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Life on the Edge

What's a little Snow

Life on the Edge

Of the Grid in Arizona that is.

(My rant from Thanksgiving 2019)

Okay, I’m not actually living life on the edge unless you are looking at how to survive weather in the teens with a foot of snow, no electric which results in no water, no working fridge or freezer or internet. Luckily, the wood stove is keeping us warm and I’m able to cook simple meals. Hey, a grilled cheese tastes pretty good when there isn’t much else but cold food.

How to survive without electric.

That can be a problem if you rely on electric for your heat. Where I live, we do get winter. As I’m writing this, the sun has gone down and the temperature has gone from a balmy 48 to a chilly 33. It was 17 at six when I finally crawled out of my warm nest to stoke up the fire to get warm.

Those people who say we need to get rid of wood stoves have never been without electric. I have. Hurricanes will will keep you from having electric for upward of three weeks. Been there, done that, and cooked on a grill without a working fridge, unable to get ice and contaminated water.

Here in Arizona, I keep drinking water on hand. I can melt the snow to get water to wash in and do up dishes. When your power goes out, so does the pump for your water which means you have no running water. Fun, fun, fun. That would explain the five gallon containers of water I keep to flush the commodes. It also explains why I have a propane generator to unfreeze the pump when the electric does come back on and a couple of solar panels to charge the batteries I use to charge my phone, computer and to access the satellite for short periods of time.

I also use the wood stove to cook on. Grilled cheese, tortillas filled with everything you need to get rid of the in fridge works. You can fix stews, soups and other one dish meals as long as you remember that you can’t control the heat. You can be inventive, or like me, be lazy and use some prepackaged things I keep for this type of situation where you only need to add water and heat.

Frustration is:

The biggest frustration is when the electric company works on all the outages with 3-4 people when close to a 1000 are without electric and they keep pushing back when the electric will be restored. The last look at the website said ten this evening. They know it’s a main line, but aren’t sure where. Hmm. Makes me wonder if they even have a clue as to where the problem is located. (They didn’t, plus the roads were impassible to get to where it was.)

I understand that Phoenix is a big city, but they have city water and stores that are close by and roads that are usually passable. Where I live, I couldn’t get out the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Then once I could get out, the tiny store in the town closest to me was out of almost everything. They got no delivery since the interstate was closed for two days and the people in town cleaned out the store of food.

Yep, I-40 was closed down from Seligman to Winslow for two days. That means no trucks could make it to Ash Fork. Talk about a mess. We got 12 inches of snow. Flagstaff had 7-9 inches. That is unusual since I live further west and don’t usually get more snow than those places located higher in elevation. (I’m at just over 5K and Flag is over 7K.)

Called back to work

I have to go to work tomorrow. I’m lucky in that I have a 4 wheel drive vehicle to make it to the plowed roads. I’m hoping that the paved roads are clearer. The interstate has been shut down several times since they reopened due to people who haven’t a clue how to drive in the winter. That means slowing down and being prepared for ice covered with snow. Then again, I have Ash Fork Hill to go over. It’s a 6.5 mile mountain with a 6% grade going uphill into town

I warned my employer that I may be a bit disheveled due to the lack of water, but I’ll be there. (I despise dirty hair and three days of sponge baths isn’t my normal.) I’ll be the first to go out the driveway through the remaining 10 inches that will be frozen. Guess that new car will get a work out. I made it out with minimal difficulty. 4 WD is great when you need traction. Getting back in was more difficult as several other people had gone over the road during the day making ruts that I had to avoid.

Well, I’ve got to go as I need to fix something to eat. My romantic, candle lit house isn’t the best thing for cooking, but I’ll manage with the only flashlight that still has working batteries. The computer doesn’t make enough light to cook by.

January 2020

That was a fun weekend. We still have snow but could use a lot more for the water it produces. The temperatures have been staying in the teens at night and going as high as 56 during the day. Typical for this area. I’ll admit that I’m ready for spring. Christmas is over and the snow and cold should be also. The problem is that we will have snow and cold for another month or two.

I’m finding it hard to believe January is almost over. I did get Mariah published so now I need to concentrate one my next two books to throw out into the world.



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