poetry and prose about place

Arthur – after the storm

with 14 comments

Over a week after Tropical Storm Arthur, I am thinking about the new pattern of life we adopted during our six days without electricity.  Without our usual electric lights, stove, refrigerator, computer and television, we adjusted our days.


First there were candles.  I have lots of candles, but three pillars in the living room sent enough light into the main part of the house for navigation.   We also had our small flashlights.  They lit the darker rooms and made us safe on the stairs.


The next ‘necessity’ was gasoline for the truck and for our small generator (2000 watt).  Although we began the storm with very little gasoline (we were not well prepared), we waited a couple of days to fill up, to avoid the long lineups for gas at the few stations open after the storm.  Since most all of Fredericton was without power for the first two days, so open gas stations, fast food places and grocery stores were hard to find!


Once we had our generator working, we had a hot meal at supper time each evening, on our small electric hotplate.  By the end of the six days, we were using our generator for fans to keep the house cool and to watch DVDs on our television.


Water, of course, is always a concern.  We had lots of water on hand, about 22 4-liter jugs I keep for emergencies.  We were able to buy drinking water and ice for our cooler, although these items were flying from the shelves!!!  By the end of our adventure, we had filled our jugs a couple of times, once at my son’s home (in the city, they had no power, but they did have water), and once from the Oromocto Fire Department who were so kind to us.


On Day 6, workers from NB Power and Hydro-Quebec, and a tree trimming crew from Maine arrived to remove the trees from the downed lines on our road.  They worked all day to re-establish power to about 500 customers who depended on this particular line.  We were so grateful to them, knowing they had worked since the storm hit.  We were just one group among many waiting for power.  On Sunday, July 13, there were still 5000 customers without power in Fredericton.  By the time of this post, NB Power says most power will be restored.  It is certainly the longest power outage we have ever experienced in this province.


three candles

three candles


three candles


between ruby glass

and hard wood floor

a slide of light and three


extinguished candles

smoke lifts from smoulder

each mote a particle


of spectral light, mosaic

shard, image

reassembled in three



shepherd, hawthorn




©  Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

July 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. What an adventure! Fun to look back on, though not necessarily fun at the time 🙂

    Watching Seasons

    August 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    • Hi. We were very organised throughout but I was stressed, particularly over buying gas. It will be one of the experiences you tell tales about long into the future. Jane

      jane tims

      August 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

  2. Hi Jane, That is a long time. As seedbud said, a lovely poem. Blessings, Ellen

    And moving to read of the workers who help, and to hear of people from Maine too.

    Ellen Grace Olinger

    July 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm

  3. It’s so easy to take our sources of water for granted. It always amazes me how empty the bottled water shelves are at the grocery store when people suddenly decide to prepare for an approaching storm.

    Barbara Rodgers

    July 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

    • Hi. After our electricity went out, we needed water and ice. When we arrived at the grocery store, there was lots of both. When we left, we took two of the last four bags of ice. Being prepared at all times is the best approach. Jane

      jane tims

      July 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

  4. Lovely poem, Jane. I didn’t realize you had gone so long without power. So glad to hear it’s back on. Your three candles are beautiful. 🙂


    July 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    • Hi Robin. Thanks. We’ll be well prepared for the next storm for certain! Jane

      jane tims

      July 24, 2014 at 9:09 am

  5. I thought about you a few times, Jane, as I listened to the news of power outage in New Brunswick. A trying time that you seem to have come through with class – gleaning the best (a poem) from a tough situation. Congrats and glad your power is back on. The weather events across this entire country gives one pause for thought.


    July 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    • Hi Fran. Thanks. We are back to normal, but thankful for the easy flow of water and the hum of the refrigerator. Jane

      jane tims

      July 24, 2014 at 9:08 am

  6. SO glad you made it through alright.
    Lovely poem.


    July 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    • Hi. Thanks! The story still unfolds. We counted six big industrial wood chippers going down the road this morning to deal with roadside debris from the storm. Jane

      jane tims

      July 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

      • Wow! I know from Irene that the storm clean up takes a long time. For us it also brought in and/or redistributed a lot of invasive plants. We have a big problem with wild parsnip now which creates a terrible allergic reaction similar to poison ivy that requires steroids. So beware of any new plants until you know what they are. It also takes a long time to adjust to the new landscape that the storm creates – but in time the land heals and new beauty emerges.


        July 24, 2014 at 9:12 am

      • Hi. We have a lot of wild parsnip all along our roads. As for trees, we were lucky compared to some. There is a property in New Maryland known for it’s row of pine trees. After the storm every tree was down and the ‘new’ property looks very peculiar! Jane

        jane tims

        July 24, 2014 at 9:51 am

I'd love to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: