Sunday, November 5th, 2017
SUCH AN ODD WEEK
Many of you know Maine had a super storm of wind and rain that knocked out electricity, phones, Internet for up to a week. I am used to living without power (the electricity kind) having lived without both running water and electric light for two years in the Peace Corps in the jungle of Panama. And also live without it in the Midwest in Springfield, Illinois. Ice storms were common. Two weeks without power and live wires surrounding me was the longest stretch in the Springfield. I have always demanded a gas stove since then, for warmth, blessed hot water and coffee!! I did run out of candles and actually used oil from canned fish in my oil lamp. Still don’t eat much tuna. The atmosphere was that of an adventure–even drying cloth diapers on the stove door (yep, back in the day of cloth diapers).
But this week in Maine was different for me.. Different from other big Maine storms. It felt ominous, different from other disruptive storms that brought out the inner pioneer in me. We here in Maine had a ‘drop in the bucket’ disruption compare to the storm and natural catastrophe happenings in the world, whether through human violence or Mother Nature taking her due.
I did have an odd sense of solidarity with my hurricane and earthquake brothers and sisters. I have a house in Mexico, I worked in Puerto Rico for eighteen months and I have kids living on the West Coast. It felt right to have some hardship and made the plight of others more real.
I was in Rangeley Maine for my first night of no power. I experienced a lovely calm to be disconnected from the world. I had candles for atmosphere and a horrible LED flashlight (I had nagged my husband about how harsh the light was how not cozy it made everything when he used it) that I came to love because It allowed me to read. I hooked it up with duct tape to a lamp under the shade and sat and read off and on for eight hours, Guilt free. Soothing. A respite.
I drove to Portland he next day to get their for Halloween with my four year old granddaughter, ( Rainbow Dash alternating with Cat Lady.) It was a sober Halloween in a dark neighborhood with no house lights nor street lights. Suddenly Halloween took on a new kind of scary. It was subdued. People looking over their shoulders–all ten of them that we saw. Odd.
In Portland, the lack of Internet became a pain in the ass. Messed up appointments and created communication chaos that was irritating. No more pioneering. I needed the tools to live my life including hot water, please.
I am now back to cozy writing this with my red cup of coffee by my side. I am restored. But there is a residue that made the week odd rather than adventurous. The residue is portent. Too much in too short a time for too many people. Adds another layer of uneasiness for our time of turmoil.
And I will end on gratitude. I once worked for Central Maine Power doing organizational development. I love the line people that got out there in major snow storms and did heroic work. So THANKS again to all of the people who worked and worked and worked to get us back to ‘cozy in Maine’.