There was a lovely glowing ember in the woodstove this morning. I stirred the ashes and found more. There was kindling in the basket, a few pieces of wood in the hopper. I have fire. On a morning like this, fire is a nice thing to have ready at hand. I turned up the oil heat in the bedrooms. The heat pump in the front is cranking merrily away, but it's a frickin' heat pump. No use at these temps. Which is why I'm so happy about the glowing embers.
That was Monday's post, or the beginning of it. In mid-thought, the power went out. Presumably from the cold or too many people kicking up their heat pumps at once as they got up. It wasn't even 6:30, you see. The power was out for about half an hour. I was even more happy I had the fire and some wood in the house. Without electricity we have no water, no heat, no sanitation, let alone no computer, internet, tv, radio, or refrigeration. The well has an electric pump. The oil burner requires an electric spark to start. The water heater is electric, as well as the sump pump, etc. Spoke again to weatherdude about some sort of backup system. We found out recently that the various power outages probably fried the bacteria zapper for our water supply. Guess I should surge protect every damned outlet in the house.
I have a fire again this morning. The embers needed a bit of help and the ashes were deep enough to need some scooping, which means I have a metal bucket full of hot embers outside the door cooling off. I hauled 2 loads of wood as dark settled in last night, which means I have enough to start the morning's fire. And get the darned heat pump to shut off.
The edited story is almost done. I'm down to the question of present vs. past tense. That's a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but important for the 'finishing touch.' As it's a first person story, I won't be able to write it all in present tense, but I can switch at the climax. So that's where I'm pondering. I suspect I will tweak a few words a few more times as well. If anyone would care to comment on whether and when they use present tense, that would be helpful.
The girls are cold and thirsty. I'm worried about them. They've spent a fair amount of time inside the coop where the sun warms the walls and there's a radiant heater. It's not doing a lot, but if they stay near it, it's definitely warmer than the surrounding air. I have to keep knocking ice out of the temporary water containers. The permanent ones are hopelessly iced up. My greatest fear is going down and finding one hasn't made it through the night.