Lately, I was on a roll. I was helping HH work on putting down a new bathroom floor AND getting a couple of hours writing time each day. I was a dynamo of energy. On track. Close to finishing my WIP. And then, at ten-thirty Tuesday night, a Durango wind and rain roared through Waynedale and toppled trees and knocked out electricity. It left a path of destruction in its 45-minute wake, then the temperature soared to 95 degrees.
When the sun came up, almost every road in and out of the area was blocked with trees and limbs. Residents emerged from their houses and did their best to pull limbs to the side, but big trucks and gear were needed for the trees. The city called in crews from out of town, and the poor tree and electric men arrived in a caravan of trucks. They worked for hours on end in the sweltering heat. And I learned that I was never cut out for life without electricity. I love turning on lights with the flick of a switch instead of relying on flashlights and lanterns. And I love my air conditioning. We melted. Our phones eventually died, and we couldn’t recharge them. There was no hot water for showers. Luckily, I have a gas stove, so I could “light” our burners and cook, but I dripped sweat with the added heat when I stirred whatever was on a burner.
And no internet. No writing…when I was SO close to finishing the last chapters. We slept in the basement because it was cooler than the rest of the house, and we sat down there to read with flashlights in the evenings. Our young neighbor teased that it was a lot like camping. I don’t like camping. When the heat got too much for us in late afternoons, we went shopping to enjoy air conditioning for a couple of hours.
Our power finally came back on after supper last night. The first thing we did was take long showers. Then we had to throw away EVERYTHING that was in the refrigerator. It felt like burning money. It hurt. All of the meat in the freezer survived, though. A blessing, because I’d recently stocked it, which helped. All of the frozen solid pork loins and roasts kept it cooler for longer. The tilapia thawed the first hot night, so I cooked it. The chicken breasts thawed the next night, so I cooked those, too, and we shared them with our young neighbor.
Anyway, I hope we never experience no electricity again, but it reminds me how much I admire the many, many people who labor through heat waves and storms and blizzards. They’re heroes.