Slowly, but somewhat surely, gas is being restored to homes and businesses in Taos. Some of our friends have warm houses again, while others are still waiting, not too patiently at this point. This is day 6 of this crisis, and most Americans are not accustomed to going without. Especially not going without something so basic as heat.
Rumors and conjectures are beginning to surface. Conspiracy theories are mumbled by some, and shouted by others. People are getting angrier by the day, not just because they have no heat, but because there are no clear answers as to why this happened, and what will be done to insure that it doesn't happen again. Even after all the gas service is restored, and people's lives get back to normal, I have a feeling this will not be over for a very long time. There will be investigations, accusations, and probably legal steps taken. This mess seems to be getting messier, even as it's being cleaned up.
It has a lot of us thinking about our dependencies and vulnerabilities. Even people like us, who are unaffected by the gas outage are faced with a new set of what-ifs. We're fine here in the current situation, with wood heat and electric everything else. But if the power goes out, we don't even have running water because the pump in the well house is electric. We keep two 5 gallon buckets of water for just-in-case, but that wouldn't get us very far. Our friend who lives in an Earthship is sitting pretty good, off the grid, and totally self sustaining... as long as the sun comes out to charge her solar batteries. A day or two of stormy weather can leave her sitting in the dark, depending on propane backup for heat and cooking. I guess a perfect set-up would have to include solar and wind power, along with water catchment. It's not impossible, and it might be time to consider adding a few things here.
I guess we could sit around worrying about what might happen, but that's not really our style. We're aware of these things, and feel the need to step up our emergency backup system a bit, but otherwise, we choose to focus on what we do have more than on what we don't have. We have a lot. And the more attention we give to that, the better off we'll be... even if the lights do go out.