Well, a happy winter solstice to you all! And a very wintry winter solstice it is, at least here in Queensborough – though I gather in many other parts of south-central Ontario too. Freezing rain has been falling (though very lightly here) off and on for the past many hours, with more in the forecast. Neighbours have been telling us to brace for a power outage if the buildup on the hydro lines and tree branches gets too heavy. And while a power outage in and of itself is (obviously) far from the end of the world, we are reliably informed that when the power goes out in this extremely rural neck of the woods, it is not at all uncommon for it to be out for a couple of days. Apparently we are rather far down Hydro One‘s priority list.
To which I can only say: Yikes!
Because, you see, while all of our neighbours (as far as I can tell) have set themselves up with generators that can be put into service for heating and appliance-running in the case of a hydro outage, Raymond and I, the new kids on the block, are as yet generator-free.
Now, I raised the generator issue here at Meanwhile, at the Manse last winter, in posts here and here. And readers were most generous with advice, all of which I am going back to review in light of current weather conditions. A couple of members of my own family scoffed a bit at the idea of a generator; there was some suggestion that hurricane lamps and a bit of sucking it up would suffice in a power outage. But I think they were speaking from childhood recollections of power outages at the Manse, which lasted a few hours at most – certainly never a full day, let alone more than than a day.
(And to that I can only say: if Ontario Hydro could get the power back on here so quickly back in those days of the 1960s and ’70s, why the heck are multiple-day power outages so commonplace in 2013? People, that is not a rhetorical question; I would like to know.)
Anyway: given that Raymond and I don’t (yet) have a wood stove for heating at the Manse, as my family did in my childhood here, and in light of the all-too-common multi-day power outages, I take back everything I said just a few days ago about wanting a snowblower for Christmas. Santa, what I really want – and need – is apparently a generator.
Because nothing says “Merry Christmas” like the knowledge that no matter what the wind and weather, you (and your cat) can stay safe and warm in your Manse.