When I called On Pasture author John Marble on Sunday, he’d been without electricity for about 30 hours. The snow storm in Oregon had taken out the power and coated his truck in ice so thick that it took a lot of time to chip off before he could open a door. Then it took 30 minutes to get the windshield clear. We didn’t talk long because I wanted him to save his phone battery for more important things, like communicating with his neighbors about how he might help them out of a cold situation.
Emergencies, like the time he had to evacuate his cattle and then himself as a fire approached one summer, make John think about how to be better prepared. So afterwards he made himself a list that he shared with me as a possible OP article. The list covered electricity first – for the fencing for getting water to livestock, and for powering houses. His solution for house power were generators – both hard-wired and portable. He wrote, “My plan for this winter is to find a small, light trailer that I can outfit as a dedicated generator rig. I envision adding hooks for storing several heavy-duty extension cords, perhaps ten gallons of fuel, and a box for little items like power strips, splitters, etc. Having this ready to go will make it much easier to serve our neighbors who do not have their own generator.”
His plan for last Sunday was to watch for a break in the weather so he could hook his truck to his portable generator and head out to help neighbors who were low on fuel for their generators or had run out. He also hoped to use his portable set up to give folks some temporary assistance in the frigid weather.
How lucky they are to have John, someone who plans for emergencies. Hopefully you have your own plans in place, and if not, well, maybe John and I will polish off his never-published article and send it out.
Stay safe out there, and thanks for reading!
P.S. If you’re looking for something entertaining to read on a wintry afternoon, can recommend Chicken Dinner at the Steakhouse? In his first work of fiction, John Marble introduces readers to the real lives of hard-working people (and a cattle rustler) behind the cowboy myth. I think it’s great, but I admit to bias, as I’m the editor and also wrote one of the stories. Still other folks are giving it 5 stars. So you might like it too. 🙂