Saturday night we went to dinner at my aunt's house, driving across the state in pelting rain and lashing wind...watching the trees bending and the sea frothing as we drove along. We cozied down in the den together when we arrived and had a snug evening chatting, eating and watching the small ones push plastic dinosaurs and hot wheels along the rug under our feet.
And then, after all that nestled down warmth in various forms we arrived back at our own little condo unit to find the whole complex dark and our next-door neighbor packing his wife, baby and dogs up to take them off to someplace with electricity. We've been without power now for well over 24 hours and it looks like it will be a couple more days. The most generous estimates are saying Wednesday evening we might have our lights back on but, we are expecting a more gradual return than that.
It was quite impressive on Sunday morning when we got up and tried to drive to church to actually survey the damage from the storm. Trees are down everywhere...powerlines strung like spaghetti, tree to fallen tree and splintered limbs and bark littering most roads in the area. We saw many trees that were far to large to wrap arms around that had fallen across roads into yards and even one that had gone through the roof of a local town. We never did make it to church...every road we tried was closed off by downed trees and broken utility poles and sloppy loops of electric wires flung this way and that. And then this morning when I tried to take A to work, we gave up when we ran into multi-tiered stripes of yellow caution tape, and whorls of orange traffic cones cluttering all the roads in to the main drive. I parked the car and waited with hazard lights blinking as close as we could manage to drive in and A hiked the rest of the way in, just for extra merit badge points and then hiked back out in the spitting rain. One more day together after all.
I have never seen a storm like this in my life, honestly. The mayor of a local town sent every resident an automated telephone call the let them know that help was coming to aid in power return, road clearing and the like as quickly as possible but that the residents should know the work would be significant...this has been, he said, the worst storm in 50 years, no small potatoes to remedy. A nearby family lost their home when the fire department couldn't reach their address because of too many of the roads were impassible. Rivers are all flooded beyond their banks, fences have blown away like so many kites and lawn furniture is drifted in piles where the wind left it. Its not the right time of year for this to technically be called a hurricane but, it sure seems to fit the text-book definition.
So, we have no light or power or heat...this afternoon we're here, at the library to charge up our phones, communicate with the outside world a bit and make sure that we're snowed under by email however long this power out keeps up. Handily, the outages aren't everywhere and the library is still lighted and warm. Its awfully nice to have laundromats, hard working power company employees and friends who are willing to lend a little fridge space for our orphaned food (shout out to Nutmeg!). This afternoon we picked up another bundle of wood for the fireplace kielbasa and a wedge of Gruyere to have for dinner, toasted over the coals and then eaten on A's good homemade bread. Should be a cozy end to the day.
Just a little trip back in time for a few days, a slower pace of life. I don't much mind. As long there's a laundromat around the corner.