Monday, July 9, 2012

Surviving the apocalypse

When we returned home from the Apocalyptic birthday party last weekend, we were preparing for a hot night spent reading by candlelight until we could somehow feel comfortable enough to get some fitful sleep. 

As it turned out, the power was restored in our house by the time we got home, though there was such incredible damage near my sister's house it took longer for her. 

We were so happy to have our air conditioning and our refrigerator back, but I couldn't help thinking, won't be long before it happens again. And a time after that, and a time at some point where blackouts are pretty common because we've extracted all the oil and natural gas we can easily get to, and the rest is being rationed, or is so expensive that we can only use it sparingly.

Or we get powerful storms so regularly that being without power becomes a way of life.  

Is it just me, or does it feel like that time is coming? That a fundamental shift is occurring--in weather patterns, and also in the forms and amount of energy that are available to us--and that we are lucky to have at least a little bit of time to prepare. 

It was hard to imagine, while we had no power, a week or more without it. It has been just so bloody hot, and it's hard to think or do anything--especially the busy things we're used to doing, the social engagements the house to refinance the music to practice the writing to do--without the comforts we're used to. 

I also hate to think of the dogs being so uncomfortable, as they love to lie right in front of the fan or the AC when its like this.

But in other parts of the world, discomforts like heat and a lack of appliances with which to make it more bearable are a way of life.  

People live with it, because that's just the way it is. And despite the discomfort, there were certain things about the power outage that were enjoyable.

At the birthday party, people had a bemused and relaxed attitude and there was less pressure, somehow, to make it a perfect experience. 

I've gotten to spend more time with my sister, as she came over a couple of times to use my computer and cool off once my power was restored. 

We even got to have a cookout in my sister's backyard, and Florian got a huge kick out of cooking up everything in our freezer to save it from going bad.

There were stories about food stores doing the same thing--barbecuing up all their perishables in the parking lot and feeding people for free.  

Disaster often brings out the best in us, and people--like dogs--are amazingly adaptable. 

I don't mean to sound like a survivalist wingnut with prophecies of doom and gloom. I just can't help thinking that things are going to change.

How about you? Do you and your dogs keep a basement stocked with barrels of drinking water, canned food, and firearms? Or do you think our ingenuity will get us through, no matter what?


  1. Discomfort is a matter of perspective for sure. It actually sounds like you had fun despite everything. The dogs will adapt, as always :)

  2. I don't eat a lot of canned or processed food, it will certainly be an adjustment for me. We lost power for a week last October and we survived. It was cold, but we used our ingenuity and we managed. I don't know for how long we could do that but I do know we can make it for a week!

    I think there has been a shift in the weather patterns and we will be having more severe weather and more fluke types of weather too. We are looking into going solar which would be a great help for us in the power department.

    Truthfully right now I am more concerned about the bath salt smoking zombies and our government taking away more and more of our rights.

  3. Our household is comprised of me...Mrs. What Happens Happens, Deal With It Then, and Mr. I'm Prepped For the Zombie Apocalypse. I figure unless he ditches me, I'm set (ha).

    To answer your question...Whenever I see a quote I like, I write it down. If I'm looking for one, I usually check or Thank you for saying that you enjoy them.

  4. One thing for sure...things are always changing. I don't think we can continue to sustain the way we live without some serious consequences. I think we can still have a good quality of life (maybe even a better one), but we need to find a different way of living.

    I had to live without power for a week a few years ago due to a storm and it was an eye opener for me. I always prided myself on making everything from scratch. Well, when you have a cupboard full of dried beans and whole grains it can be pretty bleak when the fresh goods run out and you don't even have a BBQ to boil water. However, one big positive is that people became "unplugged" and actually engage in real life face to face communication. There were a lot of positive stories of people helping one another.

    I hope you and your pups can stay comfortable, safe and cool.

  5. Gosh that is so terrifying. We will keep our paws crossed for every buddy. Glad the electricity was back on at least
    Benny & Lily

  6. Hi Kirsten, my dad says that you're absolutely right. Things are changing. He remembers that it used to snow more when he was little. That the sun didn't seem as hot and searing as it is now, that there were way more songbirds, robins and stuff than there are now. Now there's way more crows. But my dad said that good things are happening too, our city takes away kitchen scraps, spoiled fruit, bones and stuff for recycling, composting and keeping this stuff out of landfills. We just wish that more people did this.

  7. I'm glad everyone was okay and you got your electricity restored. How nice that you can look at the silver lining! :)

  8. Our power went out for just one hour on one of the really hot days, and that really made us think (I can't imagine what it must be like to have it out longer!). I can't believe how bad your storm was.

  9. When we thought there would be a flood last year we stocked up on bottled watr but that is it

    urban hounds

  10. Goodness! Those pictures make me thankful we don't get much violent weather here in Portland. Glad to hear that everyone made it through OK and that Florian had fun with his barbeque skills! :)

  11. I remember hot humid days in Philadelphia where we'd hang out in the freezer section of the grocery story or drink free soda refills all afternoon in the local KFC because we had no air conditioning and had no water access to cool off.

    But when the power actually went out and we had not choice, we rose to the occasion. I have fond memories of setting up a marathon monopoly game in the kitchen because our only heat came from the gas oven when heavy snow downed power lines. And i remember neighbors bringing hot soup and drinks to bus drivers stranded in a winter storm while we took turns digging each other out of our homes.

    I wonder if our hope as people is to lose the oil-based economy we're so dependent on to allow our planet a chance to heal?


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