Saturday, September 3, 2011

An aluminum pie plate, a plastic watering can and our charcoal grill

And so we survived- perhaps even thrived, more or less.  A week with no electricity or running water!! Irene, despite her somewhat weakened status when she slammed in to Connecticut ravaged the coastline here. When we took a drive to 'see' the damage it was devastating, homes were lost, extreme flooding, trees torn up from their roots and power lines and utility poles snapped like twigs. Irene's wrath was evident, for sure.


And so we settled in to creative survival  mode. We (well, Skipp), hauled five gallon buckets of water from the brook in back which has a deeper spot to fill the buckets for flushing.   In the mornings we heated a big pan of water on the grill   which we mixed with brook water in our large watering can which has a lovely rain shower type spout. In just my underwear and bra I sat on a plastic seat whilst Skipp poured water over me and I washed my hair and other essential parts and then rinsed.  ahhhhhhhhhhhh, and then we re-filled and I poured warm water over Skipp while he "showered" as well.   Thank goodness our back deck faces the woods.  :-)  (sorry about the placement of these photos - blogger wont let me cut and paste them)  oh well!!  :-)




 We heated water for coffee and created a type of french press - it was delicious.  We cooked eggs in the aluminum plate and put sausage on aluminum foil and made toast and even waffles.  Breakfast was always so good.  Lunch was usually peanut butter and jelly and  for dinners we cooked everything we had from burgers to chicken to fish. Once all the perishablefood that we could safely use was cooked  we then  heated soups, stew, beans -  right in the cans!!  The nights were long - we played cribbage, trivia, scrabble by hurricane lamps and candles - and we sang and played guitar out on the deck with the torches lit.  It really was wonderful.

Oh we had our moments of "enough" and even snapped at one another from time to time!!  The toilet thing was the worst.  Our own personal 'systems' were all off as well - and the exhaustion from the steps necessary to eat or shower or go to the bathroom were, at times, quite overwhelming.  We talked each other down or up and made jokes and quickly balanced knowing that we had to keep on keeping on.  And we did!!   It was quite an adventure and a testament to our love, strengths, weaknesses, humanities, neighborly kindness and faith, yes faith!!

GOODNIGHT IRENE!!

   


29 comments:

Diana said...

Well Gail in an odd sort of way, bad weather can be fun for awhile. When we lost our power for several hours a few months ago, Katie and I actually had fun playing board games by candle light. But it does get old after a bit, sounds like it was fun yet inconvenient too for the two of you. Although it does bring people closer. It sounds like you didn't receive any damage, thank goodness for that.
Love Di ♥

Gail said...

HI DI -- I hope this reply finds you feeling better and moving more freely.
We had no power for six days - it was a challenge but we face d it.

Love Gail
peace.....

Wanda..... said...

I know about the inconvenience caused by being without electric. Back in Sept. of 2008, the remnants of Hurricane Ike left us here in Ohio without power for about 6 days, we did have running water though. You and Skipp were very creative with the lack of water. Glad you're safe.

I was actually here earlier, had just started to read your post, when 3 grandchildren came through the door!

Cinner said...

so sorry you were out of power so long, I am glad to hear that you both are safe and sound. it does sound like it was quite an adventure...you must be tired from it all. hugs to you.

Teacher's Pet said...

Yes...goodnight Irene! I hope that all is well. Take care as our hurricane season is still in full swing. We are looking at a tropical depression in the Gulf and another hurricane in the Atlantic. Hugs to you, Gail.
Love,
Jackie

Just Be Real said...

Gail, missed you but glad all is well. Enjoyed reading your advenutre of survival and grateful that God saw you all through. Blessings and safe hugs to you all.

Scott said...

We usually lose electricity if it so much as drizzles here but, somehow, we got through Irene unscathed (except for a little water in the basement) here in the Philadelphia suburbs. The longest we've been without power has been three days in the winter (no water, no heat 'cause the furnace needs power to circulate the hot water in the radiators). We kept food cold in a snow-filled cooler, ate lots of cereal, and went out for dinners. Oh, and we used the one fireplace that works (in the living room) to keep the house (and the pipes) ice free. Glad you made it through, but six days is a long time.

Choices said...

Hi Gail,
Irene was first headed right towards Florida and then took a turn. Glad you survived the storm and are safe.
Take care.
Smiles to youl

Finding Pam said...

Hey Gail, I am so glad that you did not have any damage to your home. It is nice to know that you can survive if you have to do it.

