As I write this, it’s Saturday night, exactly one week after losing power. We had a very unusual October snow, dumping almost a foot of very wet snow on large sections of New England. The real problem wasn’t the snow, but the fact that we still had most of the leaves on the trees. This creates a huge surface area to catch leaves and weigh down branches. We lost dozens of trees and many times more branches. The limbs took down our power, and with it our well (water), lights, heat, refrigeration, and, generally, life as we know it. I worked at about 50% of normal this week, maybe 30 hours in all. By itself, that is a major cut in what I normally do, but it felt very strange to have hours of most days allocated to tasks such as using a chainsaw, not protecting my company’s data from harm.

Our house has been mostly dark, mostly cold, with a few limited assistances. Our next door neighbor is a construction worker, so has access to a large diesel generator. We were able to share it for the few days he and his family were in town. After his father got power, we got it to ourselves. That meant finding a way to haul diesel fuel from the gas station to home and finding a diesel gas can was a nearly impossible task. Thankfully, one store with them in stock was open early on Thursday morning – cash only, $12 for the can – a bargain! So we’ve been running the generator a few hours each day, powering the downstairs fridge and the freezer in the garage, plus a few CFL outfitted lights. We were drinking bottled water, showering at the high school or my office in MA, and going to bed early after working outside for hours every day.

Without too many more details, it looks like power may be back on in a day or two. Today, line clearing crews took the trees off the lines in our neighborhood, making progress ahead of the line crews. It’s clear that lines will need to be restrung – the high power green-colored lines have been cut in multiple places on our street.

So once we get power back, it’ll be a slow return to normal. We’ll need to re-purchase most perishable food and deal with the insurance. But, we’ll be warm, clean, and have running water. For these things, I will be thankful!

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