The house was very quiet. That should have been the signal that something was wrong. My house makes all kinds of noise, day or night. But like an untended toddler, silence here is not a good thing. The clock in my room said ten o’clock and I knew it was later than that. The wind up clock I keep on the computer desk said it was after twelve thirty. The refrigerator alone sounds like a one-man band most of the time. It is small, but loud. Ah, the kitchen clock was flashing its digital numbers. I could not make coffee or toast and I could not go to work if the garage door would not open. It has a manual release I could use if it were an emergency, but the little job I am lucky enough to have now is flexible enough that it would not matter when I go in, as long as I eventually get the work done. I called the office to say that even though the Illuminating Company’s automated telephone service said the problem would be fixed by two p.m., I had my doubts.
At 2:40 the power went back on and I quickly made coffee and toast, turned the A/C on and within a half hour the power went back off. I drank my coffee with gratitude that I got that in, ate the toast with delight to have it and then called my sister to advise her to check her e-mail from me the evening before. She doesn’t bother with it most of the time, but there was some information she had been anxious about, so I felt she should read it. I also wanted her to know my power was out, so if my phone charge ran out, she wouldn’t hear back from me if she tried to reach me unsuccessfully in the immediate future.
That we should be without power after a quiet and uneventful night is beyond me. I called my friend and neighbor down the street, but she was not home. I opened the bathroom window just enough to get a woosh of hot humid air and closed it again.
The night before last produced quite a pyroclastic display across the western sky line. Since the city immediately west of us is Valley View and dips down from our perspective, the view is uncluttered with buildings and power lines. I’ve heard on PBS that lightning is only as wide as a thumb, but hotter than our sun. They also said that lightning throws off nitrogen, so it is like a free fertilizer treatment for whatever is under the flashing bolts.
The mail arrived, such as it is, nothing interesting – but I am glad there were no bills today. This will be a tight month since property taxes are due and my credit card bill will be on its heels with a large amount due from the last time I had my car in the shop.