Rhonda Shephard 

A recent snow storm dumped ten inches of snow on western Oklahoma, reaffirmed my beliefs certain things must be hidden. If you have a spouse like mine, nothing is sacred in the ownership department: brooms, cleaning supplies, cookie dough.  Over the course of our marriage power outage sometimes take on the days to a week proportion, so I learned the value of reserve items.

If you live in the country, a good generator is a must.  I can’t take credit for this one because the valuable nature of keeping cattle watered at the corrals near our house was the foremost concern, not my comfort level.  When the comfort factor was established it was easy to convince my spouse our son and  partner, really needed one at his house. Besides sometimes its like opening Shephard B&B when the electricity goes out for extended lengths of times with the neighbors.

When the electricity is out, and you live in a total electric home, the central system pulls too much electricity, and is the first to go.  If you have a wood stove, and wood, that’s golden.  At my house it’s an iffy situation. I purchased ceramic heaters over the years, and thought we had plenty units during our last outage to keep the house toasty.  Not so, my son forgot to buy them, and disappeared with mine from the travel trailer. I couldn’t deny my grandson warmth, and I had two extra. Not exactly, one I thought well hid ended up in the pump house. We survived until the morning light with one heater I reserved.

Flash lights or lanterns; never store them where somebody can find them. Over my married life, I might have provided runway lighting with disappeared flashlights. There was always a valid promise to return to the specified drawer and protests they needed light now. A broken swather sitting in the dark didn’t earn money in a summer alfalfa field. Lesson learned, purchase a good lightening source, and hoard it, no matter what the protests for illumination. Next time you won’t be stumbling around in the dark.  Burned fingers and dripped wax happen less frequently with battery operated lights.

A good shovel or snow scoop, this has wide and varied uses; clearing the walk to the doorway, or a path pampered pooches to do their duty, or an inspired snow sled for my two year old. The wide bladed wheat or snow scoop is another item that disappears.  I think I might have dug a horizontal oil well with all my missing equipment.  I won’t mentioned household pliers, rakes, hoes, and hammers.

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