I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A very strange Sunday indeed


Well, this is certainly a different way to start my Sunday. I am sitting here in bed in the dark (that’s not so unusual, but there is no light except for my computer screen), listening to the rain falling outside. We have been without electricity since around 11:00am yesterday. We had a huge windstorm most of the day, and when the power went off I thought it would be fairly quickly restored. But no, it’s still out.

After realizing yesterday that it wasn’t going to return, around 5:00pm I ventured out in my car to find somewhere that might have internet so I could get my Saturday post done. I found one, and to my dismay I saw many huge areas of Bellingham are without power, and perhaps half of the street lights were not working. Many stores had been forced to close, and block after block of complete darkness showed that this is a massive outage. Using my smartphone, I was able to learn that it would be “awhile” before all power would be restored. Fallen trees and telephone poles across the streets were causing major hazards.

I came home about 6:30pm, while there was still a little daylight, but it wouldn’t be long before I knew I would be unable to read my book, or do much of anything. Everything in our apartment is electric: lights, heat, stove, hot water, microwave… as I would automatically think of doing something I usually accomplished without thinking, I realized I was unable to even make myself a cup of tea!

Fortunately, I have a headlamp that I bought for walking to the bus in the dark, and I was able to set it up in my bedroom so that I could read by it for awhile. Smart Guy had gone out to see what was going on outside, and when he returned he reported that there are still huge areas of town that were completely dark. During the night, I heard a couple of explosions, which might have been electric transformers that were overloaded and blew. Who knows?

I am writing this post on my laptop in a text editor, because I discovered that when I don’t have internet connection, I cannot access the website that allows me to write a post on Blogspot. I thought at least I could write it and post it once the power returns, but that is not to be. I’ll simply cut and paste this into the post once I get to the coffee shop. And I am only able to be drinking a cup of tea right now because Smart Guy has a thermos he filled yesterday with hot water. It was still hot enough for me to brew a weak cup of tea. It does make a difference to be able to create a semblance of my normal Sunday routine. I am definitely a creature of habit.

My fall a week ago last Thursday has become a thing of the past, since I was able to walk more than eight miles on our last outing three days ago. And yesterday before the wind came, I went on my usual Saturday walk with fourteen others, who showed up despite the weather. But by the time I was returning home, I was disconcerted by the strength of the wind; once the rain stopped, the wind howled for hours and hours, tearing limbs off trees and downing small ones. I felt safe inside my little apartment, even if nothing was the same without electricity.

And now here it is the next morning, and I’m planning on getting dressed in the dark and heading out to the coffee shop as soon as they open, so I can get a hot cup of coffee and post this. When my routine is disturbed like this, I find that it’s the little things that give me comfort, not to mention having others to share it with. When will things return to normal?

At least I have plenty to read: I went to the library on Friday to pick up four books that all came in at once. I had put them on hold and waited for them, but of course they don’t come one at a time, but all at once. I must read three of them within two weeks because other people are waiting for them and I cannot renew them. I am almost finished with the first one, which is very interesting indeed: it’s called Do No Harm by Henry Marsh. It’s a memoir written at the end of his career by a brain surgeon, and he tells of many stories that inspire and terrify. I cannot imagine having taken up such a profession, but he describes why he did and how it turned out for him. It’s hard to put down, believe it or not, even if I had to read it by headlamp! I’d like to learn more about him, but that will have to wait until I have internet again. (As you can see by the link above, I am now in the coffee shop and enjoying a hot latte as I get ready to post.)

Well, I think if I dress slowly and drive to town, I’ll be able to find some place to post this very different and unusual post. I’m hoping that by the time we meet again, I’ll be back in my old routine. Until then, be safe, my dear friends. Whatever would I do without you?

26 comments:

gigihawaii said...

We seem to get a lot of black outs here in Hawaii, so we have stocked up on flashlights and portable lanterns. We also have a transistor radio and batteries. As you might know, two hurricanes are headed our way.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Great that you found a coffee shop was available. May your routine be better soon.

Far Side of Fifty said...

It is Sunday! Sorry to hear about your no electricity and why, I hope all is restored soon. Those must have been terrible winds. I have several reading lamps that clip to books for when the power goes out...and of course my kindle. We usually go out to and see who has electricity and who doesn't. Have a great week! :)

John's Island said...

Hello DJan, I love the way you started today’s post with the picture of The Bellingham Herald front page. What a cool way to set the stage for all that happened with our storm. I am sorry you had to go through the “no power” experience. Down here they said up to half a million were without power. I knew the storm was approaching but didn’t expect it to be so strong. It was more like one of the bigger fall storms that often designates the end of the season. I suppose there is enough time left for us to get back into the warmer days … we will have to see. Otherwise, thank you for the heads up on Do No Harm. I am going to check it out. Thanks, as always, for sharing. Your dedication shines given all you did to post on schedule! Hope you have a fine week ahead!

Rian said...

