I’ve started this post several times, only to lose it as the power went off again. This is our fourth day with intermittent, unpredictable power. When I can get email, I can see numerous thoughtful messages–thank you. I won’t be able to answer each one, so please consider this quick post an answer to all, and a thank-you for thinking of us.
We can’t complain, really. Seriously. There are just the two of us (plus Molly, the Girls, and Blossom, of course). We manage to do what has to be done during the periods we have power, and we spend the rest of the time reading. (My e-reader is backlit and Bill reads audiobooks.) We have a fireplace and plenty of firewood.
We do have water issues: there’s about 60 yards of frozen piping between the well and the house. We won’t know how much has to be replaced until the pipes thaw–and break, if they’re going to. But we have a 1500-gallon emergency tank, so we won’t run out of water anytime soon.
But most of all, this has been an intense learning experience. Learning what makes our Texas power grid work–and what doesn’t. Learning who controls the electrical energy and how those people are appointed. Learning what resources we have here at Meadow Knoll and what we need to do to improve them.
Also, I want to give a very loud shout-out to the folks at Pedernales Electric Coop, who have stayed on the job around the clock to keep as many people online as possible–in a rural Hill Country area of over 8100 square miles. It’s not their fault that the grid was crippled–and that’s just another of the many things this situation has taught us.
Bottom line: While it’s not business as usual at our house, we’re not suffering. Plenty of people are–and there will be deaths, when all is said and done. If you’d like to help, look here for suggestions. Help if you can.
And the larger problem is political–isn’t it always? Texas is a “small-governement” state that does not sufficiently regulate its power suppliers. Until things are changed (one way or another) we’ll continue to see crises like this one. And it will be the most vulnerable–those who are supported by a government that works for all the people–who will be hurt. More here about the politics behind the way the Texas grid works–and doesn’t.
Reading note: For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.―
Update: Thanks for all your comments. Special thanks to malamalamasEllen Zepp for sharing the lovely poem by Maren Tirabassi in the comments section!