Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mother Nature reminds us periodically of who really runs things – it ain’t us!

Never before in my life have I been thankful to be woken up at about 3 a.m. by a sudden surge of noise and light.
No, I didn't see ...

That’s what happened to me early Tuesday, because I was among those who managed to get their electrical power knocked out for a few hours by Monday night’s sudden storm.

I HAVE TO confess that the storm itself didn’t seem like much to me – a heavy rain is all.

I happened to be in my broken-down (but fully paid-for) automobile when the hard rain and stronger-than-usual winds suddenly came. My instinct told me that trying to drive in it could be risky.

So I pulled over and parked the car, then sat in the vehicle for about 20 minutes until things settled down to the point where it was just a normal rainfall.

I finished my trip (work-related) a few minutes later, and by the time work was “done,” the rain had stopped altogether. So I drove home not thinking much about it.

IT RAINED. RAIN is a part of our normal weather. It helped cool off the humidity somewhat.

But when I got home, I discovered that my home neighborhood had been devastated by those stronger-than-usual winds. There were branches blown all over the place.

Many of those branches managed to hit things. In my case, they knocked out the electrical power.

Which in my case was professionally devastating, because I had some work-related writing to do. It was on deadline. And the lack of electricity meant I didn’t have the wireless Internet connection at home that enables me to work there at my convenience.
... either of their big-game goals

AS I SEARCHED for a place with a wireless connection that did NOT lose electricity, I couldn’t help but notice how darkened the neighborhood was. Particularly odd since we’re at the time of year when daylight is at its longest.

My neighbors wound up using the weather as an excuse to party. The whole extended family swarmed their way out of the air conditioner-less home (no electricity), pulled out the barbecue grill, and the kids were running up and down the block in play.

I felt like I had to avoid hitting both fallen branches AND little children. Fortunately, I succeeded.

And when I got about one mile from my humble abode, I found a Starbucks’ coffee house. I’m not usually one to spend big bucks for their pretentious cups of coffee. Nor do I think much of people who spend hours on end with their laptop computers or other electronic devices – leeching off the wireless connection.
She can be mean when she wants to be!

BUT ON MONDAY, I became one of them. Although I made a point of getting my essential work done within a half-hour, then leaving (not long before they were getting ready to close).

When I returned home, the place was still dark. It was humid. It was miserable.  And the answer is "no," I didn't see any of the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning victory over Boston. But in the dark, there was nothing one could do – other than stumble my way through my humble abode to the bedroom. Where I laid in my sweat, and ultimately drifted off to sleep.

Until! My alarm clock suddenly lit up (3:11 a.m., it was), the air conditioning kicked back on and a couple of lights that had been on when the power went out suddenly flickered to life.

The rest of my night was a little more comfortable. But I have to confess I struggled to remain awake Tuesday morning. It was NOT a good night’s sleep.

AS I WRITE this, I still have a few gadgets whose inner clocks are going to have to be re-set.

Although I learned that a colleague of mine who also lost power still had not had it restored as of the noon-hour Tuesday. And as I drove around my neighborhood, I still see some crews working to clear fallen brush and restore electricity to those whose power-less experience extended into a Day Two!

So as much as I want to gripe and grouse about a miserable night, a part of me can’t help but feel fortunate that it didn’t turn out worse. That’s something we all should keep in mind.

One little twist of wind can revert us back to the conditions of the days when all of this land around here was nothing but open frontier.