Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodbye, Irene

I didn't want to buy into the hurricane hype, but last night I began to get swept up in the excitement of the oncoming storm. The clouds looked stormy, there were ominous rumbles of thunder. I pictured wind lashing trees, rain pounding the roof, comforting my frightened prairie boys. But it was not to be.

The rain started gently, with no wind. The rain began to get harder, and then the rain died down, and that was Hurricane Irene, as felt inland in NH. I counted 4 thrilling gusts of wind, and that was that. Nevertheless, our power managed to go out at 10:30. Quinn and I had already gotten into the spirit of the occasion and were reading library books on the living room floor. It was dark, so we lit candles to cheer things up. We made popcorn and hot cocoa, thanks to Dad's gas stove, and we read some more. Inspired by one of our books, Lucy's Christmas by Donald Hall, Griffin decided to make paper chains to decorate the dining room.

Dad went outside to work on the generator, then went to town for parts for said generator. I think he had to spend about 3 1/2 hours working on it, but we were grateful because by 4:00 we had lamplight. Dad, Griffin and I watched a movie and charged our various devices while Quinn napped. Then I felt a strong wind, thought things had finally gotten exciting, but it was only the fan coming back on with the electricity.

I have never experienced life on a generator before. When I was a child, my favorite thing about a day without power was the silence, and the contrast of the power coming on. We don't notice how loud our refrigerators are, until we take a break from them.

Well, a generator is the diametric opposite of that lovely quiet experience. It is like living with a lawn mower on your front porch. If there are any chipmunks left on the side of this mountain, I would be amazed. Any wildlife worth its salt should have run for the hills.

As I type this, WW3 has erupted in the living room, centered on a property dispute involving Legos. Grampa has run to McDonald's for dinner, which seems as exciting to my boys (who have lived near 3 for the past 5 years) as it was to my sibs and I, who saw one nary once a month, if that. McDonald's is always a thrill.



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