Survival: Day 3

Generator stored in shed for easy access.

Meet my new best friend. Genny, our generator. We have her for 11 of our 17 years here. Our first generator was a hand-me-down a wonderful friend gave us in our time of need. We haven’t used Genny for the last three years because we were never home here over the winter. Now that we are back, Genny started right up and did NOT fail us. Best $700 I ever spent! Over the years, as the outages progressed, Nick and I used to take turns staying up all night, watching over Genny to make sure she wasn’t stolen. Sure we chained her to a tree (or as now, she is chained up to our SUV at night when we sleep) but as this power outage continues, despite more and more of our neighbors getting permanent generators installed, we’ll have to take turns again, staying up at night, watching over our generator. People do strange things (such as steal and fight) when necessities are few and far between.


Today is Day Three of our power outage. Last report we received still has no restoration date in sight BUT Central Hudson has promised most everyone will be up and running by Wednesday. That’ll be 6 days without power. Our generator can’t run the whole house. Nick (an electrician) has it set to run the heat, run the hot water, the fridge, the coffee pot, a 700 watt microwave, a few lights, cable TV (of course!), the internet (so I can use my computer & our cell phones) and Hulu. Truthfully, do we need anything more than that?

Since the temps have been in the mid-forties (thank you, Jesus!) we shut the generator down by 10PM and snuggle up under a bunch of heavy blankets and comforters at night while we sleep. It’s funny because your body is sweating and your head is freezing. So, sometimes I’ll wear a woolen hat to bed! Nick is up by 5AM to rev up the generator. It only stays on for a few hours during the day. Usually around noon we shut it down and boost it up again around dinner time. The microwave is good to heat up stuff, but we have no way of cooking any food. We don’t have enough power for our stove or the washing machine nor dryer. We can do our clothes at a laundry that already has power. We can go get take-out food from businesses that have either electricity or their own powerful generators. In the interim, we eat sandwiches or microwaved eggs-in-a-mug! Later on Nick & I will head out to Aldi and get more sandwich & soup supplies.

It costs us around $12 a day to run our generator like this. We’ve already put it on our to-do list that come this spring, we will be finally getting a more permanent generator attached to the house. Nick will do the installation. We just need to buy the unit at around $2500. Again, Nick will only power our necessities to get us through the storm. Permanent units usually burn one gallon of propane per hour when managing a whole household. If you’re down for a couple of days, the costs can get sky high. Nick will install a remote control power on/off switch so we can shut it down at night and power it up in the morning.

In the interim, we survive. We take walks during the day. Enjoy:

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  1. Cyndi, it’s so good to read your posts! I’m sincerely happy for you and Nick and this new found peace-of-mind.

    Please keep writing, it is a wonderful resource for all of us trying to navigate those years NEAR retirement and IN retirement! Most of all, we consider you a friend and want only the best for you guys.

    Take care and stay warm,
    Chris from Baltimore

    Liked by 1 person

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