December 30th, 2014

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx


Sometime before dawn a fierce windstorm came up. I woke to the rattling of windows and almost immediately the lamp I'd left burning went out and I heard the "click" that the cable box always makes when it loses power. There was only the faintest light from the windows because the sun was not up yet. Portia chose this moment to have cat lunacy, and her antics continued long enough that I knew I'd never get back to sleep, so even though I was loath to leave the warm blankets and start moving about the house that was to remain unheated until the power returned I got up.

I could hear the wind booming in the chimney and rattling the windows again and again, but it wasn't until the light grew brighter and I looked out doors that I realized just how intense the storm was. The pines were bending about as far as I've ever seen them bend, and bits of their broken branches were skittering across the ground. I went outside to feed and water the back yard feral cats, but they were in hiding. I refilled their water bowl after removing several leaves from it, and put a bit of food in the bowls which was destined to remain there most of the day. I retrieved a chair that had been blown from the porch, but didn't bother to reset the chaise lounge that had collapsed on the porch. It would just have collapsed again.

I called the power company to see if they had an estimated time for restoration of power, and the recording said it would be about 10:45. At half past eleven I called again, but the recording hadn't been updated. After noon I called again and the recording estimated 8:00 PM for the power to be back. The house had by then grown very chilly, and after eating a slice of pie for lunch (it was out on the counter and I didn't want to open the refrigerator and lose (or release) whatever chill remained in it) I wrapped myself in a blanket and sat on the couch in the den reading a book. The gas heater in that room was on, but it is so inefficient that I didn't want to turn it very high, so I only let the room get up to about sixty degrees.

I had an appointment with the chiropractor for 3:30, and dreaded the thought of showering in the icy bathroom, but it turned out that the storm had done much damage around town and power was out almost everywhere, so about two o'clock I found out that the appointment had been canceled anyway. I didn't find out until after the power came back on about 5:40 this evening that the local situation was so serious that the Red Cross had set up an emergency shelter in a church for people who had no heat and had to stay warm because of medical conditions. More than a dozen big trees had come down, one killing a woman driving her car on one of the main roads and another killing a man in his house.

I was merely uncomfortable all day, so I guess I got off lucky, though I'm not sure about the stuff in my freezer. The ice cream cartons were a bit squishy when I opened it after the power came back on. Of course the wind might have done some damage to my roof, though if so there's nothing visible, so I won't know for sure until the next rain storm comes along and I see whether or not there are any new leaks resulting from loosened shingles.

It was the most exciting thing to happen around here in ages, and I fervently hope another age passes before anything so exciting happens again. I do really regret not getting to the chiropractor, though, and having a nap on the short couch in the one heated room has probably made my neck even worse than it already was, so I'll be very ready to get my delayed adjustment next week. Tonight I'm going to eat one of the frozen dinners from the freezer. It's unlikely that it went bad in eleven hours, but if it did and I die of food poisoning then the adjustment is off and my estate will save the forty bucks. Every cloud, etc....