Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy 2009

Hope everyone’s holidays were a joyous celebration of friends and family. Ours definitely were. Santa left more than enough goodies for everyone and seemed to do the same for all around us. After our Christmas and Boxing Day festivities, we finally headed up to the cottage on the 27th and it proved to be a very interesting time, indeed.

Our actual drive north was relatively uneventful, despite the rain, until we turned onto the first of the cottage roads in. Rain sitting on top of ice made things a little dicey to say the least, so we cruised at a speed that didn’t require much braking. The first vehicle we passed in the ditch was a large pick-up truck, which is never a good thing to see. But our little Outback did us proud and got us here safe and sound, including stopping and turning on the gentle incline that is our driveway.

It was great to be here after all the hustle and bustle. I was looking forward to some serious down time, which we got in abundance the next morning. I am an earlier riser than other family members, so I turned on the coffee pot and sat down with a book. The rain had continued over night and was now accompanied by gale force winds that had the trees swaying, or should I say flapping, outside. Not a good thing here in the north where trees and power lines don’t co-exist very well.

Within minutes, the lights flickered, but came back on. I re-started the coffee maker and then things really went black. Luckily, the trusty generator that we had hooked up during the renovation kicked in exactly when it was supposed to, so the coffee was started a third time with back up power.

The good thing about having a generator, and the essential things connected to it, like furnace, fridge, stove and kitchen lights is that you can stay, even during a power outage. So we stayed put. And the power stayed out – for 5 days!

Checking the status of repairs via cell phone (as phone lines were out as well) proved rather frustrating, since the forecast for restored power changed every day to another 24-hour delay. But the number of downed lines was well into the hundreds and apparently the easiest way to get repairs done was to shut off the entire grid. More than 35,000 people were without power – some longer than us.

Our company came and went. Meals were prepared and enjoyed. Life continued without much fuss. And I enjoyed the different activities that reduced power encouraged. Jigsaw puzzles. Card games. Long walks. Early bedtimes.

I hooked and knit while the light was good and actually managed to finish my mat for the Hooked on Houses display at our Hook in February 7th. I also spent some time organizing my studio space in the basement (as per the photo above). Even without any finishes, it’s cozy and comfortable – and I love not having to clean up every time I set down my hook. Some day the concrete block, insulation and concrete floor will be finished, but for now, it’s perfectly fine. I even had a radio and TV down there to keep me company if it gets too quiet - and there is power.

The town of Parry Sound had pockets where power was only off for an hour and others that lasted a few days, but grocery stores and other retailers were open for business, so food supply was never an issue. Our delicious New Year’s Eve dinner was prepared and eaten in the kitchen. At 4:45 on New Year’s Day – slightly ahead of the last prediction – the power came back on. That’s a pretty nice way to start the year, I think.

So now it’s January 5th, we're back home and I am back at work. As I post this entry, and look at that picture, I am reminded once again how much better I like sitting there than sitting here.

Oh well, maybe this will be the year that we make the leap to full time. You just never know. I think that would make 2009 very happy.

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