I loved reading this post. We lost our power for seven days once in the winter. First it was fun, but then the cold made it hard to keep warm. NOt having my cpap machine made me grumpy. Tho we did survive.

I am grumpy from the 59 days of hot weather over 100 degrees. We finally did get some rain and relief from this dreadful heat. So I'm in better spirits.

Peace and love,
Pam

Gail said...

TO ALL - thank you SO much for all your thoughts, love and shared experiences. My internet is on and off still so I am more brief that usual and certainly "a group reply" is not my style. I wanted to get these published and say thanks while I could. Shopping today to replace food lost phew and still cleaning up..
Love to you all
Gail
peace.....

Just Be Real said...

((((Gail))))

Gail said...

(((((((JBR)))))))))) thanks

:-)

PENolan said...

Perfect song for the occasion!
Glad you had fun in survival mode.

Gail said...

HEY TRISH - a perfect song indeed. so good to see you here.
Love Gail
peace.....

Eileen said...

'LOVE Tom Waits!
And 'love hearing that all is well again with you and Skipp. I know how trying it can be to live without modern conveniences, a few hours is fun, a day is doable, but once it goes on and on, it is not much fun at all anymore.
So sorry you were hit so hard by Irene.

I don't think you are the only one with Blogger (picture posting) problems, I've been reading that other people are having trouble too. I'm trying to get myself together and start blogging again, but I'm in such a funk lately. No one reason, just a bunch of nuttiness surrounding us lately.

Take care, Gail.
I think of you often.
Love and Prayers,
Eileen

Gail said...

HI EILEEN - I am so happy to see you, I have missed you a lot. And ya, by the third day of the no power no water adventure we were losing our grip. phew. I hope your slump evens out and you are back on top soon.
Love to you always my friend
Gail
peace.....

Andy said...

So glad that you're both OK and that you had some sort of 'fun' time with it all.

Good for you.

And good to see you back and safe.

Gail said...

HI ANDY - so good to have you come by and I SO appreciate your care and concern. :-)
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Grizz………… said...

Reading this, I was struck with how well you and Skipp fared in the electricity-less aftermath of Irene. Not because you were so thoroughly prepared (though you had all the essentials covered) but because of attitude. That's really the dividing line beween adventure and hardship…attitude. You made the best of what you had and what you could, and then, as the days unfolded, tried to have as much fun as you could. Not just surviving, but thriving.

Because of what I've done for a profession, spending weeks at a time living primitively in tents, campers, and various rustic wilderness shelters, experience has taught me how little it takes to be comfortable. Most of the stuff we think we need—we don't. Not that convenience is a bad thing. It's easier to flip a switch than light a lantern, turn a tap for a drink of water, cook on an electric stove instead of an open fire…or flush a toilet by pushing a handle instead of pouring water from a bucket. But…it's also good to know you can get by doing it the other way if necessary.

You guys did great. I'm glad you came through Irene with no serious property damage—and faced the week that followed with grace, élan, and fun.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ- I am SO happy to have you come by for a visit :-). We did fare quite well - I shudder to think what it would have been like if Skipp were working those long hours. We managed and carried on because we were together.The creative showers and coffee were the best!! :-) Hope all is well with you and yours my friend - stay close.
Love Gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Oh Gail, I can still feel and hear Irene's strong winds whenever I recall her wrath. It is amazing what we can really endure. You and Skipp certainly have a story to tell. So pleased that you are safe and well. Love your account... Yes, I can smile just imagining your shower routine.

With love filled hugs,
Rose Marie

Whitemist said...

do not know why your post where not showing up, but i get it, you were "Irened". Glad you have things back - i know i worried about food going bad once when we were out for 2 days.... It can make life interesting...
peace to you.

Gail said...

ROSEMARIE - wrath is a good word - Irene was fierce. And I, like you, was amazed at how we endured and creatively managed. I am so happy to see you here.
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI JOEY - so good to have you come by. It's been a while. I know it has been a difficult time since your Mom passed away. I hope you are well, all things considered. I continue to manage my health as best I can, and celebrate my freedoms.
Love to you
Gail
peace......

Tracey said...

Sounds like you both did a good job of making the best of it. I like your place, Gail :-) I'll be coming back often.

Gail said...

HI TRACEY - so glad you came by. :-) I look forward to us getting to know one another.
Love Gail
peace.....

lapilli said...

I like your creative survival mode ;)
just kidding, I hope everything is well now.
Lots of love

Lola said...

of course lapilli is me
:)

Gail said...

HI LOLA - I am SO happy to have you come by. I have missed you. How is your vacation?
Love Gail
peace.....