At 1:42 this morning, we (re)joined the ranks of the majority of people living outside of the city proper: the power went out. (As of noon today, at least 15,000 people were estimated to be without power.) Little Bear woke up twice, disoriented and upset because it was so dark, but we all stayed plenty warm through the night thanks to Matt's fire Tuesday evening. I got another fire started first thing this morning, and kept it burning until 3:30 or so this afternoon to keep the house warm as the walls slowly lost their retained heat; we lit another at bedtime tonight. It's only in the 30s outside, so it's not cooling down too quickly; we're sure thankful that's a positive 30 instead of a negative! All things considered, this definitely isn't the worst time to have lost power.
Work doesn't stop for a little thing like 12 to 15 inches of snow, so since the university is on its own power plant, Matt headed in to the office this morning. Thank goodness for a jeep with four-wheel drive! It really is beautiful outside, since someone else plows the driveway so I don't have to shovel. That's something else we will have to keep in mind, looking for a house: how long of a driveway are we (Matt + kids if I'm pregnant) willing to clear each time it snows?
So much snow. So so much snow. At least 12 inches fell here between Tuesday morning and first thing this morning, and it started up again later today... And we know other people who got more than we did, 16 inches or more in the same time frame!
The fireplace for heat, the sun for light; Matt went to the store on his lunch break today for extra batteries for flashlights, but it's bright enough in the daytime with the shades open. It's an odd thought that in situations like this, we're probably actually more comfortable than people whose lives are normally more convenient: we heat primarily with wood, so losing power doesn't affect that much at all; we aren't going to get too cold with three cords of split wood outside. We already haul our own drinking water, so we are okay on that, and we have quite the abundance of snow to melt and heat for washwater, flushing toilets, etc. I have found myself thinking wistfully of gas ranges and ovens, but I'm not incapable of making hot meals:
Chicken noodle soup for lunch today.
As exciting as cooking soup in the fireplace was, I'm suddenly developing a preference for wood stoves... it did work just fine, though. My parents' power came back on this afternoon, so we joined them for supper instead of trying something more ambitious in a skillet perched atop the coals, but if the power is out tomorrow morning I fully intend to make fireplace oatmeal. It might be a good idea to invest in a good unglazed cast iron Dutch oven that can sit right in the middle of the coals before the next big winter storm, just in case; that pot was big enough for soup for Little Bear and me, but it couldn't handle a full meal for the family.
Our power has been on and off since 5, on steadily since 9:30 or so; we'll pray that it stays that way now! It's been an exciting couple of days. If we lose power again by morning, though: oatmeal. We'll keep on making this an adventure.