Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2007-08-16 & 17

Thanks to a power outage that hit right at the close of my working day on Thursday, this entry spans two days. Our incredible, record-breaking heat wave finally snapped just a bit. The temperature was 105 at the airport, 107 here in Anchorage. Suddenly the skies lowered and 60 mile-per-hour winds tore through, followed by a hard, stormy rain. Lightning took out a tree at the end of our small street. The tree fell on an electric pole, taking the pole and all its wires down.

I am most grateful to Mick, who “stormed” upstairs to warn me to turn off my computer just five minutes before the winds hit. It was very satisfying to know my new writing was safe.

So: Thursday saw Jim off to the mowing after Morning Offering. I created the quotes hand-out for orange ray, for our 2007 L/L Research Homecoming, in the morning and, after lunch, worked on Chapter 7 of 101. Gary and I conferred briefly on the format for these hand-outs.

Then came the storm, and Jim and I went about finding flashlights and putting our food on ice. We had just bought groceries, but fortunately had only a few items needing cooling, as the carrots and cabbage can hold, and the turkey breasts were frozen solid, becoming “ice” to keep cool the remainder of our perishable food.

I used some of our “power-out” time to catch up on two thank you notes, congratulations for my friend’s daughter, who has given birth to an almost 10-pound son and seven other letters. Then Mick and I read and conversed instead of turning on the TV, offered our Gaia Meditation and spent a good deal of time figuring out how to sleep.

It was humorous that I, affected by the heat of the upstairs without air conditioning, moved to a basement guest room, the basement being cave-cool. Meanwhile Gary, whose room is in the basement, was affected by the noise of the generators which two of our neighbors have, which had kicked on when our power failed. So Gary ended up in the upstairs guest room.

I sleep very soundly, once asleep, and so I slept through the smoke alarm going off right outside my bedroom door in the basement. Gary, all the way upstairs, heard it and shut it off while I snoozed on.

I have had that tendency all my life and have slept through an amazing array of noisy bothers. The most outrageous example was long ago, when I was in college, when my parents’ friend was having her fourth baby, I “woke” to welcome her three other children, got them fed and put to bed and then awoke the next morning to wonder how all these people had come to be in our house! I had never really awakened during the episode.

My first husband discovered the trick to knowing whether I was awake or asleep when I had to rise in the middle of the night. He asked me, “Are you awake?” “No,” I told him. Sure enough, the next morning – in this instance I slept through a crackling garage fire at the back of our alley – I had no memory of the fire trucks or the fire itself.

After a night filled with many brilliantly colored dreams, I awoke to find that the power was still off. I had no backlog in the office except computer work, and my health is too guarded for me to be able to do physical chores like cleaning, so for me it was a day of taking naps, reading and working puzzles from a book of New York Times crosswords which Judy C gave me.

It sounds idyllic, and I tried to enjoy myself, but again the heat was soaring and i was soggy. In addition, I spent some useless time being aggravated that I could not get on with my regular work. We are up against a deadline in that Homecoming arrives quite soon and those quote selections for the handout need finishing so that Gary can make the packets up. It takes a while to print out and collate about 30 booklets! We have a packed Gathering this Homecoming.

We received a lovely thank-you note from Bob R, whose donation had made the recent L/L gathering at the Grand Hotel possible. He is already hunting for the next location for another such gathering. Now that’s good energy!

Jim and Gary had gone out for their Friday mowing fest after Morning Offering, and returned early, since many of our customers’ lawns are golden and stubbly, not growing at all. Jim and I used the last of the warm water to shower together after he finished his equipment maintenance schedule and, contemplating the hot house, we decided to go to a movie. It was the first time in seven years we have gone out for a movie, always preferring to see videos at home. We picked a dandy! “The Bourne Ultimatum” was chock full of action and we got the full effect on that big, big screen.

We came home to find that the power was back on! What a joy! I do not think we urban folk are at all ready for life without electrical power. We had no “Plan B”. It is something upon which to think at length. People used to live without electricity and do well. We need to have more readiness, so that if a natural disaster strikes, we can shift into pioneer conditions gracefully.

Mick and I gratefully had dinner from our own fridge and then enjoyed a date. After the Gaia Meditation, with me offering the ending prayer, we put the house back in order and snuggled with the kitties, saying good night at 11:30 PM.