During our first winter here, we experienced a mid-winter thaw. The pond overflowed, the wind garnered speed knocking the power out, and the basement started to fill up with water. When you're living in a 150 year old house, it's sort of expected a wet basement will be part of your life, but we weren't prepared for the fast rising tide that was threatening our furnace, our main heat source that year.
We carried bucket after bucket of water up the basement stairs and out the front door; an effort that seemed completely futile. Yet, we carried on, one step after the next, worrying about a furnace we didn't plan to use much after that winter but we'd been too slow to source enough wood during those rushed fall days of settling in, to see us through to spring.
I was still enjoying the gift of country living, in those heady first months here, amazed at the beauty and solitude that surrounded me but on this day, when it seemed like the pond was in reach our house and about to swallow us whole, I realized this was also a way of living that required respect and a good deal of planning. And so we planned. I quickly realized what colour we painted the farmhouse wasn't quite as important as procuring something as handy as a generator. Four years later, the house still hasn't been painted but we've had a generator, ready at our beck and call, should the need arise yet up until now there hadn't been much of a need. In fact, the standing joke with our neighbours was there would be no more long hydro outages now that we had gone out and invested in a generator, and they thanked us profusely for boosting their odds.
Thursday after a long day of freezing rain, changed all that. This entire area of the province was covered in ice. Still, all was good until the wind picked up that evening and for the next 24 hours, our generator became the workhorse of this little farm. Finally, we were able to flex our preparedness muscles. Our generator kept those sump pumps working, we had lights in the kitchen and we could run our furnace and water when required. It wasn't convenient but it was a lot less stressful than that cold day four years ago trudging up and down the basement stairs in the dark.
Each time I stepped outside, grateful for our extra 'farmhand', I was quickly overpowered by diesel fumes and the loud incessant hum of the generator, reminiscent of being at the fair. All I needed was some cotton candy.
~Be well friends