Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Staying warm by candle light…

Candle lightChristmas is over for another year – unless you celebrate Ukrainian style on January 6th. It was a quiet celebration for us but that doesn’t mean it was uneventful… Christmas Eve brought with it an unexpected power outage.

It was nearly 4 pm and I was working on a baby quilt for a friend when suddenly the sewing machine and overhead lights went out. I decided to tidy up for the day and move into the house to put together a special Christmas Eve dinner company. I had prepared the food to the stage that all I had left to do was put the main course into the oven and start on the side dish and vegetables.

At first I wasn’t too worried, but when the power didn’t come back after thirty minutes I called our friends to let them know about a delay in dinner… It had to be postponed to Christmas Day.

The outside temperature hovered around – 27 C and after three hours the house had cooled off significantly. We put on our coats, pushed open the garage door, started the car and went for a drive to deliver Christmas presents, warm up and hopefully find a place to have a cup of tea and a bowl of soup. After we dropped off a gift bag with a friend we headed toward Moose Jaw. Not one restaurant or coffee shop were open at 8 pm. It turned out that our good idea wasn’t so great! All we did was drive around in a big circle for two hours – but we were warm and our phones and iPads were charged!

Colin turned the wheels north. The farm along the highway closest to our place was previously bathed in complete darkness. It now had Christmas lights illuminating the yard. This gave us hope. As the car descended the hill into the community we detected candle light flickering in the neighbor’s windows, a sure sign that the power supply had not yet been restored. It was 9 pm and five hours into a very cold evening.

Those living in the city (and I was once a city dweller) are most likely wondering why a power outage is such a big deal: We have no alternate heat source (yet). A lack of electricity also means that we had no running water (a pump circulates the water from the cistern to the facet). We don’t have a gas stove and the barbeque is stowed away in the shed for the winter.

Christmas eve dinner was made up of rice crackers and cheddar cheese, a few cookies and eventually hot tea when the power was restored at 10:10 pm. The furnace began to distribute heat instantly. We kept the candles burning for a while longer – for ambiance and insurance in case the power went off again.

We woke up to glorious sunshine on Christmas morning and – 32 C. Our Christmas tree lights illuminated the living room and we exchanged our gifts in a warm house with steaming cups of coffee. We continue to count our blessings that the furnace works thanks to the restored power supply. Next on the agenda – shopping for a gas fireplace!

Thanks for letting me share our adventure! All is well! Stay warm!

This entry was published on December 27, 2012 at 7:04 am. It’s filed under Journaling and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Staying warm by candle light…

  1. I am re reading your post as we hunker down for a “Nor Easter” heading our way. Seems our particular subdivision is in what locals refer to as “the snow belt”. We get dumped on when no one else does. This time the entire province is under a storm watch. Like you we would lose heat, water, toilet if the power goes out. We do have a propane gas fire place, but it also requires electricity to run. Have my fingers crossed that the power stays on. Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, number 45. No fancy restaurant, just staying home safe and sound. Celebrations will have to be delayed. I loved your story about your Christmas Eve adventure. Best wishes in the new year. Lets hope no more storms for either of us.


    • Hi Katina, I have been watching the weather forecast for your region… Just think – your snowfalls usually don’t last as long as they do on the prairies. On the other hand, a storm in Nova Scotia is not something to take lightly. I do hope you won’t have to endure a power outage. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary – we just celebrated our 31st on the 28th. Much like you, we stayed close to home and enjoyed each others company. All the best for 2013! May the storm “gods” treat you kindly!


  2. Leona Larsen on said:

    Sometimes all of our modern amenities get in the way of having fun. We have had 3 different types of fireplaces and so far the authentic original type seems to be the best in a power outage. I did not know that gas could be activated without elec. power. I learn something new everyday. Go for it. No more driving around in circles in Moose Jaw.
    The very best for 2013 to you and yours. See you soon. Leona


  3. Linda Dirkson on said:

    I cannot believe you didn’t come over during the power outage Anna! You would of been very entertained as our grandkids (4 & 6) opened presents. Lots of screaming, and “this is the best present ever” repeated several times. We exchange gifts on Christmas eve and then Santa gifts and stockings are opened Christmas morning. Hope you remember us the next time the power goes out!! This is an open invitation for anytime. I guess you’ll never forget this Christmas. Keep warm!!


    • Oh Linda – Christmas is for family. We never even thought about dropping in on friends that late in the day! Hopefully this was our last power outage without heat. We are closing in on gas fireplaces…


  4. Judy Morningstar on said:

    Most gas fireplaces require electricity to run the fan that pushes the heat out rather than up the chimney. A generator might be more useful. Glad the electricity finally came back on so you could enjoy Christmas!


    • Yes Judy – you make a good point… but to connect a gas generator we have to rewire the entire electric panel… Our neighbors have a gas fire place that can be ignited manually during power outages. We have been researching this for a while… it certainly wasn’t the first long power outage since we moved here – it just was not good timing this year! Hope you are well and are enjoying the family during this special time of the year.


  5. Kathy Logan de Chavez on said:

    Another adventure! I’m glad it ended well. Happy birthday this week, Anna!! Much love to you and Colin. Kathy


  6. Eileen Bayda on said:

    Glad to hear that you had power for Christmas. Cuddling is fun, but the novelty wears off after a while. We are heading for the lake to celebrate the new year. Best wishes to Colin & yourself for a wonderful 2013. Take care…E


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