A dear friend of mine recently made the move to the land of magnolias and mint juleps. I was thrilled to have a kindred spirit from my past nearby, even if the drive was about 1.5 hours away. Needless to say, due to life and circumstances, 7 months later, I still had not managed to make it up to see the new “place”.
So, schedules finally meshed this week and the great trek north was schemed and planned. Oddly however, my friend, now a new Southerner, was greeted to a very lovely ice storm right before our grand visit. Trees snapped in half, electric lines were down, power and water went off, ice completely turned normal cars into molded popsicles and cell phones and land lines were found to be inoperable.
When the fated day arrived, she and her clan found themselves heading south to my house. Where I was more than happy to provide shelter, heat, lights and hot showers.
Obviously, as we munched on pizza and caught up on the news, we chatted about the dismal economy and their newly acquired survival skills. Bringing up water from the creek, boiling it, and more. Since there is a river at the end of my road, I proudly announced I had access to a water source too. All I would need were those tablets to make it drinkable and a fishing rod to catch my dinner if worse came to worst.
As we navigated the aisles of the store to load them up for the days ahead, it appeared they were more planning a camping trip to the wilderness then returning to their newly built home. While filling up their propane tanks and water containers it was all I could do to not go home and rethink my own “worst case scenario” battle plan.
Pulling back into my driveway after getting them on their way, I reached into the mail box. Bills greeted me and I snatched at the one that was for my electricity. That little piece of paper had about put me in the poor house the month prior, and I was hoping it had all been a big mistake. How on earth could one person, that is not even home, triple her wattage usage? It was beyond me. But a phone call to the utility company assured me rates had gone up and yes, I now owed them $700 plus dollars. The newest bill matched the last ugly one as well. I reminded them I kept my heater on 65, if not off, and that, again, I wasn’t even home! But for some reason, they just wanted their money. Oy vey.
With that, I headed over to the heater, and turned it completely off. Even though temps in my area are in the 30s (and under), I had been inspired by my hearty friends and their visit. I knew I too was up for that challenge. So, heading downstairs, I retrieved my kerosene heater, wiped it down, and fired it up. Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner?
So, now I sit here writing all toasty and warm in one room of the house. If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, all I can say is, it might be the fumes. (You might want to send out the posse. Just kidding.)
All in all, here’s to the pioneer spirit, and old American ingenuity. I might just fire up the hibachi in the morning and whip up some breakfast in the kitchen while my dog hunkers down in the living room finally convinced I have completely lost my mind.