These past days are preparing us for Winter. We have had such a lovely fall. The temperatures in the month of November were actually above normal. December brings change though. I remember so many times over the years when the last of November or the first of December brought in snow and ice. One December we were blessed with such a storm that broke power lines and poles and shut our part of the country down for 6 days. NO ELECTRICITY meant no water to the house (electric pump), no lights, and no heat except for the fireplace. I could cook on the top of my gas range so we didn't go humgry.
The idea of not having water was almost a disaster as far as our teenagers were concerned. They could not wash their hair every day, much less take a bath. It was embarressing to go to school in town, where they still had electricity, with dirty hair. I reminded them that in my teen years, it was impossible to backcomb clean hair so we would not dream of washing it everyday. That just earned me a strange look, and how could I NOT wash my hair every day? We did have water that we hauled in buckets from the windmill a mile north of the house. We also went to a friends a few miles away who had electricity and took a bath, but not everyday. When did it happen that people thought they had to bathe at least once a day. I wonder how often Cleopatra took a bath? How about Queen Victoria, Marie Antionette, or even Martha Washington for that matter. Don't get me wrong, I am all for clean but going for a day or two did not kill anyone, especially in the dead of winter when there was ice on everything outside.
Well, anyhow, back to the lesson on survival-----Being the great Mom that I am, I carried snow into the house and melted it, and caught the water dripping from the roof and heated it so that my lovely daughters could have shinning hair. You know what, that was the softest water and their hair did feel lovely. At one time people did have rain barrels to catch water for such things. Maybe I should think about that.
It does not bother me to do some of the things my grandmother did but I do appreciate the electricity. We have become so dependent on it. We have freezers full of meat that I pray will keep and not thaw, and I like that warmth of the central heating system. I can get along without some of the things though. It is rather fun to read by the kerosene lamp for an evening or two and snuggle down in a bed heavy with comforters. Yes, it is fun once in awhile, but I guess that I really wouldn't want to do it everyday. I admit, I like my modern conveniences and I sort of like a bath everyday too. I pray when the storm comes in that is predicted, that there is just good old snow instead of ice. I know that the linemen with the electric companies are praying for that too.