Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Power On

This photo, taken by Paul, is of the solar pumphouse on the property we're living on. Priscilla and Frank live off the grid by necessity, not so much by choice. They have their own well, pump their own water and make their own electricity by day. They run a generator to take care of their electrical needs at night. It takes constant vigilance when the weather turns cold to keep the water from freezing and a real awareness of the power they use all year round.

When we housesat while Priscilla and Frank were out of town we got a taste of what living this way is all about. And we did alright until the night it rained and snowed, the inverter stopped charging the batteries properly, the water pump froze and everything came to a screeching halt. No water, no electricity....grumble, groan. Paul managed to troubleshoot the electrical problem enough to hook up a temporary solution to get the power working again. Then he used that power to run a blow dryer to get the pump unfrozen. Took half a day and a lot of frustration...but it sure felt satisfying when we were done. We saw the move "Castaway" with Tom Hanks on satellite TV later in the week. In the scene where Hanks dances on the beach yelling "I made fire!" we understood completely how he must have felt.

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