And There Was Light....
Now that I have slept in our bed (instead of a pile of cushions in front of the gas fireplace which, by the way, the cats are missing mightily) and taken a shower in a house warm enough that I didn't turn into a giant goose pimple upon stepping out, and I've dried my hair so that my head isn't cold for the first time in a week, and I've run the garbage disposal (that smell in there doesn't get any better when you can't run the darn thing), and my husband got to have coffee to de-cranky before he left and I'm actually planning something for dinner that doesn't include cheese and crackers or barbecued weenies, I can tell you more about this whole thing.
We lost power last Thursday evening. We expected it, but it was still startlingly still and dark. For awhile. Not too much later the stillness was replaced by the howl of wind, the ominous cracking of branches and tree trunks, an occasional crash or thump as things came down. You don't realize how much noise your house makes at night...until it doesn't. I was afraid all night long, just waiting for something to come through the roof. Thankfully, it never did.
In the morning, I went out to find the previously mentioned 20 feet of pine tree on the nose of the Toyota and, in a fit of stupidity unsurpassed in my lifetime, I went and pulled said tree off the car. Don't ask me how. Imagine if it had been on something really important--I probably could have tossed it. For the record, I learned two things: 1) trees are heavy and 2) pulling the attachments where the ribs meet the spinal column creates no small amount of pain (it's doing much better now). Should you ever find a tree on your car and no one you love is inside, trust me: the car ain't that important. But I digress.
Mr. K and I spent the next three days in the yard, moving in a sort of rhythm built by love and familiarity. We hardly spoke but it was as choreographed as a dance. I hauled wheelbarrows full of branches back to the burn pile, he cut up bigger logs and hauled the biggest things back. (If you're wondering if my back liked this, it did not...but sometimes you just gotta do things and it turned out fine.) There was something both awful and wonderful about this time. Awful because we got wet and cold and dirty and the house was still cold everywhere but the living room and we smelled like smoke from the burn pile (15 feet in diameter and taller than me, by the way...and that wasn't even all of it) and we were both sore and stiff from sleeping on the floor already. Wonderful because there is great comfort in that loving rhythm. In doing the work together because that's how it has to be and knowing without doubt or hesitation that you're in it together. I don't think even Mr. K knows how many times I looked over at him during those days, at the flex of his shoulders as he hefted trees, at the curl of his hair, at the strength of his hands--or how many times I breathed a silent thank you that I still have him, that a tree didn't plunge through the roof and take away my heart (for that is what he surely is). Not fun, definitely, but a gift all the same.
When Mr. K and I started dating, a similar (but smaller) storm took down trees on the 5 acres he had at the time. It damaged his shop and dumped branches and whole trees on his front yard. He called to tell me that he wouldn't be able to see me for awhile, as he had to clean it up. I told him no way--he was my friend and no matter what else happened in our budding relationship, friends help each other. I went to his house every weekend for at least 2 months and we picked up sticks and set 'em on fire. I remember watching him then, too, and I remember the precise moment that I watched him walking away from me and knew--KNEW--that my life was wherever he was, no questions, no choice whatsoever. I was smudged with soot and we were both wearing rubber dairy boots and I don't think either of us smelled too great..but it was the most romantic perfect moment in my life. I got to have that again this past week...so I can't say nothing good came out of this storm.
I am also grateful still for all of you, and it is hard not being able to connect with you every day. Be assured that you're in my thoughts. Once I can start posting every day, you won't be able to shut me up. Promise. Thanks for hearing my rants and raves. Right now, all is well and I have everything I need for Christmas. Life is good.