Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Cold

Becky took this shot of box elder bugs working over a dead  wasp

As you probably remember both our furnaces blew up or burned last fall, in a series of disasters I don't ever want to see again.

Alan built a wonderful little coal boiler, but it didn't warm the house because of problems of which we were not aware, such as bent blades on the furnace fan, and explosion damage in places we couldn't see. Thus, although I tended it faithfully and learned all over again how to burn coal, it was a horrible, horrible winter, about the most demoralizing misery I have ever experienced.

We had the outdoor wood boiler refurbished and finally got it back in January. I can't describe to you the relief of not shivering. 

To this day there are problems with the system; we can't get heat to the peripheral rooms and the rest of the place is more than slightly chilly. Still, we are not in danger of freezing to death and that is easy to like.

However, a big topic of conversation here is the poor souls in NYC and NJ still impacted by hurricane damage. We had electricity. Although the little heaters that our wiring could sustain didn't do much they did something. I ran the shower every morning to let a little warm steam into the house and turned the electric oven on a few times a day to warm the kitchen a little.

We routinely work outdoors so we have warm clothing and know how to wear it. We learned long ago of the virtue of filling a two-liter soda bottle with hot water and tucking it inside your snuggly blankie when you are sitting in your refrigerated home.

In the city they have none of these things and probably do not have the clothing for the situation either. How are they surviving!?! They have no electricity and NO heat.

There are babies, elderly, sick and so on. Many of them don't have and can't by law have any way to protect themselves from "goblins", the looters, the bad people who will take advantage of their helplessness. At least we were and are armed.

The cold makes you sluggish and slows your brain and brings on fear and sadness. I pray that heat and light and comfort and safety are restored for our neighbors to the south, the sooner the better.


Dani said...

Poor souls. And now to suffer another blow with this new system rolling in.

Cathy said...

Marianne . . . I try to remind myself that compared to our ancestors . . . we are so blessed and take so much for granted.

Their lives are shattered . . those poor souls in the east. I can hardly think about it.

NumberWise said...

My first thought this morning was also of those NYC and NJ people being cold. And you're right that cold makes us sluggish and depressed.

I've thought a lot about what I think should have been done to prepare for the hurricane, but the issues are many, huge, and varied. The geography and infrastructure, in addition to the sheer number of people, mean that evacuation is nearly impossible. The same restrictions mean that bringing in supplies is slow and limited.

Everything runs on electricity - transportation controls, gas pumps, grocery stores, elevators...

Linda said...

I feel for people that don't know HOW to prepare for something like Sandy. We've been off the grid for days at times but have the resources to stay warm and deal with it whereas this is like being thrown into some bizarre survivor game for city folk. People just don't realize how much they depend on electricity and gas.

Jan said...

I hadn't even thought about how vulnerable New Yorkers are to the human element with no legal means to protect themselves and their families.

lisa said...

I sure wish I had more money because I would be down there handing out blankets and hats and gloves!

Jeffro said...


threecollie said...

Dani, I was reading the Daily News yesterday about how things are down there. Horrible!

Cathy, you said it! My own grandparents lived through worse times than I have ever imagined.

NW, I read that some people weren't even aware that a storm was coming. it is hard to imagine such a mind-boggling disconnect from reality, but then we live so close to the weather up here.....

LInda, same here. We live close to main power sources so we are generally restored pretty quickly when it does go out, but we have been without power for as much as 16 days at a time. At least that was in the summer though

Jan, I guess it is terrible with people trying to protect themselves from armed thieves when the very best they can come up with for defense is a hunting bow. Scary.

Lisa, you bet!

Jeffro, yes

Terry and Linda said...

Well said! My husband (besides farming) worked for 37 years as a lineforeman...most people take electricity as a given.

It isn't.

Nor is heat, or water, or.....food!