Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hallelujah, the great storm is least for now

Yesterday morning about three, something woke me up and I realized that it was pitch dark, not a glimmer from nightlight, yard light, porch light, moon, clock radio, etc. The high winds and gusty rain had knocked out the power and there was nothing to do but tuck the comforter tighter around my ears and wait until daylight.

Mentally reviewing my power-outage plan through the fog of half-sleep, I realized I didn't have one and that certain normal household functions would be curtailed until I could lay in some jugs of water, some propane cylinders, and more nonperishables than I had in the house. But I did have a caffeine source--------diet Coke! Hurrah! I went back to sleep, untroubled.

At dawn more or less, I got up, lanterned my way down to the paper tube to get the news, decided that probably the outage was pretty widespread, and resigned myself to a cold day. But I had a couple of meetings in Seattle, provided the ferry was running in the storm, and this proved to be my saving grace. Fred Meyer (the local Kroger outlet) had lots of water for sale, plus propane; Trader Joe's replenished my store of good bread and cheese; and the meetings distracted me from the realities of the weather, which was truly awful.

Back on the afternoon ferry, I admit I prayed that the power would be restored, though I doubted God would be likely to intervene. And my back-up prayer was "please help me cope". The power was still off when I got home and I learned from a phone call to the power company that it might be days before it was restored completely. On that dismal thought, I checked the thermometer, discovered that this tight little house is pretty good about keeping the heat in (only got down to 58 inside), and cheered up a bit.

The cats and I spent the evening wrapped up in wooly throws while I read by the light of the lantern and a camping headlamp. At nine, we got under the down comforter together and prepared to wait it out.

About midnight, I awoke suddenly to the sound of the furnace clicking on and realized that the outage was over sooner than predicted and felt awash in gratitude. It hadn't been that bad.

This morning I walked down to get the newspapers with bright moon and stars overhead. The yard is littered with pine branches and a lot of apples came off the tree, but we survived relatively unscathed. This morning I've spent tidying up the clutter from the lightless time---the propane stove which never got lit, the mail which didn't get read, the blinky food from the fridge, the candles which dripped all over, the flower boxes which fell off the sills.

So today is bright and beautiful and they say we should enjoy it, because another storm is coming in this weekend.

It's interesting to be "powerless". Lots of food for thought there.


Joel said...

Is "Hallelujah" really appropriate for a UU minister? Shouldn't it be "Halelu-whomever"? :)

ms. kitty said...

Gosh, Joel, what do you think UU ministers believe?

Also, those six words are the title of a great song.

The Emerson Avenger said...

It can be loads of fun to be "powerless". . . ;-)

We had our version of your storm in 1998 when a severe ice storm downed many hydro electric wires in Quebec. Montreal was without electric powere for days and parts of the province didn't get power restored for weeks. Here is a photo that I took in Verdun, a suburb of Montreal where I was living at the time, following that ice storm that you might find interesting.

Joel said...

Gosh, Joel, what do you think UU ministers believe?

Well, I figured that since the "jah" particle is a shortening of "Yahweh," maybe you weren't really meaning to be that exclusive. ;) But I really was just teasing you, and I'm sure I'll pay for that come Thanksgiving. (And I don't think I know the song, or I would have known better.)

Emerson Avenger, that's a great picture! The Sacred - and Snowy - Heart!

The Emerson Avenger said...

Or a Messiah for Corpse-Cold Unitarians. . . ;-)

Believe it or not I saw that very same statue of Jesus stripped right down to the plaster for repainting one year. They had painted his hair yellow-blond, his skin Caucasian pink, and his eyes sky blue before getting around to painting the rest of him. He looked like a good ol' boy Klansman with the hood off!