Last week’s storm knocked down a tree on Great Cranberry, which knocked off the power on Islesford shortly after midnight on Dec. 30. There are some amazing photos on the island webpage, thanks to Norman Sanborn II.
Losing power is pretty common on an island subject to frequent gale force winds; electrical wires are persistently battered by coastal weather. Most islanders know what to do when the lights go out. It gets quiet for a few minutes, all you hear is the wind, and then the generators start their loud hum.
But not everyone has a generator. On GCI, 95-year-old Lou Millar still does things the old-fashioned way. She’s got a pump faucet in her kitchen for filling buckets of water to flush the toilet and for washing dishes, and she always keeps bottled water stashed away for drinking. A woodstove keeps the pipes from freezing, and lanterns let her keep reading late into the night. Blair and his traveling generator have on a number of occasions arrived to keep Lou’s (and other residents’) refrigerators cool when the power can’t be recovered within a few days.
Two falls ago, power went out here for nearly five days in November. There was a decent amount of complaining in the General Store, and a quite a bit of firewood was burned, but otherwise, people got on just fine. Losing power this New Year’s Eve was no exception. The islands are usually last to be serviced by electrical companies, and barges can’t always run right away, but it was cold enough to refrigerate the holiday spirits on the back porch, so no one was too worried. Katelyn Damon was in contact with Emera about the restoration work. They got to Great Cranberry on Saturday, the truck went to Islesford late Saturday afternoon, and Greg Theriault brought the crew out early Saturday morning. Thanks to all!
On New Year’s Day, the Whitneys, Powells, Rosalie, Jeff, Brie, and Sarah McCracken, learned an old southern tradition from the Sumners at a community potluck. On the first of the year, one always eats beans for good luck, greens for prosperity, and my personal favorite, hog’s jowl for good health. We also learned a new fashion trend from baby Audrey, who flaunted her new look – chocolate frosting all over her face. We intend to have another beautiful year out here on the islands, our stomachs filled with good food, our hearts filled with loving connection to this place and all those who live here.
Rumor has it people will return to the islands by the time this issue reaches mailboxes.
Belated happy birthday greetings go to Fran Porcaro, whose birthday was on Jan. 1, and Audrey Noether on Jan. 3. Birthday blessings go to Sarah Dawson and Kristie Porcaro on Jan. 7, Fritz and Robin Fernald on Jan. 10, Cathy Sinnott on Jan. 11, Sam Krasnow and Wanda Porter on Jan. 12 and Anna Fernald on Jan. 14.
Happy anniversary to Tom and Becca Powell on Jan. 8! Many happy returns!