My Very Own Ice Storm Story

Joanna here.  DSCN0413 2What I’m doing . . .

(I bet you think this post is going to be about writing.)

(It’s not.)

Here in my mountain house we're under an inch of solid, glistening ice for four days.

Quite pretty in its way. 

But it leaves me with no power, no water, no heat, no light, no wifi, and my winding sheer-drop roads are slick as glass. I spent yesterday and the day before fussing with oil lamps and hauling firewood about and not washing.


Meanwhile. Crack! . . . another tree crashes to the foliage.  Bang! . . . a fist-sized chunk of ice hits the roof.

My dog cowers.

The cat does not deign to comer, but then, she doesn’t have to go outside.

The trees (Did I mention the trees?) are everywhere lying across the road, pulled down by the weight of the ice.

I spent a nonnegligible part of yesterday sawing trees apart with a handsaw (which I know from a hawk, which
DSCN0422we also have, hovering on a wimpling wing,) to drag them out of the roadway into the woods.

Today, Day Four, I still have no water, lights, heat, wifi, etc. but in exchange I have sore muscles all over. Ouch, ouch. The Electric Company has stopped promising me they will fix my little problem ‘between eight o’clock and midnight.”

Now they just say, ”everybody has problems. You have more ice than anybody else. (Which I figgered.) We’ll get to you.‘‘

The road is now passable, the trees cleared (by moi.)  I drove fearfully down mountain and into town to take a shower at the YMCA, (ahhhh,) buy a hot lunch, and find a place with a working wifi.

(The library wifi was out, but I may have found my WWR so it was not a total loss.)


What the woodstove looks like in the darkness

So now I can write this post and put it on the internet. YEAH!

Did you know I need FOUR oil lamps to read?

When there are no electric lights, the night is very dark. All the corners are filled with blackness and the candle you carry about with you is a small point of light in an overwhelming night. Who knows what’s outside that three-foot circle you can see? Vampires and ghosts and your evil Cousin Theodore who wants to kill you for your inheritance.

Also, the stalwart hero might be there. You never know.

This is the world of our historical people. Not the sparkling ballroom with three hundred beeswax candles


What four oil lamps look like in the dark which is why they call them "dim and flaring"

a la Barry Lyndon. That was a rare, special extravagance of the very rich.

DSCN0438 2

Four oil lamps, just lit

What did your Middling Regency person get?
A warm kitchen with everyone around the table or the little front room and four or seven candles grouped close next to the dramatic reader who’s keeping you on the edge of your seat with Oliver Twist or Tom Jones. You, over to one side, get enough light for knitting. Only just. Or light to see what cards you're holding as you take down Aunt Edith at whist.

It is better to light just one little candle than to curse the darkness, of course, but it is even better to light LOTS of little candles and you can curse the darkness all you want once you see where you’re going.


So. What’s your best “roughing it with no electricity” story?