We had running water as long as we plugged in the noisy generator. We had hot water as long as we kept the wood stove burning. We kept the wood stove burning as long as we had wood to split and haul into the house every night. We made trips to the outhouse, summer and winter for two summers and three winters. The second summer we applied for electricity. Next year, they said.
The third winter I was real sick and made 3 to 5 trips an hour to the outhouse in the below zero weather. I don’t have to tell you how cold my pootoot was! In the spring Bob built onto our little house and we had a wonderful bathroom, bathtub, sink, stool, and he added a laundry room.
In the early third spring, we hauled all our paper work into town to the electric company. We made mountains of paper applications. We met with the lady who takes the applications. She made an appointment for us to meet with the engineer. Another week and we met with the engineer. He clicked on his computer and told us we already had electric! No! No! That is the cabin that we own. Oh! he says. “Well, you will have to come off of a street a block above you, come through your property a block down and you will have to have all the hook ups in place.” He clicked off his computer and gave us a ream of things we had to do to get ready for the power line. We did all those things and we still waited.
My next trip to town to bug them, I asked him for a cost estimate. He said he would have to come out and locate the main power line. But they were backed up and it would be a least a month. I bugged them for four months and finally got an answer. It would cost us $28,000 to get power! Bob and I almost fainted! First thing out of Bobs mouth was, “We will just built a wind mill, we don’t need you! And if we have extra power from the generator, we will sell it back to you!” That was a law then — do not know if it’s so now. The man gulped and gasped, said we will try and work another idea out.
“Why,” we asked “do you have to go the long way around, (about 5 1/2 blocks) when you could just come up the driveway from our cabin with the buried line?” (1/2 block). He would have to go back to the drawing board and figure that out! On his computer no doubt. I do have to add that the young man was always polite and kind — just doing his job.
I bugged them for three months. Finally we got the OK to come the short route and it would cost is $8,000. (After the $28,000 quote – that seemed cheap!) We could pay it off every month with our power bill. We said OK and then we waited and waited! In the middle of October the little machine that digs the line in, showed up, dug the line and was gone within the hour. Then we had to wait for the electrician to hook us up. Finally we were hooked up had power to run the pump, to run the water, to heat the water, to run it in the tub/shower, and the washer and dryer. We retired the generator.
Then we went to town and bought a toaster. We both had missed toast in the morning. We talked and dreamed about a piece of toast for breakfast. We bought a loaf of white bread. We toasted all of that in one day. Bought another loaf of white bread and that lasted two days! I made sour sourdough bread, I made raisin bread and wheat bread. We toasted every slice. I was given a bread machine and we ate bread machine toast. We still like toast and smile when we take the first bite.
We were just a snug as could be. Then Bob added a sunroom. What a blessing that has been. Then, getting tired of me yelling “turn that TV down!” and eating around my sewing machine on the table, he built me my wonderful Sewing Cottage. This is where I write cookbooks, sew and sew and write the articles for this paper. Life is good and we have no complaints, except we seem to be getting older!
Next week: Bob falling, retrieving our cat from the attic, and me calling 911.