An ice-cold update

Ah, life. It's funny sometimes, isn't it?

On Thursday, I began writing an article about the difference between personal finance in Mexico vs. the United States. You see, last week I spent several days in Mexico with a friend (who also happens to be my accountant). I had planned to finish the article on Friday. I came close. I got the YouTube version done and was nearing completion on the blog version.

But then Portland was hit with a winter storm.

Kim and I spent Friday afternoon prepping our yard for ice. Good thing, too. That night, our neighborhood was blanketed with an inch of freezing rain.

I've lived through a handful of ice storms over the past couple of decades. Two of them were worse than this when measured in inches. But when measured in sheer damage? Wow, this year's storm takes top billing.

In our neighborhood, anyhow, it's like a bomb went off. Dozens of downed trees and hundreds (thousands?) of fallen limbs and branches. These trees and limbs have taken down utility lines all over the place. Lots of people have damage to homes and cars. Fortunately, we don't.

One of many fallen trees in our neighborhood

Kim and I have been without power and water and cell service since 10:30 on Friday evening. We're safe though, as are our animals. We've been able to make do. We're going to lose everything in the freezer at this point, but that's not so bad, right? There's no way to tell whether we have damage to our plumbing until power is restored, and there's no estimate for that. It'll probably be days. It could be a week or two.)

Like many other Porltanders, we booked a room in a local hotel for a couple of nights so that we could shower, shave, and have some warmth. But even that plan went awry. While booking over the phone, we requested (and were promised) a dog-friendly room. Turns out the hotel was not dog-friendly. So, after a quick shower (and after charging all of my devices), I drove our pup home. I spent the past two nights sleeping alone with our beasts in a cold, cold house.

Tonight, we may be borrowing a generator from one of Kim's patients. We don't know how to use a generator (and it'll be dark when she gets home), but we'll try to figure it out. Can't be too complicated. Plus, YouTube is my friend.

As crazy as this is for us, I know it's been worse for many other folks around the U.S. I'm not complaining — only observing.

Meanwhile, this week was supposed to see the launch of my new FIRE course at Audible. And, in fact, the course was released yesterday! But all of my grand plans for promoting the thing have been put on hold.

How to Achieve Financial Independence and Retire Early

I don't have the power or internet needed to do the work, you know? Right now, I'm grabbing a few hours of access from a friend who has graciously allowed me to use his office for the afternoon. But that doesn't give me time to do any sort of serious promotion work. That'll have to come when power is restored — which may be another week yet.

(p.s. We had our foundation inspected this morning. The house isn't falling over, but to mitigate existing issues will cost $9000. I consider this a win, believe it or not!)

More about...Temporary, Administration

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Dave @ Accidental FIRE
Dave @ Accidental FIRE
7 days ago

Damn, really sucks JD. I do lots of mountaineering and backpacking and thus have quite the sleeping bag collection. I have one rated to -30 degrees so if this every happens to me I’m kind of set, as far as sleeping warm that is. Good luck dude, hope the generator works out for you and you get power back soon with no additional damage!

Chelsea
Chelsea
2 days ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Ok, that third sentence just killed any desire I have to travel in an RV!

Greg
Greg
7 days ago

Stay safe JD!

Steveark
Steveark
7 days ago

My financially independent brother is going on a full week without power in Houston. I told him what I’d tell you. Buy a generator. Along with having a few weeks of food and the means to defend your family, it’s the adult thing to do. When the infrastructure wears thin it pays to be prepared.

Chelsea
Chelsea
2 days ago
Reply to  Steveark

What about a woodstove? Though I think there are some pretty stringent guidelines for emissions in the West that I don’t have to worry about here on the opposite coast.

Fred
Fred
7 days ago

Twice in the last decade, mother nature has struck my area hard. Each time it resulted in a week without electricity. It is so demoralizing for modern man to live without power. I empathize completely.
My current inalterable home (condo) was built with modern power sources in mind. My next home will have the capability of wood heating and a generator when needed.

Philip Pogson
Philip Pogson
6 days ago

Take care! Maybe its time to learn a bit from our prepping friends. We have a kerosene heater and a portable gas heater for emergencies. Make sure your generator stays outside so you do not get affected by the fumes

PJ
PJ
5 days ago

We lost power for a week once. We wrapped a few extra blankets around our freezers and didn’t open them. When the power came back, the food was still frozen solid. This was during the summer. If you have chest freezers, this usually is sufficient as long as you don’t open them at all. Hope that helps someone!

Ditte
Ditte
4 days ago

Why lose everything in the freezer? If it is freezing outside….. You just put the stuff outside.
Winter is always the time we defrost our freezers. No rush, just put the things outside and enjoy the free frost.
Hope it gets better soon for all of you.

Crew Dog
Crew Dog
3 days ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Best of luck, J.D.!

David @ Filled With Money
David @ Filled With Money
2 days ago

It’s amazing at how old things have gotten. The south has experienced one of the worst cold fronts and didn’t have any power or water service for almost an entire week.

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