When the power goes out in BFE

I was going to write about how the Christmas tree came down much more gracefully than it went up. I had intended to write this column over the weekend, but I didn’t get around to it, and with the power outage, I switched to plan B, which was not to write a column at all since I didn’t have the electricity to submit it. When our power came on sometime Monday morning, I decided to write one for all those who won’t have their power until later in the week and may need some non-internet entertainment — as in the print version that comes out at the end of the week.

Sometime during my Florida friend’s second trip out to my new home, she told me we moved to BFE. Upon discovering the words Bum and Egypt were part of the phrase (I’ll let you figure out the rest), I disagreed.

I grew up out in the country with the closest town about 20 minutes away, and though it was removed from the heart of town, it was also away from the frenzy of a growing town’s traffic. Here we’re just 15 minutes from Enumclaw and only 20 minutes away from three booming metropolises: Covington, Maple Valley, and Auburn. Not to mention Black Diamond. So really? BFE? I didn’t think so. Until now.

It wasn’t the distance from a town that made me feel that way last week, though I often feel like I’ve driven off Mt. Rainier when I go into Covington. I’m eternally grateful for all the hardworking folks who brought our power back that early, because as of this writing, there are many places still out of power at the bottom of the mountainside. Rather, it’s what I left behind in Covington that I mourned.

I missed the house, but not the building. I pined for the accessories, so to speak. When the power goes out, I don’t mind the cold or at least I didn’t in the old house. We had a gas insert that started with the touch of a button. But the bragging rights belonged to the hot water heater that still made hot water even with the power out. Our neighbors weren’t even wired that way.

Ironically, the house closed just last Friday, less than two days before the power went out. I really felt like knocking on the new owner’s door – “Hello, do you know your hot water heater still works?” I shudder to think he doesn’t know what he has.

Out here in BFE, we have electric everything and we’re on well water. No electricity? No heat, no hot water, oh and no water at all. We zipped out first thing Sunday morning and got our hands on a generator. Then my husband, and at least a dozen other husbands, convened at the hardware store to figure out how to plug them in to the house. Wives at their heels shoving YouTube videos in their faces, because what we wanted was the whole house electrified, not just a couple appliances.

Quite honestly, I didn’t need heat, I didn’t care about having a shower, but I really missed flushing the toilet. Our success was limited, we got the fridge and a freezer running. Monday morning, after sleeping the clock around, because it was cold and dark, I growled my husband out of bed to fire up the generator so I could make a cup of coffee on my Nespresso.

Good thing the electricity came on before I had time to think about driving off my mountain, knocking on my old door and asking, “Since I’m here, can I take a warm shower, wash my clothes, and flush your toilet?”

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom living nearby in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.” Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.

More in Life

The Soup Ladies need a new truck

Rotary Club of Maple Valley leads fundraiser for volunteers who feed first responders.

The Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra presents “Sunday Afternoon by the Sea” at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Tahoma High School Performing Arts Center. Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Maple Valley Youth Symphony to play with U2 tribute band

Other events include ‘Mamma Mia!’ at Kentlake HS; Harry Potter movie night.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com. To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
Pulling the right strings

What would we do these days without Father Google to teach us how to manage life’s challenges?

In May, Kentlake High School will present several performances of the ABBA-inspired musical “Mamma Mia!” Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Kentlake presents ‘Mamma Mia!’

Also on tap: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council will meet about water issues.

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

Always and forever

With the exception of my blackberry meltdown last week, I have finally… Continue reading

Fishing boats sit on the shore of Lake Wilderness during the Hooked On Fishing Derby. Photo by Kayse Angel
The 2019 Hooked On Fishing Derby

The derby took place at Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley over the weekend

Maple Valley wood carver creates chainsaw art

Ken Gruenes spends his retired days creating art out of tree stumps with his chainsaw.

Hunter Coffman and his family pose with Stitch in Hawaii. One of Hunter’s dreams was to meet Stitch and it was mad possible because of community support. Submitted photo from Laura Coffman
Hunter’s legacy lives on

Laura and Atom Coffman from Maple Valley started a nonprofit in honor of their son who passed away last year to cancer.

I can always grow blackberries

Blackberries are considered an invasive species in United States, because they are… Continue reading

Lake Wilderness Easter Egg Hunt

The egg hunt took place on Saturday, April 20.

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch at the Field House

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading