We have had a very memorable Christmas this year. On The morning of December 23rd following an ice/snow storm the power went out at our house...and almost every other house in our community. At first it was kind of quaint so we brought lots of wood in for our wood stove and lit some candles and spent the evening playing cards and board games.
The following day (Christmas Eve) I checked the power company website and it was estimated that our power would be restored at 10 pm that night. We were disappointed that there would be no Christmas lights but we had pizza that I had made earlier and we cooked it in the oven of our wood stove and had our normal Christmas Eve party with relatives visiting in our house lit with candles. Because we have our own well and our pump is electric...no power means no water. Thankfully there is a fresh spring near our house so Scott and the boys took our truck and filled many 5 gallon pails with fresh water for drinking, heating on the stove for washing dishes etc, and additional water to fill the back of the flushes so that our bathrooms were still useable (but not the bath or shower).
We went to bed Christmas Eve hopeful that the power would be on for Christmas morning. What we didn't know was the damage from the ice/snow was so severe that power crews working around the clock were barely making progress. Many homes had electricity as their only source of heat so those homes were in danger of having their water pipes freeze and break, and people desperately tried to set up portable propane heaters to try to keep warm and prevent damage. We were warm at our place with 2 wood stoves but we had to empty all food from our fridge and freezers and move it outside in coolers to prevent losing it. Luckily my in-laws had the power restored to their house for Christmas Day so we went there for supper and showers.
The phone lines were also down because of the ice covering all the wires so cell phones (only able to be charged in cars) were the only way to communicate. As the third day with no power stretched on our local volunteer fire department went door to door to over 500 homes to make sure everyone was ok. They set up warming shelters at the local fire department that had a generator for power. It was so eerie to drive around our town and every home to be in darkness with no Christmas lights or street lights only the glow of candles or lanterns inside the houses.
By the fourth day with no power...and the power company website reporting that power could possibly not be restored for another 5 days, I was really upset. I thought I was quite resilient but it just felt so ominous and with darkness coming at 5 pm the nights were long. Strangely Facebook became the way people in the community kept up to date with the changing situation. People who had their power restored offered their homes to anyone who needed showers or a place to warm up. People with wood cook stoves baked turkeys for Christmas dinners...some were even cooked on barbecues. Finally our power came back on December 27th at 1 am. I was so relieved I sat down and had the biggest glass of red wine ever to celebrate. There is another storm forecast for Monday so I am crossing my fingers that we don't lose power again. In spite of the problems the weather has caused it is so beautiful outside with all the snow and ice. We will definitely never forget this Christmas.