Today, for the first time in a while, it got above freezing. Know that that means? It means it is time for a picnic! So, here’s the picnic table outside of our 5th wheel. Who’s bringing the burgers? Don’t worry about bringing a cooler, we can just stick the Dr. Pepper and Snickers in the snow (the Snickers are for dessert). I believe in keeping things simple!!!
Last night (or rather, early this morning) at 1:39 a.m., I awoke to find that my CPAP machine (for sleep apnea) wasn’t running. This was a cause for immediate concern as the temperature outside was a frosty 17 degrees and I didn’t want the water pipes on the RV to freeze. The electricity was off!!!!
My mind immediately began racing. I opened the blind on the window by my side of the bed and saw one of our nice neighbors from across the road with a flashlight. He started walking downhill. I assumed he was going to notify the RV park owner of the power outage. But, more was afoot as I was to learn this morning when I spoke with him.
Turns out that I’d slept through some commotion caused by the neighbors on the downhill side of us (we’d seen some of his friends bring some beer over that afternoon), and just shortly before the power went out, the good neighbor from across the street heard them making a ruckus. Then, he heard a truck start up and head down the very icy road. The truck collided with a tree at the bottom of the hill, then proceeded on to collide with a power pole, taking out the power to our part of the RV park. (The neighbor with the flashlight caught up with them by the pole, but by then the police were already there.) I was sweating how we’d keep warm, but was delighted to learn that our furnace will get enough spark from the two deep-cycle marine batteries that are part of the electrical backup system to ignite the propane and that the furnace would continue to run! Kept us (and our water lines) from freezing!!! Hurray!!!
About 2:40 a.m. the power came back on and all was well (well done, Georgia Power!) I still had trouble going back to sleep, worrying that the power would go out again, but it didn’t. I did make a couple of trips outside between 1:40 and 2:40 to be sure that all the storage hatches were closed to keep the cold air away from the water lines. It was cold, but not as bad as I thought it would be! Thank goodness for backup systems! (Though we did resolve to get a generator when we can afford one for just such instances in the future!!!)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1948, Mohandas Gandhi, the world’s chief advocate of non-violence, was assassinated in New Delhi by a terrorist sponsored by a right-wing Hindu militia group. The murder came only 10 days after a failed attempt on Gandhi’s life. Thirty-nine-year-old Nathuram Godse shot the great Indian leader as he made his way through a small crowd to lead a prayer session.
The father of Indian independence had angered Hindu extremists by his efforts to bring peace in the wake of the British withdrawal from India. Muslims and Hindus had been fighting a civil war since the decision to the Muslim-dominated western region of India had become separated as Pakistan. Religious-inspired riots were breaking out all over India when Gandhi went on a hunger strike in September 1947.
The fast almost killed Gandhi but it successfully suspended the fighting. However, he was forced to fast again in January in order to finally bring the sides together for a peace pact. Hindu extremists saw this as selling out the nation and plotted Gandhi’s death. On January 20, the group detonated explosives inside the wall of a New Delhi house where Gandhi was, but stopped short of throwing a grenade at Gandhi because they feared that bystanders would be killed.
Gandhi was instrumental in driving the British out of India. His non-violent protests and boycotts crippled England’s ability to control the populace and brought unwanted attention to one of the world’s last major bastions of colonialism. He was a leader in the Indian National Congress, and led the revolution for independence. His ideas and tactics were later borrowed by Martin Luther King, Jr., who used them successfully in the 1960s civil rights protests.
The assassin Godse tried to kill himself after the attack, but was grabbed before he had the chance. Four accomplices were arrested over the next several days. Godse showed no remorse for his crime. Along with Narayan Apte, Godse was hanged to death on November 15, 1949, against the wishes of Gandhi’s sons, who argued that the execution stood against everything Gandhi believed in.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Laika, a Russian stray, was the first living mammal to orbit the Earth, in the Soviet Sputnik spacecraft in 1957. Though she died in space, her daughter Pushnika had four puppies with President John F. Kennedy’s terrier, Charlie.