Days Gone By
It was almost too dark for the small tallow candles to do much in the darkness but provide a pleasing glow. She had to be frugal with them as well as the precious oil used for the evening lamps.
Lamps…that had been the most difficult adjustment when everyone’s world suddenly changed. Not exactly a lost world…at least not yet. But, everything they were used to…everything taken for granted was gone in an instant.
When the power grid failed, lives changed abruptly and forever. With no power, there was no electricity, no refrigeration, no home or city lights at night, traffic lights stopped, and luxuries like hot water, AC, microwaves and computers were no more. Some just gave up and ended it all; others with rural upbringings fared slightly better.
She was one of the lucky ones. Having older gas appliances now converted to propane, she was able to cook and run the fridge occasionally when there was fresh meat by using the precious gasoline generator. Fuel was plentiful, just difficult to get without electric pumps to retrieve it and deliver to people who could use the coveted gas for many of life’s necessities.
Her luck carried further still… the water well on her property was deep and plentiful with a working windmill that pumped gallons of water a day into the gravity storage tank. People of means paid her top dollar for fresh water. They also begged her to cook for them since their usual fast food meals and fancy restaurants were useless. This extra income allowed her to buy gas for the water pump and a hot bath with the occasional use of her precious generator.
Now, back to the task at hand…lighting the first lamps of the evening in the dining room. She provided dinner service every night…first come, first served…and there were those people with more money than sense who paid her to eat the Nuevo cuisine of the day… meaning what was ripe from her garden. Many still had not adjusted to a plant-based diet, but no refrigeration meant no fresh meat. Most had no money, but she worked out a barter system so no one went away unfed until the food ran out for that meal.
Now more than ever, she was appreciative of the survival skills she had…those skills being the way she grew up…back to her roots so to speak. With nearly two acres of land, a cow, goat and several chickens, along with her bountiful garden, and plenty of water she was able to get by while sharing with others. Monetary wealth was not hers, but she was wealthy in land and fresh food. This made her the envy of some and the savior of many.
Enough wool gathering…three more lamps to light and soon the tables would be filled with hungry bodies waiting for tonight’s dinner. The meal would be especially good since her neighbor shared a fresh killed deer back strap this morning…so…meat for the first time in months. Even with adversity, life was good!
Copyright © 2013 Annie
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie