God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
William Cowper (1779)
It was a dark and stormy night, so to speak. The power glitched at 7:45 p.m., way before things began really rocking and rolling. Unfortunately, as a result, my computer decided to become “reborn” and acted as if it were brand new out of the box, despite its being plugged into a surge protector. As we were facing a certain post hurricane power outage, we just shut it down and hoped that it would heal itself while idle.
We battened down the hatches and prepared to sleep on the floor in an interior hallway (because of all the large trees in our yard). Both dogs settled in on my air mattress right beside me, as if in a puppy pack. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep, especially once the wind began to howl and branches started to thunk on our roof. The power went out for good at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 13.
Morning came, and we cautiously opened the doors, Dorothy-like after her house landed in Oz. We rejoiced to discover no real damage to our house, however our yard was a mess with major limbs strewn around and/or dangling, and sections of our fence blown over. After the rains finally petered out about midday, we ventured out to see for ourselves and check on our neighbors.
We were all in the same powerless boat, so there was nothing else to do but begin the clean up process. Of primary importance was to clear a path for our cars to get in and out of the garage. Secondary was to find the window screens to allow air circulation in the house. After that, our task was simply to move limbs from yard to curb, which in our case is quite a haul. Everyone on the street was out assessing damage, goggling over the downed trees and helping each other. In a way, it was almost fun, yet sobering to realize the extent of the impact on our community.
Of course, we had no way of getting news about the world beyond our street except for our little battery radio. After taking a cool shower, we tuned in as we sat outside at twilight, cooked out, then played a game of Scrabble by candlelight. Once the dishes were washed (also by candlelight), there wasn’t much else to do but go to bed, and we were so tired that we fell right asleep with the breeze blowing through the windows.
In the days that followed, we enjoyed the blessing of a cool front which made the lack of air conditioning bearable. And with a full moon shining, the power-less nights weren’t so black. Sharing meals and visiting with our neighbors was a real bonding experience, and having two totally cleaned out refrigerators was just icing on the cake!
It wasn’t until day 5 that our power returned; after that, things slowly got back to normal. We hosted a “laundry” party on Saturday night for my sisters and mom, none of which had their power back yet. Our only remaining issue is the lack of internet/cable, which is merely inconvenient. Oh, and my computer did have to go to the “Geek Squad Hospital” (aka Best Buy), but I’m not stressing about it. Honestly, not having computers, internet or tv has made us spend more time together, and that isn’t a bad thing!
(note: our internet/cable has now returned (Thursday, Sept. 25), so am posting this blog a bit late! Next post will be Saturday, Oct. 4)