Good Morning, Irene

So far, so good. No longer just a rainy day; the wind bends the trees on the horizon and I begin to think I won’t have to pay anyone to take down that huge white pine that blocks my view of the mountains… Several trees on my property have fallen and snapped in less wind. As I stand in my screen porch and take in the action outside I begin to entertain thoughts of my powerlessness against nature. I realize the value of a roof. While my certainty that all will be just fine begins to erode I am calmed a bit by the sight of tiny songbirds who continue to swoop between the apple tree and the kitchen window feeder. Really? How are they able? Guess it’s not much worse than your run of the mill summer storm for now. Ok. It’s not that bad. Or is it? Will it be? As I write the lights dim and flicker. Power outages in Greenfield happen routinely, even through fairly uneventful thunderstorms. Hmm. Another flicker. I’m ok. I consider the things I might want to do now that require power. Flush? Make coffee? Ok. I’ll make some coffee. Another flicker. I won’t have wi fi. But my mac is charged, I can still write. Hell, there’s a lot I could do, a lot I really should do, but I’m mesmerized. I sit and listen. I almost wish the power would go out – then I’d be motivated to sort through the crap that sits in the living room awaiting replacement in Elihu’s bedroom. But I can’t move. I sit in my chair, computer on my lap, waiting. So much for a cozy day just reading on the couch, my focus is on the action outside.

Ok. The clocks are flashing 12:04. Must’ve lost it for a second. But the power’s still holding. Let’s see, what else? The chickens are in and safe. The rooster isn’t even crowing. Thankful I have a real coop now. Hmm. How about downstairs? I make a quick check of my basement. The usual puddles for a rainshower. I lift the floats in the sump pump wells and force the standing water out to make room for more. My vintage suitcase Rhodes sits on the floor. I consider moving it, as I’ve seen it in water before, but it’s just so big. I pass. I check the heavy outdoor metal doors to the cellar and a scene from the Wizard of Oz passes through my head. The doors are secure. What else? Upstairs, looking out of the kitchen window I notice that the pond form – a huge, 10 foot long thing that I got for free through Craigslist – has been upturned and threatens to sail away. How is that possible? My heart sinks – I’ve spent upwards of ten hours hand digging and getting it just so – it had been perfectly level with the ground and I’d already filled in around it. Now it has been hoisted up and out of its hole and sits, half filled with water like a small boat ready to drift off down the creek and over the hillside. Damn. That was a huge, heavy and difficult job. It’s all for naught now. Before I descend into a gloomy episode of self pity I consider how much worse others no doubt have it. I’ll fix it. Just won’t happen for a while. I decide to throw on my parka and go out to see about making sure it doesn’t fly away.  The rain isn’t so bad, but the wind is loud and once again it reminds me of my human vulnerability. I lean over and try moving the pond. It’s heavy. Probably ok. Then I place a large rock inside it to keep it there. I laugh at myself. Yeah, right. That aint gonna keep it down if a huge gust comes along. I give it up and go in. Not a thing to do but wait, watch and listen.

The lights continue to flicker. I charge up my cell phone. Oops. The lights dim, go off and come on again. That one lasted longer. I hear the pumps in the cellar rumbling on and off. My coffee’s probably brewed by now, glad I did that. I’m going to pour a cup and sit on the couch. Don’t think I can tear myself away from the show. The wind is loud now. I think I hear a truck straining up the steep hill road, but realize that was the wind. Ok. I’m getting my money’s worth now. I’m glad that my son is safe in Chicago.

Hello Irene, nice to meet you, but I hope you don’t stay long.

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