Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey.
That was when the power went off, and they were left in the dark, except for the light thrown out by the fire.
About five seconds later, a small generator started up, to feed the essential electrical services; a few lights, fridge, stove, water heating, water pump, and to provide power to a few outlets.
The larger generator only came on if the temp outside was below zero, or it was manually started with the press of a button.
He came back to her with a tray of food.
The power loss hadn’t affected what he’d been doing.
“You can cook too?”
“It’s only an omelet, with a few things thrown in from the fridge. I made one for each of us.” He’d become domesticated in the last ten years, but he’d always made a good packed lunch.
He watched her dig into it, sitting on the bed beside her as he also ate. She’d been hungry, and it was good.
“We’ll have to stay close by the fire, tonight. Your bedroom upstairs will be too cold.”
That sounded good to them both.
“I’ll get some more firewood over here, just to be on the safe side.”
He’d seen that the trailer on the back of the other ATV was loaded and under cover, ready to be driven over and offloaded at the house. The split wood could go into the wood cupboard beneath the inside stairs. It was accessible from outside, fortunately, throught sets of double, insulated doors, and it was almost empty.
There were doors both inside and outside of the house that opened into that space to let wood be stacked directly inside, without cooling the house down so much.
He’d bring two full loads over, and leave the trailer loaded again, ready for the next time, which could be a few days away, or less, if this weather continued.
The main wood store, over by the barn, held twenty cords of wood, so there was no need to worry about running out.
“Would you mind checking on my horse at the same time? I tried to make sure she was dry and fed, but she should have a blanket.”
“I can do that.”
She watched him get dressed for the outdoors and then leave to do those two tasks. Ten minutes later she heard him filling the wood cupboard, to keep them going overnight, and then bring another load for the storage area between the outer and inner doors. Everything was well insulated. There was even an air vent, with a close-off shutter on it, which led from the outside of the house, under the floor and into the fireplace, to avoid dragging cold air into the far reaches of the house around windows and doors, when the fire was lit.
Her father had made a lot of changes while she’d been away.
Then he was gone again, loading the trailer, and checking on the barn.
He would soon be in, again, and then they would have that long-overdue conversation; ten years overdue.