We had a freakish wind storm Friday night called a Derecho. Tess and I were on the road in the middle of its fury. I noticed the marked band of black clouds off in the distance as we drove home, but I thought it was a band of thunderstorms. Now I know differently. Power is out and internet service is sketchy, but with our generator, we are managing OK. The heat is oppressive and the generator can't run the A/C, so we are experiencing what life was like before the days of artificially cooled air.
1. The band of black cloud in the sky was peculiar. We drove straight into it. Not daring, just ignorant.
2. Our road became impassable as we drove up in the stormy dark. Tess and I had to get out of the car and drag branches off to the side. I was wearing sandals and the the wind whipped my skirt around my legs. As we worked together to lug one huge branch away, another fell just in front of the car. I yelled because of the size of the branches and the danger we were in. Tess's reply, "Don't worry. I'm wearing my Captain America T-shirt!"
3. Once the storm front passed and all power was out, we opened our windows to the night and enjoyed the cool, refreshing breeze carried by the storm.
4. Sitting on the porch by candlelight.
5. Thinking of the hikers in the woods all night, we brought two coolers full Gatorade, fruit, ice and other snacks up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to an AT trail crossing. Several hikers stopped, stretched out in the shade and enjoyed the food, especially the fresh fruit. As usual, they exclaimed it was "the best .... they ever tasted!" By this crossing they had already gone 3-5 days in the heat with only air temperature water and dehydrated food. These hikers are the nicest young people you could meet and so appreciative of any support they get. It was cool up there in the shade with the beautiful panoramic view so we were in no hurry to go home to a house without A/C.
6. We use the generator to switch on some lights. Everything looks so artificially bright and strange.
7. Every window is opened wide during night #2 to catch the least bit of cool air. In the stillness we hear the animal sounds of the night. Cows lowing in the distance, coyotes yelping and howling in the hills, screech owls hunting, and faint, gentle bird songs in the dark.
8. In the morning, we hear the neighbors' generators off in the distance and take comfort in knowing we're all in the same boat.
8. Beginning Day #3 without power...we'll see what today brings!