All was silent as before –
All silent save the dripping rain.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It rained this weekend. I don’t mean the usual Oregon weather of a steady drizzle – we barely pay attention to that. No, I mean the kind of rain that sounds like a herd of elephants doing a manic tap dance on your roof, the kind where gutters overflow and roads turn into temporary rivers. To step outside was to be surrounded by the misty clouds. They hung that low and heavy with moisture. Just so you know – I didn’t. As romantic as it might sound to walk in the clouds I am far too pragmatic to want to court the drenching that would accompany it.
If the rain wasn’t challenge enough, we also had high winds to add to the fun. Trees were whipped into a frenzy and debris scattered everywhere. My wind chimes didn’t tinkle with soothing musical notes, but clanged loudly and discordant in the driving rain and wind. I was glad to be inside where I was warm and dry.
I prepared to hunker down with a warm lap quilt and some mindless television to while away the evening. Just about the time I found something good on TV and got comfortable the lights flickered. Have you ever noticed how we pause and wait for just a second to see if we are about the lose power? I did that – fingers on the remote, lap quilt half way settled and then a slow exhale when the lights remain steady. Too bad it didn’t last. The next gust of wind and everything shut down.
Other than the storm outside the house was suddenly quiet – too quiet. And dark. Did I mention dark? Where had I stored my freakin’ flashlight? What about candles? I scrambled around and found the lighter and a couple of candles. Whew, some light. But, then I discovered the batteries I had purchased earlier in the day did not make it home with me – so no flashlight – grrr.
I’ve known for a long time I rely heavily on technology and it was disconcerting to have it all stop. The fridge was not humming, there was no music or computer to entertain myself with. I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea to enjoy while I waited for the power to return. I couldn’t even read a book because I didn’t have enough light to see the words. Note to self: buy batteries – again! Oh, and more flashlights just for good measure.
If I hadn’t been alone in the house it would have been a great time to chat without all the distractions in a normal day. A friend told me her family actually sat down to the dinner table and enjoyed a meal by candlelight instead of being glued to their computers and peripherals. There is much to be said for reconnecting and talking over your day.
The lack of anything to do slowed the evening down considerably (okay, I got bored) and I was relieved when the power came back on. Thirty minutes was a long time, people! I would like to say I learned a good lesson on being too reliant on technology, but the truth of the matter is we all are and that is not likely to change. I scurried around resetting clocks and blowing out candles. I am grateful the storm died down and the rain eventually turned into something more civilized.
Just so you know – Yogi, my cat, is a lousy conversationalist and no help. We’re working on it….