Friday, November 2, 2012
The storm, past tense
For the first time ever we managed to use every heavy-duty extension cord we have, and we have a lot. More than is normal. Specifically we have 4 orange cords, 1 green cord, 1 purple cord and 3 yellow cords. If strung end to end we might have reached Yonkers, but no, we did not string them end to end because that would have been unsafe, and safety is good. We plugged them into the little generator and that way we could keep the heat lamp on for the new baby chicks.
Thanks to the high winds of Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, we lost power Monday night, and thanks to the ministrations of ConEd crews, we regained it early Friday morning. Not so bad when you think about it, in the grand scheme of things, given that for the bulk of history, people lived their whole lives without electricity and most of them never complained. (As I did). They also lived without Gatorade, Girl Scout cookies and Donald Trump.
What we lost: the top half of a very large and old white pine, and on its way down, this white pine crushed the magnolia and the weeping hemlock. Gone. Creating a gap in the arboreal landscape, a space where there used to be foliage. Which I am discovering is very different from a similar space that never was filled with foliage in shades of green. CSB says he will not miss the weeping hemlock, but he is quite sad about the magnolia. I will miss them both.
What I missed: hot water.
What I enjoyed:
Going to bed by candlelight and then reading about Cuba with my headlamp.
Also, dining out on Sandy. The Powered fed the Powerless. Friends who did not lose power* invited us to dinner — and so thanks to the storm our social life improved by a factor of 1000%. The food was universally excellent, and the conversations ranged from South African flora to oysters in New York Harbor to geriatric medicine to Aged P’s to LBJ and the question of politicians and their excessive testosterone.
What I discovered when the lights came back on: that our floors - unvacuumed, unswept and largely unseen for a week - were covered with a fine layer of dog hair.
What else I discovered: the disturbing reality of my slavish devotion to incandescent lights and playing Solitaire on the computer.
* Not unlike the rest of the world, power and power outages in Hastings and New York are unevenly distributed.