November 29Posted on: November 30, 2012
With the meeting going so well, I treated myself last night. I took a steak out of the freezer and grilled it outside. It was heaven to do something so normal.
After everyone left the township offices, Darlene and I went over the two lists, the one of the folks who had wood heat (and were willing to take someone in) was a lot shorter than the list of those who needed heat. We made notes beside each name for what we knew of the people: age, sex, health, where their house was, anything we thought useful. Then we went over the list with Carolyn. We were able to make recommendations for less than a dozen people. But it was a start. I think it’s best to first approach those offering to take someone in, and give them the option of who they would take; then talk to those who are in need. It’s really difficult to match up these different personalities.
I was really surprised at how many are so dependent on their propane or electricity for heat. I guess it’s all the work of wood, and quite frankly, the mess too. Even though we are in ‘wood country’ and it’s virtually free for the taking in the right areas, it’s still a chore to cut it, haul it, split it, stack it, let it cure, then haul it into the house daily to burn. Of course the upside, which I learned early in living up here, is that when the power goes, I still have heat and a means to cook. The others, with a propane furnace, rely on the power to run that furnace, and are soon without heat.
Bob & Kathy are barely holding on, because their furnace won’t run, but their gas fireplace in the basement will work being lit with a match and doesn’t have a blower. Their extra bonus is they are one of the few that have a 1,000 gallon tank and just had it filled. Most of us only have a 500 gallon tank. I talked with Kathy when they were over for Thanksgiving dinner. They’ve shut off all the rooms in the basement except for the bathroom and the main area, where they have now dragged mattresses into. They are getting a real taste of living in a one-room cabin! Bob had the foresight of shutting off all the water to the upstairs and draining those pipes and have hung blankets on the glass door to the lower deck. Fortunately, the gas grill they’ve been using has a direct line to the tank, and doesn’t use the smaller 20# tanks like mine does. Now, if they only had stocked up on food……………
On the rare occasion that I need something quick, I have lit the burner of my stove with a match, but the oven won’t run without power. I’m completely dependent on the wood cook stove for baking, and because of the nature of how it heats I have to do any regulated baking early in the day. Consequently, with all these meetings in the morning, I’m now out of bread, grrrrr, guess I’ll have to remedy that tomorrow. I’m finding that I really have to pre-plan so many things now. No more thawing with the microwave!
Since I had red meat last night for dinner, I made sure I pulled some chicken out of the freezer for dinner tonight. The freezer is finally starting to look less packed. Back in October I filled it really full with good sales. I can’t complain about my ‘paranoid’ Prepper buying habits now…. It’s keeping me fed and alive.