I guess it was around seven o’clock last night when our shore power started flickering. That happened a half-dozen times before it went out and stayed out, shortly after 9:30pm. I went to the control panel and checked the condition of our house batteries and, determining that they were less-than-enthusiastic about performing in cold weather, made a judgement call.
We fired up the generator.
It’s been running ever since, and will continue as long as we have more than 25 gallons of diesel in the tank. We’re not putting much of a load on it — between 3A and 10A, occasionally as high as 15A, running the fridge and the water heater on AC, maintaining the house batteries. That consumes a half-gallon of diesel an hour, more or less.
The local electric company doesn’t have an estimate for when power will be restored.
We’re facing this challenge because, as expected, we got snow yesterday — wet, heavy, “heart-attack snow.” It kept coming down ’til almost dawn, and when we ventured out with the dogs this morning there was ten inches of the sodden, settled stuff on the Jeep and the truck. That leads me to believe that probably a foot fell over the course of the storm — that is, northern Arkansas got a whole winter’s snow in less than 24 hours.
All of the trees are traced in white, a picture-postcard everywhere we look. Of course, electric lines also are coated in heavy snow, which is why we (and thousands of others in Ozarkansas) are without power.
Deb’s cousin reports that The Mountain is dealing with an outage, too. That’s really no surprise.
This morning he sent us a photo taken not far from his cabin, looking down in the direction of our homesite. Snow-laden trees bent and bowed over the road, meaning that it took some doing to get his tractor out and plow.
Soon this will be our Home, too. So many things we’ve experienced in that place only because we happened to be there at the time — sunrise and sunset, cedars groaning under the weight of fresh snow, the wandering whitetails, the eagle gliding silently past us. What a difference actually living there will make.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.