a working phone line, so I can post this from my laptop. Gotta love that battery power, at least while it lasts.

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