Luxury or Necessity

Friday night we had a full house here at Voyageur.  Both of our lodge units were full and so was my house; my sister and her family were here for the weekend.  I was just getting ready to do a little bit of reading before going to sleep when the lights started to flicker.  They went off and then back on a couple of times before finally settling into total darkness.  The cold will do that sometimes and cold it was.  With flashlight in hand Mike went downstairs to phone the electric company who was then dispatched from Lutsen, about an hour and a half from our place at the end of the Trail.  We then went to sleep in complete silence, no hum of appliances nor sound of anything electrical.  I was a bit concerned about the temperature in the bedroom my sister and her husband were sleeping in because there is just an electric baseboard heater.  The four kids were all sleeping in the living room on the floor and couches in front of the wood burning fireplace, so I knew they would be fine.  The temperature did drop below 60 degrees inside during the 3 hours without electricity, almost as if to remind us of how vulnerable we really are.  When I got up in the morning and turned the water on there was a familiar and unwelcome sound.  It was the sound of no water in the lines.  So it was that during the 3 hours without electricity our heat tape that keeps the water in our line from freezing was not functioning and so the water turned to ice.  Our guests were confronted with toilets that didn’t flush and showers that didn’t shower until around noon when the heat tape was able to thaw the ice and provide us with running water once again.  In the midst of all of this our phone lines decided to quit working too.  So, no power, no water, and no phones.  Then to top it all off the satellite internet wouldn’t work either.  Now I can live without alot of things but I have extreme difficulty functioning without my internet.  After quite a few hours of messing with computers and a full day and a half without phone, things returned to somewhat normal Sunday evening.  Such is life in these great northwoods, unpredictable at times, but keeping us on our toes and wondering what things are a luxury in life and what things are really needed.  Surrounded by friends and family and knowing they were all warm and safe was the only thing I really needed.