Improvisation in a Power Outage

We have had some seriously heavy early snow this year here in Fairbanks. Fortunately, the first batch had almost completely disappeared before this second onslaught, but this one is a doozie! I haven’t actually measured it, but when I look at what is piled up on the deck rail – my gauge for such occurrences, I can tell it is more than a foot, and my guesstimate is 14 inches.

There are trees down, power lines down – it’s a real mess. We were without power here at home for several hours. I got no shower or coffee before work this morning. I’m not sure which was worse. Luckily, our ingenuity was up to the challenge.

We had a young friend over for dinner last night – Jon was trying to help her with her physics class – and the power went out. We lit some candles and waited for a bit, but when the power didn’t return, we decided we had better just get on with it.

I opted for chili, since it’s a one-pan meal and had Jon fire up the propane burner on the side of the grill. With Cassie’s help I carted everything outside, lined it up on the grill and started making chili.


It wasn’t the best chili I’ve ever made, of course. It was difficult to see exactly how much of each of the spices I was using under the shadow of the eaves and with so much steam rising from the pan into the cold winter air. Served with some fresh bread and cheese, however, it made a passable meal – perfect for such a cold and snowy evening.

wpid-20150929_195417.jpgOne of the trees that came down during the night last night was a 25 foot white spruce that Jon had planted in our back yard about 15 years ago. It was so sad to get up this morning as see the poor thing just lying there.

wpid-20150930_154818.jpgJon went out after the sun came up and got a better look at it, and realized that it had literally been uprooted by the weight of the snow, so we decided to try and save it. Between the two of us, with a bit of elbow grease and creativity, we managed to get that big old tree vertical again. We left it tied up with a rope and wedged with a board for added support…here’s hoping our efforts will have saved it.

wpid-20150930_172402.jpgFingers crossed we get some warmer weather and some of this snow melts before we head into the hard freeze. I hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come.


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