Monday, March 1, 2010

Power Out

The wind came Thursday night and knocked out the power. We were prepared this time. After last year's ice storm we knew what to do when the juice cuts off. It was basically camping indoors, except not by choice. The funny thing is I had just taken the water jugs in the pantry and emptied them to have a place for maple sap. But we have two seven gallon camping containers that I filled at nearby neighbor Jane's house. She has town water and was not affected by the outages. She works for a land surveyor and was telling me that eighty or so years ago, when they first electrified the state, there weren't nearly as many trees. The original settlers cleared the land for sheep. Now, with eighty percent forest coverage, we get trees down on the lines in a wind. It wasn't even that strong, with gusts up to 45 mph, nowhere near storm force. But enough to shake out the weaker trees, already hit hard by last year's ice storm, growing towards the light on the roadways.
The nice thing with the dark and no computer or television for four days, is that it was a forced Lenten sacrifice that did draw us closer to one another. I haven't tickled Michael since he was seven. I was a monster in the night taking on all comers, including Susan at one point. Michael's getting strong enough to pin me up against the door and rattle it. That's kind of fun, to be shaken around a bit by your son and still be able to lean on him and get him belly up laughing at the Lebanese stomach pincer, a move I learned from a mispent infancy watching South American pro wrestling on a black and white television with our maid, a Trinidadian girl named Violet. Yes, I had a strange childhood.
Finally today there were utility trucks rumbling up and down our dirt road. The emergency crews have come from as far as Michigan to clear trees and work on the lines. It's hard and dangerous work without a break in the snow and wind and dark. They really do a great job and it's heartening that the crew's will come at the drop of a hat from all over to help out. We're only going to be getting more of these weather events. Eventually we'll have to bury the lines, a huge undertaking. But think of all the jobs. We heard the refrigerator rumbling at dinner and then a few seconds later the lights came on and the kitchen tap opened up. Everyone shouted.
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