Summertime always brings a few storms. I was just about to go out and pick my blackberries before the birds ate them all and check whether the varmints had been back after the tomatoes, when the sky started getting dark and even began rumbling at me. Not to be deterred, I picked the blackberries anyway since the thunder was simply a rumble coming toward us and not exactly here yet. But I did pick fast. Then I picked a few beans. That was pushing my luck, but the luck held and only a few sprinkles came down on me while I headed to the house. But then, oh my! If I’d still been outside I would have gotten drenched as the thunder boomed and the skies opened up. Then the wind started blowing the rain against the windows in waves.
My dog, Oscar, braved the hall that scares him and found his storm hiding place. I did try the scarf wrap some Facebook friends suggested using as a kind of thunder shirt. My scarf wasn’t quite long enough but I got it wrapped around him and tied. He didn’t try to take it off, but I don’t know if it helped. Oscar wasn’t talking.
A few more booms. A lot more wind and the apple tree out front surrendered to gravity. It was already dead. Killed by that weird looking Cedar Rust that takes both evergreens and apple trees to grow but then kills the apple trees. Not the cedars that we have a million of. My husband planted those apple trees shortly after we moved to this house. We picked bushels and bushels of apples. Delicious apples. In the spring the apple trees would hum with bees while they were blooming. And then the apples grew. We ate apples. I made yummy apple pies. I canned apples. I gave away bushels of apples. The deer and squirrels ate apples and then the trees got sick and died. I didn’t realize what got them until I noticed the weird orange fungus on the cedar trees one spring, but by then it was too late for the apple trees. But some of you may remember the fungus made a great mystery picture for my mystery photo game last year.
But back to the storm today. It knocked out the electricity. I miss electricity. Immediately. No computer. No lights. No hot tea. I’m obviously very spoiled to the conveniences of electricity. Makes me think about those pioneers again that had nothing but the tools they carried over the mountains or that they made themselves. They did everything by hand with either horsepower or their own power. They found things in nature to use for what they needed. Nettle for flax to make cloth. You have to wonder how they discovered some of those things. They had to be ready to experiment and try new things. And then they shared whatever they learned about the gifts of nature.
But I enjoy the gifts of electricity. I like this word processor that makes typing my stories easy. Doesn’t make the stories any easier to imagine, but so much easier to record and to edit. I enjoy the magic of internet that lets me talk with all of you, some of you halfway around the world from me. When I think about that, I’m amazed. But I like it. I like taking pictures that I can see right now and don’t have to take to a processing shop. I like stoves with ovens that cook bread easy as anything instead of having ovens in chimneys. I like refrigerators that keep things cold without having to carry them to a spring house or a cellar to try to keep them from spoiling. I like microwaves that heat up things in an instant, including that hot tea I like. So I miss the electricity when a storm knocks it out for a few hours.
But one good thing. Not having electricity didn’t keep me from reading. Enough light came in through the windows and I didn’t feel a big guilty reading. I couldn’t do anything else without electricity, now, could I?
As always, thanks for reading. What do you do when the power goes off?