Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Off the grid?

We LOVE camping, go often, and don’t mind living according to the candle. I love making coffee on the camp stove, cooking that way too and even think that there is some merit to having to slow down. I don’t mind the slower pace, the darker nights, the increased need to be more involved in living. I don’t however like when I am thrust into darkness (even with warning) and then not being able to find out when/where I will be able to access basic life services such as dry ice and water, a means to pumping ground water and septic away from my house, a means to not worrying about what is happening to my investment when I am out taking care of basic essentials. If I chose to live off the grid, I would manage life differently. I would have a composting toilet, a means to potable water, and some food storage system to prevent spoilage. I realize that what I am going through is a FAR cry from what others are going through, but it is trying just the same. Maybe someday, soon, we will rejoin the grid and stop having to bail water every 3 hrs at night (we don’t want to run a generator why we are sleeping) or having to worry about where to get cleaned up, iron work clothes, etc.

Today, our electric company pulled something that encourages investigation. Several of my neighbors had their power restored 36 hours ago, and the electric company removed the rest of us from the need to restore list. Thanks to the diligence of several we managed to convince them of the need to re-open the tickets. Then this morning, what was once fixed blew up. A transformer gave out plunging the restored houses back into darkness. The power company refused to believe the reports. They even told a neighbor they would be put back in line. When they did show up a few hours later to fix things, it was only for what had been fixed 36 hours ago not for the “whole thing”. In the end however, there was only a DRIVE-BY and no new work done.

I write this from the comforts of my brother’s house where I stopped to charge a battery or two, get some water, take a shower and so on. I have seen my niece and nephew more this week than I have all summer. For that much I am grateful.

I return to work tomorrow. This will be a challenge with the resources I have but I will manage. Hopefully, as we were told would be so, our life off the grid will be a thing of the past. 

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