As some of you may already know, my husband and I and our three cats survived Hurricane Hermine practically unscathed. Other than the expected power outage, we had only this heart-stopper:
A rather tall pine twisted and fell between our driveway and our neighbor’s driveway, missing our cars. As it turns out, even our fence, which helped break the tree’s fall, had minimal damage. Interestingly, an arborist my husband had recently consulted over some other trees that we want removed, predicted that this particular pine would fall exactly in the way it did. And the same arborist was able to arrange for a crew to come the next day and take down this pine, although we have to wait for the city to pick up the remains. Click on the following link below for a time-lapse of the tree removal. It took about 17 minutes, or …
$100 a minute
Still, I’m feeling pretty lucky. We ventured out for a bit on Saturday, to get some ice since by then we had been out of power for almost 36 hours. It still makes my stomach lurch to think of the homes we saw, where trees had fallen, caving in their roofs or crushing their cars. And I know that as I write this post, in the wee hours of Monday morning, a lot of people still don’t have power.
So I’m very grateful. In particular, I’m grateful for my husband, for the common-sense survival skills he developed growing up in South Florida when hurricanes were all too common, and for the awesome cooking skills he developed during his two years in the Peace Corps. He can whip up a mean three egg and brie omelet on a little two-burner propane stove. I know that without him I would have been a basket case.
I have one confession: being off the grid was actually nice while it lasted. We read until dark and then sat in the dark, talking. And the dark was wonderful … except for the neighbor’s generator, there was a peacefulness to the darkness. For 36 hours we were untethered. When I had service, I used my cell phone only to call my mom. I started to remember how I used to entertain myself before the internet, before Facebook, before blogging. Somehow I used to keep myself pretty busy back then, knitting, sewing, and writing stories that no one would read.
But I missed all of you. I missed reading your stories, your adventures, your gripes du jour. I missed your humor and your thoughtfulness, your poetry. I missed the joy of your latest publications and the angst of your recent rejections. I missed this community that I now realize I sometimes take for granted.
So I return to the grid, but with a keener appreciation for the wealth in my world: my husband, my cats, my neighbors, my family, my friends–all those both on and off the grid.
I leave you with a sign of life returning to normal:
Wendy chillin’ after the hurricane.