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Monday, February 16, 2015

The Day I Tried Being Amish (Well, Almost...)

Picture Credit: Kelsi Jo Silva 

Yesterday was an adventure.

We'd had a dusting of snow, but that dusting ended up looking like a blizzard because of the wind, which was howling and ripping at doors and windows, sending the snow swirling and lashing at you if you dared to peek your head out into it.

My house isn't the greatest on insulation (either that or my heater has seen better days) and it's a battle keeping it at 68 or above on a normal day, but with cold seeping in all over, it was getting harder and harder.

And then, Saturday night, the power went out. It happened in the wee, dark hours of the morning, and by the time I woke up enough to realize that the snot in my nose was slush, my house had dropped to 59 degrees. 

I did what any self-respecting single Mom with no social life would do - I put on my fuzzy footed jammies with the buttflap, made myself a big mug of tea and some oatmeal (thank God for my gas stove!) and snuggled on the couch under a blanket. I was immensely grateful that I had charged all four of the laptops in the house because that meant I could write, or maybe even watch a DVD or two. I had a fully charged Kindle, as well, not to mention a bookshelf full of books and two exceedingly affectionate cats, who I suspect were only using me for warmth.

Not that I blame them, of course. I have to say that I was really, really wishing I had a boyfriend yesterday. I'd have been all over that. Especially with the kids gone to spend the weekend with their Dad, who had power and a working heating system. 

And as I sat there, swamped in blankets and comforted by the muted glow of a laptop screen, I thought about my Amish neighbors.

I try not to get into a huge amount of detail about my location on this blog for privacy reasons, but many of you know I'm in the Philadelphia area. That's an over-simplification on my part because it happens to be the closest big city. I'm really on the edge of Amish country. My local Wal-Mart has a buggy tie-up in its parking lot. I drive through farmland and past horse pastures on my ride home from work every day, and on certain days when the "honey wagon" has seasoned the fields around here, you know to keep your windows shut.

I love it out here.

Except for when the power goes out and my house has now dropped to 51 degrees, which was where it was at by noon on Sunday. I laughed at myself because my Amish neighbors down the road were probably nice and toasty warm in their farmhouses, feeding that roaring fireplace and wrapping up in their homemade quilts as they ate all kinds of delicious baked goods.

Why the hell didn't we put in the gas log fireplace when we had the damn house built? The ex told me we'd probably never use it and the money could go for another upgrade somewhere else. I was an idiot to listen to him about a lot of things, but this one, surely, was one of the biggest things. Or at least, it was yesterday.

I didn't have an Amish quilt, either. My bedding set from Target was keeping me warm-ish, and the cats seemed to appreciate it, making their own cat-caves next to me on the couch as they crawled under. Baked goods were in short supply, but I did pour myself a bowl of Fruit Loops at one point. They're baked, right?

So I tapped away at the laptop and I wrote and I blogged (which is writing, so I don't know why I broke it out like that except for maybe some Freudian thing that speaks to my need to defend myself as a blogger, who is, in fact, a writer...) and I checked my Facebook and Twitter on my phone and I drank a lot of hot tea and eventually, the power came back on. Hallelujah.

But it's still cold in here. Once my house gets cold, it takes forever to heat up again. This time it got down to sub-arctic, and if you couple that with the negative wind chills, it just hasn't been able to recover entirely. So I'm typing this from my couch at a balmy 63 degrees, wearing my hoodie, with a fuzzy Mario and Luigi blanket over my lap and legs.

I'll try not to bitch. Instead, I'll try to be thankful that I have some heat, any heat at all. 

It's what the Amish would do.

But they'd have that damn fireplace.


Jessa discovers that she can travel to other realities, and with the help of Finn, another traveler, they go on amazing journeys in all sorts of alternate worlds. What will Jessa find on the other side of the mirror? And can she escape from the evil that's hunting her?
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