It is 5.00 am. Friday April 12, 2012 and outside a terrible ice storm is taking hold.
I am working by candlelight as we have a power cut here at the farm and will only be able to do that for as long as the battery on my laptop lasts.
It truly is amazing how much we rely on electricity to function in our everyday lives. No coffee is probably the hardest to take right now. I need my caffeine fix to kick-start my day.
But living in the country, no power also means no water, as our well is operated by a pump. If I didn't have stuff to do, this might all seem quite romantic, this working by candlelight, but not knowing how long the power outage will last, I will reserve judgment and let you know.
Living in a century old stone farmhouse it does give you a taste of olden times before we became so beholden to hydro. In fact I have just realized that if this carries on all day, it is going to get pretty cold in the house too. Well I guess I am just going to have to adjust, put on more clothes and forget about a shower today.
It is several hours later and still no power. I am now wearing three layers of clothes, topped with a red housecoat -- not exactly my usual fashionista look. Outside it is still raining ice pellets and as I peer through the window in between the ice that has stuck there, I see the branch of a big tree has been severed off by the weight of the ice.
Even the dog doesn't want to go outside. He tried once and his legs gave way on the ice. He's likely got the right idea and has decided to sleep through it all and not let it faze him.
It is so eerie in the house. There's no sound except for the rain lashing on the windows and the trees creaking and swaying in the wind. I keep expecting one to crash into the house. Our house is surrounded by trees, it could be any one of them, so there is no one window to avoid.
It reminds me of how isolating it can be living in the country. I am feeling totally cut off from the rest of the world, not knowing whether this storm is just local or right across Ontario. I can't even reach anyone to find out as my cell phone has died and of course the Internet is down.
As for lunch, the cupboards and fridge are pretty bare, I was due to do my grocery shopping so I guess it is going to be cheese or cheese, everything else requires cooking. As for drinking, I have one jug of water in the fridge, once that is gone, it's on to the beer. Hey, maybe this ice adventure is beginning to look up.
After seven, long cold hours, the power went back on. My first task? To make myself a cup of coffee. I look out the window and watch the icicles slide off the trees, as they litter the grass, looking like snow, but more lethal with their long, sharp spikes. You can hear them cracking and falling to the ground. I am hoping my car won't get hit and damaged - either by the ice or by the falling branches. There's water everywhere and two lone ducks are swimming happily in the new pond in our back field.
I've learned something from the imposed hydro-free day, something practical, rather than philosophical - I am going to make sure in the future that I stock up with bottles of water and food that doesn't require cooking. I mean the cheese was OK, but not that good.
I am sure in the days ahead we will be hearing the "war" stories of how everyone survived the ice storm. Hopefully no one got hurt.
As I have joked in the past, clearly Mother Nature is in menopause and has forgotten that Spring was supposed to follow Winter on March 20. Let's hope she catches on soon.