On Thursday, April 11, 2019, the wind and freezing rain plastered their heavy ice crystals on the snow-laden county side of southeastern Minnesota. Many electric poles succumbed to the weight of the elements leaving many homes and farms without power. The Randy Grabau farm was one of those homes.
Life changed in a hurry. My plans to use my oven for baking were foiled. My husband’s power tools were useless. The computer went black. The furnace-fan became silent. The radio with its daily update of news was mute. Even some clocks went dead. The land-line telephone still worked, but soon that ended.
So, I dug out the candles. I fueled up some oil lamps to illuminate the darkness once the sun went down.
Since my husband, Randy, used a generator to power up the farm, we had 2 hours of power twice per day. With that energy, Randy milked the cow. That also allowed power in the house to provide two hot meals and to keep the refrigerator, freezers and the furnace-fan working.
Thinking that we were going to visit friends that evening for Bible Study, in the powerless house, I went to set my hair. But alas, the curling iron which was electric was out of use. So, I curled my hair the old way . . . with pin curls.
The sun got low and the shadows crept in. Candles and oil lamps flickered to give light that was needed.
With television, videos, internet and radio all down, my family saw the opportunity to visit and play Pinochle by candle and lantern light.
I searched the house and found alarm clocks that worked by battery or main springs. Their tick-tock, tick-tock rhythms continued on through the night.
With the absence of light after dark, I was reminded of a couple of Bible verses, “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear, The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.” Psalm 27:1. And “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105.
The next day, April 12, before the clock’s alarm went off, the shrill, piercing call of a cardinal served as the wake-up call for my husband and me. By 6 A.M., the light of dawn started its trek into the farmhouse.
While Randy milked the cow, I saw my chance to make a pound of butter and boil a dozen eggs to set aside for an upcoming meal. We stored water for washing and cooking to use while the water pump was unusable. With the absence of power for active work, the our family set about to use the time for quiet things like reading, studying, writing, needlework, and drawing. My husband began to read a novel to the family.
A hopeful sign came when the house phone-line came back into service. The telephone company had placed a generator near the service pole not far from our home to aid reception.
On the third day, an electric coop truck drove by our home. That served as a welcome premonition that the neighborhood would be getting its power restored. By lunchtime that day, power flooded our home.
The folks we had prayed for, the linemen and others who served to restore the power, had labored hard and served us well.
photo credit: Can Pac Swire Who needs to buy plastic fake icicles when you get the real thing? via photopin (license)
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photo credit: www.miriam-blaylock.com Bargello_sampler_study_detail_5 via photopin (license)