It’s just before 6 p.m., and the lights just won’t stop flickering. About 30 minutes ago, one of the generators in my neighborhood exploded, and our lights went with it — for just a second. They came back on, but I don’t have any confidence that they will stay on for too much longer. In fact, I doubt I will finish this post and publish it before we are in the dark.
We are surrounded by constant sirens — those we can hear above the sounds of the storm: the winds that filter through the trees with the roar of a freight train, the rains that pelt our windows in a sideways drive that makes me feel as if I am under some kind of rapid fire. We don’t know where they are going, as we can’t leave the house. They sound as if they are circling our neighborhood, though, a pulse of imminence reminding us that it isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when, we lose power.
We’ve taken all of the precautions. Our food supply is good for at least 72 hours, and we even cooked all of our meals ahead of time so that we can eat them chilled if necessary. We have been bagging the ice from our icemaker in our refrigerator, so no worries about losing any perishable food (we have also depleted our frozen-food supply in the last few days so that we won’t have any wasted, thawed food to throw away).
But there’s something distinctly different between “getting ready” for the hit and actually experiencing it. With every rush of wind that pushes past us, we brace ourselves for a hit. There are trees that worry us more than others. In previous storms, they have dropped 15-foot branches in our yard, snapped from the trunk like a kid ripping a good marshmallow stick for the campfire.
These are the trees that make us hold our collective breath and wait for a crack, some sparks from the wires that will certainly follow instantaneously, and then the silence of the hum of electricity as our world goes black.
We pray that it doesn’t hit our house. We station ourselves strategically inside the house to miss the crash, should it fall our way. Our kids stay downstairs most of the time, clear of any impact. They don’t know this, of course. If we tell them of the precautions we take, they will be unnecessarily terrified. A Harry Potter film and their favorite blankies, and all is right with the world. It’s the little things that buy us a good 2 hours of happiness, bliss, and forget of the destruction that swirls all around us.
Another generator pops, the lights flicker, and my wife runs to the kitchen. She has been yearning to make a Sam Adams milkshake, and battery-powered blenders just don’t pack the punch you need to make these delicacies just exactly right.
I guess age does not discriminate when it comes to finding the things that buy us a little happiness and bliss.
The whir of the blender is in tune and in rhythm with the whirl of the winds outside. Synchronicity is a welcome friend right now, and I’ll take it, even in the dark.