Pioneers

This week we learned how to cook on a wood-burning stove and rescue freezers full of food with a power generator after the electricity was knocked out for two-and-a-half days by a freak summer storm.

We stood in the house around 9:30pm Sunday night staring out over the valley below as giant bolts of lightning ripped out of the sky around us and thunder roared in response. The trees outside were bent sideways by winds strong enough to blow Husband’s heavy grill across the deck, but oddly a wadded ball of newspaper he’d set outside for fire-starting was still where he left it when we surveyed the next morning.

We’re still getting acquainted with the wind here. So far, without fail, we’ve had a cool breeze sweep down the mountainside every evening around 7pm. Perhaps because the warm summer air is rising out of the valley in the evening, causing a cooler rush to replace it?

The storm was soon spent, and we were all cozy inside, but it’s hard not to feel intimidated by such an obvious display of power beyond our control. I was about to call it “unrestrained power,” but of course it’s fully restrained by the One who gathers the wind in his fists (Prov 30:4).

We’re very fortunate to have spring-fed, gravity-pulled water here, which isn’t dependent on electricity. When you can still turn on your faucets and flush your toilets, it’s hard not to feel pretty civilized. The only real inconvenience of our power-outage came to our neighbors, since our barn happens to host the internet signal for the valley below, where power was restored much sooner. And without the internet, life really does feel primitive.

Husband was gone most of the evening the first night without power, and I’m prone to fear of the dark, but I was actually surprised at how safe I felt. Not safe enough that I was willing to walk to the shop alone in the dark, but safe enough to lay prone on the couch while the children slept in the loft above.

Husband wisely withheld the fact that someone had been shot and killed on our mountain the day before — something we were assured had never happened in all the years before. In the sunlight of the next day, as details emerged in the newspaper, I only felt sorrow for the neighbor who had to act in self-defense, and the man who was acting erratically and irrationally leading up to it.

Storms and all, life in the country is still lovely.

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