Saturday, February 5, 2011

Light My Fire

I'm having trouble concentrating long enough to write a decent blog entry. Taos is in the midst of a total natural gas outage, which has left much of the town without heat, cooking facilities, and hot water. To make it worse, outside temps are mostly below freezing. People are using electric space heaters, but are still cold in their own homes. All of the extra energy use is putting the power grid in danger, and we're all being extra conservative with our consumption. It's scary, and even dangerous, and the general "vibe" in town is edgy, anxious, and even fearful. Still, in a situation like this, Taos is a good place to be.

We're fortunate to have electric everything in our house, and wood heat to keep us warm. We're pretty much unaffected by the gas outage, but we still feel what's going on "out there". Listening to the radio, I'm as proud as ever of our little town, and the folks who live here. Most people are taking it in stride as much as possible, and cooperating to help each other. I've heard people give their phone numbers over the radio, offering extra rooms in their homes to total strangers, and there's a ready list of volunteers who will do anything they can to help, from bringing in fire wood to providing meals, to driving shut-ins wherever they need to go. Local restaurants are offering limited menus when they're able to stay open, and instead of price gouging, they're offering discounts. And emergency shelters are opening all over town.

Feeling warm and abundantly blessed in our own situation, we're wondering what we can do to help. We've put the word out to all our friends that we have a little bit of room for sleepovers, but as long as electricity holds out, and space heaters, of course they'd rather stay in their own homes. But one thing we are able to offer is a hot shower, something that didn't occur to me until last night, when a friend posted on Facebook that she also had no hot water. Well, hot water is flowing like, uh, water here, and I'm happy that three friends so far today have come over to be "guest showerers". It's not much, but it's something.

I imagine most everyone who has something to share here is sharing it, and in true Taos fashion, we're going to get through this. Please send us your warmest, most comforting juju. A lot of people here sure need it. With any luck, gas might start coming back on sometime Monday. Till then, we all gotta stick together. It's warmer that way.

4 comments:

Merikay said...

Water, especially if hot is a biggie. I remember after the 89 earthquake we were OK except we had no water. We could drink or cook with bottled, but no showers. We went to shower at friends and really appreciated their hospitality!

Health club membership went way up as well!

Francoise said...

Oh that reminds me of the huge January 1998 ice storm that destroyed most of the power lines to Montreal: we were fortunate to be without electricity for less than 2 days, while most people in the area waited for weeks to be reconnected... The whole city was at a standstill for a while. We offered hot showers, warm meals and a roof to friends. We even "hosted" their food in our freezer and 2 fridges ;+)

NuminosityBeads said...

We were without water here for a few days, the whole southwest had frozen pipes it seems and then they were saying that we may run out of natural gas too as they did in the nearby community. We lucked out and took showers at the neighbors house and we had a roving band of guys with plumbing skills working their way around the neighborhood. Most of the hardware stores were totally wiped out in the plumbing section and folks were coming across the border for parts as well. Crazy weather!
xoxo Kim

Illaya said...

I heard from Susan about the gas shortage. I understand that the blast of freezing weather across the US put a huge demand on the natural gas system. I hope the power grid holds up until the gas can be restored.
Another cold blast is coming our way in the Pacific Northwest. The wind has been howling all night long. It just goes to show how dependent all of us have become and perhaps it is time for all of to rethink how we use our resources. Stay warm, visualize warm places and peaceful souls.