I turned my cell phone into a wireless hotspot so I could post this. The past few days in my personal life have been highly unusual to say the least.
The State of Texas (where I live right now) is under a state of emergency. Basically, our power grid wasn’t properly winterized (due to deregulation and privatized utility distribution), and last night was the coldest in 72 years. Freak weather. Record demand for heat. And important infrastructure is breaking and crashing.
I have been mostly without heat or power the last few days. We’ve sealed up our place and are all bundled up. Originally there were supposed to be rolling blackouts — 30-45 minute outages staggered every few hours. Annoying but no big deal.
That didn’t happen. Instead we’ve been going 9 to 12 hours between access to power and then having it last just an hour or two when it’s on. (During that time, we charge devices and battery banks, heat our place up as much as we can, and cook a hot meal.)
We’re making it work. I’m grateful to have any power or heat at all. (Some don’t. It’s been arbitrary the way they’re doling it out.)
I had a few posts in reserve that were scheduled that have come out, but it’s been hard writing and getting online during the disaster.
The power company just came out and admitted that they don’t know when the power grid will be functioning normally again. Lovely.
I grew up in the Maine woods. I’ve done winter storms and cold weather and power outages — and I have to say… I’ve never lived through an infrastructure collapse quite this bad. This isn’t normal at all. It’s chaos.
Anyway, while I had a second where my laptop was charged and I could hotspot with my phone (our cell service and Internet have both been going out periodically since apparently the towers also take power and those are crashing as well), I wanted to write you all a letter so you know what’s going on. I’m hoping to keep posting SOMETHING every day like I have for over four years. But if things get really strange, you might not hear from me for a bit.
We’re making the most of it. Last night, it was -2 degrees outside and the heat was off, so we constructed a makeshift canopy using chairs and a bedsheet over our bed (sliding the birdcage underneath with us to keep the birdies warm since they’re vulnerable to cold) — and it kept us so warm.
So that’s where things are. I’m trying to stay warm during a series of blackouts. I hope things calm down soon. Until then, I’m doing my best to weather the uncertainty.