Sunday, December 29, 2019

We Wish You a Merry Power Outage

This is my third winter here in Twin Peaks, and there are three big things I've learned:

  1. The first two winters were a joke.
  2. You need a generator to live up here.
  3. must enjoy reenacting primordial days of lighting candles and stoking fires for warmth to live up here.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we got hammered with snow, and our mountain lost power for four days. This week, we got hammered with more snow and lost power for two more days.

Our local tavern, the Bearclaw, is usually dead in the middle of the day. But here it was yesterday afternoon, day two of the outage:

The Bearclaw doesn't have some big awesome generator, but they do have a small one in which they're able to plug in a few things...enough to entice mountain folks to seek refuge there.

That being said, we actually have a generator. Our property came with one, and it's amazing. It runs on natural gas and turns on automatically during an outage, powering everything on our property. So we pretty much live like kings during a power outage (though we do look like assholes when our Christmas lights are blazing National-Lampoon-style against the pitch-black canvas of our street). The problem is during outages we have no WiFi, and spotty cell service at best, which is why we went to the Bearclaw. Boredom of course, but more than that, the community up here relies on each other for information during storms--we have what we call "Rim pages" on Facebook for this very reason--so you feel cut-off from everyone when you have no WiFi, and start craving interactions with others going through similar issues.

I have to admit, the Bearclaw yesterday was spirit-lifting. The atmosphere was warm and festive, with all of these bedraggled mountain peeps gathered together, making the best of the situation.

Which makes me realize there are three kinds of people who live in the mountains:

  1. The ones who complain about everything.
  2. The ones who get annoyed by the ones complaining about everything. (i.e. "Suck it up buttercup. You chose to live here.")
  3. The ones who go to the bar and have a beer.

I've decided to be person #3. 

Here's a quick video of our last snow: Let it Snow

Here's Mr. Lump, our lazy snowman (built into the hillside by Trin and Elijah so he can look out over the street).

And here are the icicles growing from our roof. 

Anyone up for a good ole' throwback game of Frogger? You get to be the frog, but instead of dodging cars, you're dodging icy spears that could very well impale you. Fun for the whole family!

Hope your Christmas was wonderful and you have an amazing 2020.


  1. I could NOT live on a mountain. Being terrified of heights means mountain roads are an anxiety attack enducing experience. Last time we went up a small mountain road (two ways, a little bit of steep drops) I literally lost it. I cried, hyperventilated, and poor Matt had to deal with my drama. I could not imagine trying to navigate mountain roads in snow. I wouldn't be able to cope.

    So, strangely, I actually think icicles are terrifying. They look pretty, but some of them are so big and so sharp, that if one fell on you it might be bad. We get them along our roof, too, which locals warn is a sign we're getting ice dams that're ruining our roof. We've never had a problem so far (knock on wood). It's snowing where we are right now and while we technically live in a mountain valley, it's not the same experience you have. We've only lost power once and it wasn't during winter, so I consider us lucky.

    I'm kind of a complainer (in fact, today's blog post is a big old rant), but I think I would have liked to be in that bar with all those folks. I like cozy community experiences, even though I'm an agoraphobic who doesn't like crowds much. It's kind of perplexing. lol

    Stay warm up there, Jodi!! I'm sure your neighbors don't think you're assholes with all those Christmas lights blaring. :P

    1. I want to tell you that you get totally used to mountain roads, but I know that reasoning only works for people who are a bit uncomfortable with this environment--not so much for people with anxiety/phobias. So yeah, you'd be a hot mess up here. I do think you would have enjoyed the bar experience though, even with your agoraphobia, probably because it didn't feel unfamiliar or 'away' from home. Rather, it felt very familiar, and felt like an extension of home.

      I complain too. Yes, I said "I've decided to be #3" but just like a New Year's resolution, that doesn't mean I'm always successful. ;)

      You stay warm too Kristyn! And thanks for saying my neighbors don't think we're assholes. :P *hugs*

  2. Bearclaw is such a great name for a tavern! :D
    If I didn't have to scoop snow off my driveway, I would LOVE that. I would jealous of all that snow if it weren't for power outages and no wifi. I'm not leaving the house. WHAT WILL I DO WITH NO INTERNET?! But I'm still jealous of the icicles and the snowman! Snow is so beautiful. Meanwhile, it was 60 degrees here all last week. >.< We got flurries one day a couple of weeks ago. Barely big enough to see. City schools let out early. Over FLURRIES. And of course, in true Tennessee fashion, it was 55 degrees the next day.

    Happy New Year, Jodi!!

    1. I almost gave the Bearclaw a pseudonym to avoid giving away such precise info about my location, but then I decided my privacy-ship sailed a LONG time ago. Plus you can't beat the name "Bearclaw." :P

      60 degrees in Tennessee in December? I thought it was super cold there! Now I have to look at a map and remind myself where the heck Tennessee is, lol. Btw, the desert where I work will let out early for a few flurries, too, just like your city schools. It's pretty funny. Meanwhile kids in Twin Peaks are trekking through three feet of snow uphill to get to their bus stops...I mean, not even figuratively. They're going to make perfect grandparents someday with their hiking-through-the-snow tales.

      Happy New Year Krystal!

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