Pioneer Woman

For the past three and a half days, I’ve been holed up in my house with two of my children due to snow/ice/sleet. I thought that was bad enough, until we lost power for the last day and a half and I was holed up in the one warm room with a teen and a pre-teen with no access to Facebook or Xbox, and horror of horrors, cell phone batteries slowly losing their charges! What did children in pioneer families do to entertain themselves, I wonder?

At night we slept in front of the fireplace to keep warm. (Which doesn’t work unless someone stays up to maintain the fire, BTW.) This morning I woke with the sun. I climbed out of my cacoon of blankets into the freezing cold and ran to the outhouse. (Not really, but except for being inside, it could have been….ice cold toilet seat and all.) I returned to the fireplace, stirred the embers of the fire, piled on some logs, and got a roaring blaze going so my family would not wake to the same chilly fate. Then I took care of the animals. (Well one animal, a dog….but still, I had to go outside to walk him in snow higher than my boots.) With the dog settled I dragged up more firewood and water, before heading back to the warmth of my pallet. (Granted, the firewood was cut and neatly stacked in the garage, and the water was bottled and in the basement, but still.)

I realize most pioneer women didn’t climb back into bed after completing their morning “chores”, and their lives were much harder than mine, even without electricity. But I felt like one none the less, at least a modified version. The one thing I refused to do was sponge off with freezing cold water. And since I didn’t want to ruin one of my pots trying to heat water in the fireplace, I waited for Central Hudson to get the power back on, which they did this afternoon. Woo Hoo!!!

Now, back in the 21st century, I have no desire to revisit the past, unless it’s in the pages of a book!

Do you have any storm stories you’d like to share? If not, when was the last time you lost power, and how did you manage?

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  • Bethanne
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

    What a great story! I know I have storm stories locked away in this brain of mine! Growing up in the midwest, that's part of the deal. 🙂

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by, Bethanne. My sister and I still talk about storm stories from growing up in the Catskill Mountains. One involved my dad melting snow on the BBQ because we refused to go to school with dirty hair!

  • Carol63Storm
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy! Glad you're okay. When we didn't see you on line for two nights I knew something was up. We are two hours north of you and only got the "edges" of the storm, but it was still pretty rough. Three days of wet snow!

  • Regina Richards
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Teens without Facebook and cell phones dying. I felt a shiver run up my spine at the very thought. I have three teens of my own. Glad you survived and hope you still have a full head of hair. I probably would have pulled mine out.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    Hi Carol!
    I suffered the withdrawal from technology as much as my children. (My vice: The Internet.)But I didn't whine and complain about it….constantly….until I thought my head would explode!

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Hi Regina!
    I still have all my hair…but I've noticed a few more greys!

  • Tina Russo Radcliffe
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    I'm in Colorado. I have two words for you…Propane Grill.

    When the snow is measured in feet not inches you will be thrilled to have a grill to cook on.

    Glad your power is back on!!

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Welcome Tina!
    Despite all the electrical problems caused by the storm, the road crews had our roads plowed and sanded within a few hours. Once we shoveled out of our long driveway, it was a short trip to find take out! (It didn't fit with the pioneer theme so I didn't mention it!)

  • Liz
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    lol – funny post – we lose water here more than power (power line underground and we a a sub-station not too far away) so before a storm I always fill up the bath tub

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

    Hi Liz!
    My friend Grisel and I were just talking about filling up the bathtub before a storm. Neither of us did! Next time we will!

  • Dawne Prochilo
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Can I have you email? You were one of the winners from the RWBB Blog tour. Please email to
    thank you

  • Dale
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately you were without power for several days and endured the hardships with the pioneering spirit that will no doubt come in handy one day when we organize a summer camping trip. The warm weather camping pioneer woman really has to step it up and contend with a host of issues, but can always jump in the car and sleep in her own bed if she decides to…But there's nothing like sitting around a fire with the sound of the river rushing by on a balmy summner night. You might even catch a glimpse of an owl taking flight. Remember the time we "camped" out in the back yard when we were about 8 years old?!!

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by Dawne, and for the great news! I've never won anything in an online contest before!

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    Hi Dale!
    I do remember camping out in the backyard….for about an hour, before we heard a noise and ran back into the house. An outdoors-woman I am not!

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