1.35 inches of rain fell in the past 30 minutes and the power just went out.
Soon I may be hauling the generator up from the lawnmower shed. Generally, the power is not off but for a few minutes.
When it goes out and stays out, it can be three or four days. I have a generator on wheels I can roll up to our covered front porch.
From there, I run extension cords into the house. One for the refrigerator, one for a lamp in the living room, and the other goes down the hall into my office. With satellite TV and internet, we can be up and running as soon as the storm subsides.
Now the power has been out for ½ an hour.
I have the generator staged on the front porch. I switched on the front porch lights to monitor the power outage from the porch. I keep the generator in the lawnmower shed which is down the hill from the house. Our 5 acres slopes, steeply in places, 120 feet down in elevation to the lake. Parts of it are covered with forest, while over ½ is grass.
Getting the generator up the hill is like dragging a dorm size refrigerator full of beer up the hill. I could do it in one steady go, but I end up stopping a couple of times as I make my way up to the level ground in front of the house. Then it is just one step up to get it onto the porch. I face the exhaust for the generator away from the door.
When the generator is running, you can hear it in the house.
I have tried putting the generator on the back deck to minimize the sound, but then it must be dragged through the house, as that section of the deck is elevated. Plus, there is no protection from the elements for the generator out back. I’m sure it is designed to be left out in the elements as it performs its task of generating power, but I want to protect my investment.
Even with the power off, I am still able to work on my laptop, at least for the next few hours until the battery gives out. But the project I am working on is saved to my PC. If I used the cloud more for file storage, I could access it from my laptop, while on the front porch. But that is if I have internet access, which I do not when the power is off. At least not until I fire up the generator.
So, I have pulled out the book I am reading, John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley.”
He is still on the east coast at this point in the book and is describing his adventures surrounding trying to enter Canada with his dog and no paper shot records. If the power has not been restored after I finish reading this chapter, I will pull out the extension cords and fire things up.
As I wait, I am thinking about how I have prepared for the power outages.
Having lived here now for three years, I have put together an emergency plan (my house WRAP plan) and slowly added different components. I purchased the generator. I have a five-gallon container of back up gas, both for the generator and the riding mower.
I have the extension cords I will use in the coffee table barrel on the front porch. I have experimented with what to hook up, how to minimize the cords running through the house, and how to reach behind the refrigerator to get it plugged into the generator.
It’s my WRAP plan for the house.
Having things already in place for when the power goes out makes it less stressful. The tools are available, I know how to use them, and how to make the best out of the power outage. In fact, when it happens in the fall and winter, I have the wood stove in the living room which heats the entire upstairs. We can even heat food on it.
Later this week, I will be adding to my personal mental health WRAP plan.
Being prepared for the twists and turns depression can throw in my direction gives me hope that I will be just as prepared when I need to put my WRAP plan into action. That’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan. I realize now, after facing depression, that it is inevitable that I will have ups and downs. Recovery is not a straight line.
Life with depression will not be a straight line either.
Seeing how seamless my power outage plan went into action, I am redoubling my efforts with my personal plan. The depression will not force me back into the depths. I will prevail.
Looking up at the porch light, I see that the power has come back on.
Steinbeck had to turn around and not take his dog into Canada. I will have to drag the generator back down the hill. I put it in front of me and hold on tight so that it doesn’t careen down the hill and end up in the lake.
The sun is peeking out from the edges of the clouds now and the late afternoon is getting steamy again. Summer in the mountains is a wild ride.
Thank you, Mother Nature, for the lesson in being prepared.
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