I was sitting in the front room playing “whack a troll” on face book. The woodstove was humming along and I was feeling quite contented. Then one of my neighbours posted that the power was out. I peered out the window, and sure enough the lights normally visible from the hamlet to the east of us, were not to be seen. A few more posts confirmed that the town and surrounding rural area were without power for what turned out to be about two and a half hours. With the temperature sitting around -16c, it probably seemed like a long outage to anyone without backup sources of heat and light. I thought again about the difference from last winter to this one. Although there were no outages while we were in the rental, every unexplained flicker in the lights gave me an uneasy feeling. I found myself listening carefully to the furnace starting up, memorizing the sequence so that I could be aware of any problems developing. This winter I am more comfortable, with confidence in my sources of heat and light, and backup systems in place.
If not for face book, we would likely have been completely unaware of the outage last night. I do hope no one experienced any significant discomfort last night, and am doing my best to suppress a tiny bit of smugness that I might feel today toward those who scoffed at our decision to go off grid.