Friday, November 16, 2012

Never again

Well, with my luck, probably not NEVER again, but we're hoping.  I'm referring to the possibility of going for days and days without electricity.  We were very lucky with Superstorm Sandy in that we only lost power briefly, but many of our friends and loved ones were not nearly so lucky.  One family friend of ours lost power for two weeks and although he has a generator, he was unable to find fuel for it for a while, which meant of course living in the dark and cold with food quietly spoiling in the kitchen.

In the late 1990's my area went without power for five or six days after some hurricane whose name I can no longer remember.  It was only by the merest chance that we were out of town for it.  We came home to the spoilage and inconvenience but did not actually have to live through the mess.  Our hotel was also in the path of the hurricane and lost power for about a day, but nothing like the length of time here at home.

And then there was the Christmas Day power blackout, when someone took out a transformer pole with their car on Christmas Morning; there were two feet of snow on the ground and it was bitter cold, and the turkey had just gone into the oven...when the power went out for what turned out to be almost twelve hours.  And us with a house full of company, no heat and no way to prepare the refrigerator full of food that was in our kitchen.

Well, no more.  Megan and I have decided to bite the bullet, pool our pennies and purchase a whole-house generator which will run on our natural gas line.  Unlike many of the homes in our neighborhood, we are actually connected to the gas lines instead of having propane delivered to a tank attached to the house.  In the event of a major power outage, the generator will kick in and will deliver enough power to run the heat (or the air conditioning) as well as the fridge, and the lights.  There is a considerable demand for generators right now, so we probably won't get anything actually installed until sometime in January at the very earliest.

All of which virtually guarantees two things:  one, that at some time between now and the installation we can expect to endure one last major power outage, and two, that once the generator is installed, Central Pennsylvania will never again experience a power outage of any kind.

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