So, haha! I was wrong about WordPress not letting me write without the block editor. Turns out, they have a secret way to access the classic editor, which is what I’m using right now. Because the block editor is just . so . bad. I mean, how could they…?! Well, anyway… Thanks to my buddies for looking out for me 🙂
Always nice to be proven wrong, when it works in my favor. Haha. I’m still probably going to post over at ActuallyAutistic – although I’m tempted to just do a WP install over there, so it’s easier to post. Seriously, when WP is done right, it’s quite awesome. I may do that later, when I have some free time. But honestly, I have so many sites, to begin with, adding yet another is not going to demonstrably improve my life.
Anyway, we had a pretty big storm yesterday. No’easter, as they call them, with the requisite scary radar images — that massive claw coming in from over the Atlantic. It rained for 3-4 hours, early on, then it turned to that gloppy snow… then more snow and no rain… and then a bit of rain after 7 p.m…. then more snow on top of that. And all with dropping temperatures, which makes me really glad I went out and moved snow and slush several times over the course of the afternoon and evening. If I’d just let it be, until this morning, I’d have about 6 inches of frozen-solid wintry mix to contend with.
But I got out there a number of times (2 or 3, I’ve lost count) with my shovel, and I got the deck and stairs and driveway cleared, which is huge.
I also got my generator running when we lost power, which is a whole new chapter in the Life of Me. We’ve lost power a lot, over the years, and we’ve always soldiered through. It’s funny – when we first moved here, we didn’t lose power all that often. Maybe a couple times a year? But I think as electric companies have consolidated and centralized, putting more people on a shared infrastructure, it’s made things… less robust. And we’ve been losing power more frequently and for longer periods of time.
How ironic. The more “advanced” we get, the more unreliable things become. Oh, well. I’ll just consider the technological world in a state of perpetual “beta”, since that’s pretty much how things have evolved. Nobody seems interested in actually making sure that sh*t works right, the first time they roll it out. Oh, no. If there are problems, they can wait. They’ll get fixed later, after people figure out if they’re really a problem. Ha. Well, whatever.
Anyway, we lost power last night, and I got my generator going. I just bought it about 6 weeks ago, and the house got wired to be powered from it, at the end of last month. And none too soon. I also picked up some fuel for it – the fancy ethanol-free gasoline, which is not cheap, as well as a couple of cans of high-test unleaded from the gas station down the road. I did a drill for switching over to the generator, this past week, so I wasn’t completely clueless about what buttons to push, and in what order. Good thing I did, too, because there are some… anomalies with my refrigerator that I need to account for (I have to toggle the circuit breaker in a certain way to get the thing powered up again). After all, one of the reasons I got the generator to begin with, including making sure we have heat and water, was to save all our food and not lose it, every time (often) we lose power.
So, I was all set.
And sure enough, yesterday the storm delivered on its promise to cut our power. Cut it, it did. There were the flickering brownouts throughout the afternoon and early evening, then while I was out shoveling, I saw a big flash and heard a boom! Transformer or something exploding. Our power didn’t go down, which surprised me, but later, after I’d had my shower (thankfully not during) and I was getting ready for a quick nap, our power did actually go down.
So, get out of bed, put my clothes back on, and head down to the garage to set up our backup power. I had all kinds of questions and misgivings, but in the end, I got the whole thing set up pretty well, including covering the top with some boards, so it wouldn’t get drenched, while there was still plenty of air flow around it. I also realized that the place I was thinking I’d place it is too near a low spot in the driveway. Water gathers there. It runs into that area. So, I had to move it away, so it wouldn’t be actually sitting in water – very important for an electrical source. And next time, I know where I’ll put it. Because there will absolutely be a next time.
I’m pleased. So, so pleased. I can do this. And I’ll keep doing it. Because I can. And my partner won’t be in danger, sitting in the cold and dark, trying to pack for our relocation to the hotel that had become our “home away from home”.
It’s going to warm up later to 36F — woo hoo! And it’s going to stay there most of the day. So, I’m going to give it a few hours and then go out to clear out the stuff that’s left over from last night. We also had a tree go down that nearly hit the house. Actually, it nearly hit me, too — I had to scramble to get out of the way! That was exciting. I love when that stuff happens and turns out okay. I don’t get horrified in retrospect, because I wasn’t hurt, and everything is fine, and it’s actually fascinating to me, how it all works. Science! I love to observe and be amazed by the physics of it all.
Plus, I’ve been wondering how long it would take that tree to come down. I’ve been keeping watch on it, all summer and fall long, wondering when it would come down. Now it has. Suspense suspended. And I’ll get my handy super-sharp camp saw and take it apart later.
I’m really tired from yesterday, still, but I’m having so much fun with this. I love to move snow. I love to rake my roof. I love the civil engineering aspects of it, configuring the snow so when it runs off, it goes down into the drain at the culvert, instead of out into the road. That’s important. I live on a blind curve that heads downhill pretty steeply, so if there’s ice there, bad things can happen. So, I do my part. And I have fun in the meantime.
There’s also the music. Back about 1o (!) years ago (and how time flies), I worked for a company that was headquartered just outside of Paris. And I’d have to make several trips to France, each year, as part of my job. Some would jump at that chance (and I would now, to be honest). I mean, you get to go to France and be in Europe for about a week, all paid for by the company! How excellent is that?! Quite excellent.
Unfortunately, because of the commute each day – 45 minutes each way in rush-hour traffic – and the fact that I could never, ever work from home, the trips to France were a major hardship and source of profound suffering. I couldn’t enjoy it much, because I was so exhausted and autistically maxed out, each and every day, let alone after a 6-hour flight with major jet lag setting in. I tried learning French, and I did sorta kinda okay, but I was so limited by my burnout, that I just didn’t stick.
I’d love to be able to do that again, but I’ve long since left the company, and anyway, COVID-19 just isn’t having it. Maybe when there’s a vaccine that’s proven safe and effective it will be possible again.
But in the meantime, I’m listening to the music I used to listen to while I was at that job. I’m listening to the stations that I listened to on the plane. I’m tuned in to that same vibe from before, and I’m really enjoying it. Winter is here. Woo hoo! I’m so happy. I love the cold weather, the snow, the logistics, the challenge. The limitations. Yes, the limitations. And the long nights and lazy weekends, when I can just hunker down with a hot drink and think about stuff.
Just sit and watch the snow fall. Then go out and move it around. And contemplate aspects of my life while I shovel.
Winter is my time to think. And it’s wonderful. I can listen to music. I can enjoy myself. I can recreate the vibe that I used to have, and I can do it now without being completely, overwhelmingly crushed by the demands of neurotypical tyranny. I can do it on my terms, and I don’t have to speak French to do it.
Although… I do have the bandwidth now to learn another language. Maybe I will.