Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Friday night, about a half hour into the McCain-Obama debate, our power went off. We couldn't figure out why. The rain had been falling for a few hours, but we'd had no thunder or lightning.

I looked outside. Because of the rain, it was really dark outside—dark the way it must have been in the old days. Except for a few lights way down the road, everything was pitch dark. John called AEP; they said he was the fourth caller (so others lost power, too) and that power would be back on about 10:30.

The power didn't come back on at 10:30. A few hours after we were left in the dark, the rain really poured down. We saw a big truck—lights flashing—slowly make its way down the road and shine a powerful spotlight at the power lines. We thought they'd find the problem soon.

They didn't. Power was off for 12 hours.

Luckily it happened at night. We didn't open the refrigerator; we didn't flush. (In rural America, we get our water via the well. The pump is electric. Flushing would soon deplete our reserve.) We could get by—for a while.

Saturday morning, the power came back on in time for me to cook breakfast. Our only problem was that a couple of half-empty cartons of sherbet melted onto the freezer shelf. Not much of a problem at all.

Compared to those in Galveston, many of whom are still without electricity and whose homes were destroyed by the hurricane, we're lucky. Compared to those on the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, we didn't have severe weather. The rain we received—over two inches— was badly needed. We didn't have really bad wind. We have our power back.

And we can flush.



Blogger CountryDew said...

That electric pump thing in the well can be a real issue when the power is out.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Oh too bad--you missed the debate. Don't miss the Vice Presidential debates on Thursday. THAT should be a show!

Our lights went off in the middle of the night for a couple of minutes I guess. All the clocks were blinking in the morning.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Amy Hanek said...

Surprisingly, there are many homes in suburbs with wells too. I grew up in a nice neighborhood in upstate NY and we had a well. Many homes in my old Florida neighborhood had wells too.

When Hurricane Charley came through we went for 7 and a half days without power. The highs were above 95 degrees and we were miserable. I guess we were just lucky we could flush.

My parents live in Blacksburg and they say that electricity is optional out there (meaning it goes off for no reason quite often).

10:00 AM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

Hmm. Did they ever say what caused the outage? I'm glad the only thing you lost was your sherbet.

1:48 PM  

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