Power Out

Sometimes the state of things and my state of being really line up. Wednesday, trash pickup day on our street, started innocently enough, no blizzard, no thunder, nothing to keep Doug from rolling the big, heavy green trashcan out to the street and carting the recycle bins full of plastic and paper to join them. He left for work, and I curled up in my chair by the window with a cup of tea, nursing the remnants of a cold.

But on Wednesday our strange, warm February weather collided with “a big blob of arctic air” (technical term used by local meteorologist) and produced what Detroit Edison is calling a “once-in-a-century weather event.” As I alternately nodded off and woke up, the bins went for a wild ride down the street, were kindly returned by a neighbor, and blew away again. Trees whipped around, tossing random bits of themselves across the yard. Wind gusts peaked at 68 miles per hour. By the time it was over, we and roughly one million other people across the southeastern corner of Michigan were without power. We had cell phone signal and so could check for news updates. Edison, usually prompt and fairly accurate with predicted repair times, made a blanket statement that they had no idea when they’d get this sorted out. Their first priority was to pick up all the downed lines draped across roads; then get power to first responders and health care sites. Ordinary homes would only come after that. Doug walked up and down the street collecting the trash bins, and we went to bed early.

In the morning the house was cold. Not cold as in, the pipes might burst, but cold as in, fifty degrees, with no way to make tea. I headed to the library, which I knew to have a coffeeshop, functioning heat, bathrooms, power outlets, and books to read. Half the neighborhood seemed to have the same idea, but it’s a big library.

You might think, as I did think, that I’d have been more comfortable in my semi-recovered state if I could have stayed home. But when I was home I felt the press of things I should have been doing, though I lacked the energy to do them. Now – I couldn’t do them! In my normal mode I’d probably have found this frustrating, but as it was my lack of energy lined up neatly with my house’s lack of power. The timing was strangely right.up early

When I went back to check on the house – before we got a nice warm hotel room for the night – I noticed these daffodils blooming. The earliest of my bulbs have never bloomed before late March until now. Did the flowers really push up out of the ground, or did the wind blow several inches of dirt off of them?

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