We’re located in that “between New Mexico and Michigan” swath of folks enduring high wind events. Nearly half a million people are without power. But, because of previous bad experiences, we are unscathed.

Years ago, in a rental in Two Rock, a transformer blew during a freak winter storm. Our farm (and the surrounding rural area) lost power. For. A. Week.

No power meant no heat. It was January–and even though it was in California, it was cold. I spent a week walking around wrapped in blankets. At least I had oil lamps–so I didn’t have to freeze in the dark.

I vowed, “Never again.”

Shortly after we moved here–when we were still living in a rental, we lost power for five days. It only served to strengthen my resolve.

So, here in Michigan, we built with an eye towards weather autonomy. Heating with wood was a given–the fuel was free, and didn’t rely on the grid. We knew that our area would likely be hit with weather that would take out the power–ice storms, downed trees, there are a dozen ways you can find yourself in the dark. We bought a generator for the build (since building, ground-up often means you start before the site is served with power.) In wiring the house, Rick set it up with a manual transfer switch that would let us power the house with the generator.

The winds took our our power last night. In the morning, Rick went out to the barn, fired up the generator, and threw the transfer switch. And then I made coffee, as though nothing were amiss.

We may get power back tonight, surely by tomorrow. But in the interim, we are warm, and well lit. We can see by the dim light in their windows that our neighbors are not so lucky. Even though this has been a warm storm, I hope for them that they don’t need power for heat. I can’t get those images of last winter’s Texas freeze out of my head.

We’re snug and cozy. We’re having lasagna for dinner

Rick is feeling smug. He figured it out and wired it up. It works exactly as planned. And that’s why you can read this story today