I was lazily sitting around at the CoolestSisSouthofMasonDixon’s house, our laptops hooked up to DSL, clickity-clacking away, when I received a distress call from my CowboyDoc. Seems Hurricane Ike roared through in the night down in the Ozarks and although all was safe, there was no power. Silly me, I forgot to leave the National Emergency Plan in plain sight so he could find it. Where are the candles, where are the candle holders, where are matches. What about water, do we have water anywhere, drinking or otherwise???? My guess is he already used both toilets and flushed.
My CoolestSisSouthofMasonDixon and I giggled, and chatted online at each other, yes, we ARE sitting next to each other, but it was something silly to do. Mind you we are both over 50, and to us this fad called internet highway is our toy. Anyway, I quietly assured him he had most of the necessities of life and told him I’d be home in the morning.
You see I am what you call A BoyScoutMother, not a den mother, just a mother, who is always prepared. I watch news for latest updates. If a storm is on the horizon, which I can actually watch coming in, from my high ridge ranch, I fill all my water containers, fill both bathtubs (for toilet flush water), get candles ready, bring in enough wood, if I need to cook in the fireplace, yum, and of course get the cloth diapers ready, just in case a baby in the neighborhood would need it. And the neighbors know, that i am always prepared, and that I can “Go Native”.
So Ike hits, I get home around noon, and the house looks all quiet, real quiet, no power. Seems it’s been out for over 24 hours already. I set up command central in the kitchen, where dishes are piled high and dirty, I forgot to tell him to use paper plates in cabinet, and then burn them as fire starters. Oh well, I go outside, it is clear but cool, and set up my “Camp Kitchen”. NeighborLady stopped by to ask if i wanted to go over to their cabins and put our refridge stuff in their fridges and shower. There are only three of us with no power, everyone else has power around us. No, I said, we’ll fair ok. She asks if I use the grill to cook, no, I said, can only grill on the grill, and I don’t have enough charcoal, end of grill season you know, but with all these trees and limbs down, it will make an nice camp cooking fire.
So I began cleaning out the refridge and freezer. Tip#1 If you put your food in coolers, it will save better, especially if your freezer is not full. Put frozen food on the bottom and refridge food on top. As the hours wane on, start cooking, you can alway refreeze cooked food. So I started the dutch oven, deer meat, and vegetables from refridge, slow cooking, saves the food for supper hour. About 30 minutes before eating, I mixed up a batch of cornbread in the cast iron skillet and gently set it in the coals. Then started the coffee pot.
Somehow, out here, near dusk, the modern reality of no power made no difference. It was a cool night, hot fire, good food, and quiet conversation under a blanket of the Almighty Stars with such brightness to light up the entire sky. The smell of a hickory fire, reminded CowboyDoc and I of the time we served as missionaries in Uganda, East Africa. We finished up supper, and I burned the plates to stoke up the fire, washed the few dishes with the huge kettle of water that I had steaming on the fire.
My CowboyDoc thanked me for the great hot meal, coming home to save him, and for being NativeAmerican and going back to my heritage. You see, while the kids were growing up, I used to do Heritage Days, where I, in all my beaded leather regalia would cook over an open fire, making stew in the belly of a cow which children imagined to be a buffalo, or deer whichever was in season, grilling steaks on a rock, baking potatoes in the coals, and the teachers and I would feast. The only thing I had was a bowie knife. All the rest of my tools were rocks, sticks, pieces of leather thong, grasses. No pots, pans, silverware, dishes, or other fineries of modern times. I even wove the baskets my food was kept in and what I ate off.
I will pray for the survivors of Ike and only wish they could know what I know. Working together, we can all survive. God provided us with everything we need right here, our minds being the greatest, but don’t get me wrong, I really do love POWER!!!!!ON!!!!!