Out of Power
Last night, when I got home from my writer’s meeting, everything was dark after the storm. Rain, wind, and lightning all around, some even had trees and limbs broken, but here only the electrical power was off and I came home to a dark house. I lit candles and an oil lamp. The lighting of the oil lamp reminded me of a winter storm in my youth that knocked the power out for days.
My mom and dad had an oil heater and we couldn’t heat our house, but we could allow the water from the gravity fed spring water to trickle and prevent the pipes from freezing, but not the people. SO, they packed us up and moved in with my grandmother Rebecca Miner who still had and used a coal furnace in the basement and a wood stove to cook on in the kitchen. What she didn’t have was water. It was brought up to the house with an electric pump.
My dad, my uncle Ted, and I carried water in buckets from the springhouse to drink, wash, and to flush the commode. By this time, the outhouse was used in an emergency only. We had a great time. It was the longest amount of time that I’d ever spent at my grandmother’s. Oil lamps provided the light at the dining room table to play Parcheesi, dominoes, and sometimes to just talk. The warmth of the kitchen wood stove seemed to radiate into that room, creating a cozy nest. Somehow, the food tasted better, cooked on the cast iron monster and grandma’s recipes always had a better flavor.
It was almost with a sad heart when we returned home after the power was restored. Soon after that, Dad installed a wood burning fireplace and we never were “forced” to stay at Grandma Miner’s huge farmhouse.