No coffee or tea? That would be bad. Aren't we all spoiled? Lucky for us our Aga is gas, so when the electricity goes out, we can still cook (and boil water for tea or the French Press). Of course we have to do it by flashlight or candlelight - but at least we can do it. The main thing we worry about when the electricity goes out here is that the food in the refrig/freezer will go bad (and the heat in the summer - inside the house can get hot really fast). If it's going to be more than a few hours, we've learned to get hold of some dry ice for the freezer.
Glad you were able to join your usual walks after your fall last week. This is probably an indication that you are really in good shape - to rebound so quickly.

BrightenedBoy said...

What an awful inconvenience. I can usually deal with a power outage, even take pleasure in the slower pace of things, but our hot water is not tied to electricity. If I couldn't shower, my mood would turn foul very, very quickly. You're being a real trooper!

The Furry Gnome said...

Hope you're safe yourself! We had reports of extensive damage and power outages in Vancouver too.

Red said...

Well, you've written a great post under extenuating circumstances. Power off for that long becomes a problem. Many restaurants would be closed . What would you eat. I hope power comes on soon and that you can get back in that routine.

Jackie said...

Because I'm reading this, I know that you found a place with power to post.
I'm so sorry that you all are without power for so long.
Pioneers you both are!
Thankful for your headlamp....and I do hope that your electricity is restored quickly.
Take care of you.
Sending hugs,
Jackie

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I hope your power returns soon and life returns to normal.

Glenda C. Beall said...

We have been fortunate that we have had no power outages this summer. It could happen in winter when a snow storm comes through. I hate being without power and you have my sympathy. We are so dependent on electricity that it scares me. I remember when I was very small, before our farm had electricity, we kept oil lamps for night time. I have a memory of my father reading the newspaper by the light of an oil lamp. Mother cooked on a wood stove and that is where she heated water.
I would hate to have to go back to those days. A power outage reminds me how close we are to being there again.
Thanks for posting even though life handed you a challenge this morning.

amanda | wildly simple said...

I do hope life returns to your norm asap!
I love being without electricity when I'm prepared for it.. When not prepared, not so much!

amanda | wildly simple said...

I do hope life returns to your norm asap!
I love being without electricity when I'm prepared for it.. When not prepared, not so much!

amanda | wildly simple said...

I do hope life returns to your norm asap!
I love being without electricity when I'm prepared for it.. When not prepared, not so much!

Linda Reeder said...

As I read this i\at 9:30 in the evening, I know from Facebook that you have had a long day without power. Maybe it has been restored by now, maybe not.
We have old camping gear, including a Coleman stove and a lantern that we can use out in the garage so we can heat up beverages and food. The trick is to know how long to wait before digging it out and firing it up.

Elephant's Child said...

The little things (including routine) are HUGE in my world.
I hope you have power back now - and send oceans of caring your way.

The Broad said...

So glad you are so well recovered and so fit you are able to get back to your walking. As someone pointed out you must be very fit indeed! We often have had power outages here in rural France ... though not so many in recent years. However, a few weeks ago after a powerful electrical storm one night, my husband informed me upon waking that we had no electricity. When power had not returned by mid-day, it occured to him to check with friends and neighbours to ascertain whether or not we were the only ones! We were! Come to find out a roof tile had smashe right above the electric box and water had got into one of the cables. All was repaired very quickly, but nevertheless it is always shocking to rediscover how dependent we are are having power at the touch of a button...

Arkansas Patti said...

Well I am a bit late and hope living in the dark is just a memory. You really were hit hard. I lived in Florida for so long and long power outages were common. I'm good for 3 days and think of it as camping. However, after 3 days, I get cranky. One reason I made sure I had a gas stove so I could cook and heat water. A hot beverage can make a big difference.
Get a book light. They are really cheap, clip on to your book or Kindle and keep you reading.
I have Do No Harm and thanks--I will now bump it up to next.

Stella Jones said...

That wind sounds really bad. Let's hope you don't get a windy Autumn to come.

Gigi said...

Wow, I hope you have power by now! I hate having no power - or having my routine out of whack, so I feel your pain. Hope everyone in your area was okay after that storm. It is sometimes absolutely breathtaking at the havoc that Mother Nature can unleash.

Tabor said...

Having lived overseas and having been through several hurricanes in the U.S., I have accepted that being without power is more than an annoying inconvenience. It is something that can upset and stress one for some time. Hopefully your routine will return soon! Thankful no one was injured or worse.

Linda Myers said...

I love weather that disrupts normal life. Makes me realize how lucky we are. However, we're in the Czech Republic at present so we missed this storm.

Weekend-Windup said...

I like to enjoy the chill weather rather than hot...

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

In 2005, with hurricanes back to back, we spent two or three weeks without power, and in extreme heat. It was worse than the hurricanes themselves. I saw in one of your later posts that your power finally returned. It certainly makes you appreciate electricity, doesn't it?

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Deb Shucka said...

I hope all is restored by now. It is interesting when our routines are disrupted. I think it's probably good for us, but like you, I tend to find ways to comfort myself, to create bits of routine. The best part of course, is how wonderful it feels when lights are restored. I can hardly wait to see you in a few weeks!