Just last week we were on a trip to western New York and central Pennsylvania visiting family. Lots of driving – an activity I used to relish and now find to be more like drudge work. When we got home I was fit for little more than a shower and unpacking.

The next day we had a ferocious storm that knocked out power for over 300,000 Maine homes – one of which was our house, of course. Loosing power means loosing things like TV, Cable, WiFi, Internet, and usually the land line if you still have one. Or in other words, life as we know it.

It seems, at this writing, that we will be existing without electricity from the grid for most of if not all of this week. I heard that we should be back up and running by Friday but that is, as I said, hearsay.

If you are fortunate, you have a few workarounds that require some actual work. We have a generator. You have to drag it out and plug it in. Then you have to disconnect from the grid so that the electricity you generate does not electrocute a lineman who is trying to help you. Now you can have lights, make coffee, charge a stable of digital devices, possibly run a burner on your electric stove at a low setting and keep the refrigerator humming. Of course you have to go to the gas pump down the road and fill up the 5 gallon can every couple of days.

If you are desperate enough you can “tether” your computer to your phone’s connection and get on the internet that way. It uses data but for checking email and your bank balance you can plug in and unplug when done and feel marginally alive again without putting much of a dent in your data account.

Then there is the wood stove. It was a chilly morning today and I longed for a bowl of grits. So I put a cup of water and 1/3 cup of yellow grits with a little salt in to heat up on the stove, in which I had set a small fire at first light. It takes a bit longer to boil but what else do I have to do? When the grits are done I stir in about a half cup of shredded cheese and some chopped jalapeƱos and maybe a shake or two of Tabasco. Fan-Tas-Tic! All without electricity – which, by the way, I love with all my heart.

Food is the real challenge. For on-hand fodder we have cold cuts and bread. Take out is pretty good in the area. Tonight it will be pizza from the New Gloucester Village Store. If you haven’t you really should.

When the power comes back it will be life as usual and we will have learned a few new tricks and realized that we can make do, even with a bit of style. I don’t want to sound too sure of myself. After all it’s November 1. It’s just beginning. Will it be the worst of seasons or the best of seasons?