Friday, December 11, 2009

Forecast: Ice and Snow

Forecast for Portland, Oregon: Ice and snow coming in Friday night, leaving on Sunday.

Hm. Guess I’d better go get some food, just in case. Maybe I should grab a log or two in case power goes out. What will I do without a TV and computer? Another, hm. Wow, not nearly as exciting as ‘no power’ on the farm or when my kids were here, and we were electricless.

When the power went out on the farm, we moved to the basement. The fireplace would keep us toasty and offered a wonderful place to roast hot dogs. Mom always had chips and dip on hand, hot dogs and buns, and, at this time of the year, nuts and popcorn balls. It was an event.

The gravel on the lane wore an icy coat that offered no traction yet Dad would bundle up and hop up on the tractor with the lift on the front and a chain on the back. Neighbors would have clean driveways and cars would be pulled from the ditch. Food could be brought in to neighbors, rides given to stranded travelers and Dad having a blast doing it all.

When my kids were growing up, we loved the ‘powerless’ time when games were played, the fireplace roaring and boredom was replaced with creativity. We really weren’t powerless.

Rarely does the power go off here in Oregon. If it does, I will find myself bundled with a fire roaring and a good book or two in hand. Perhaps even a few new stories will adventure into my head.

Being without power reminds us of a time when there was no electricity, when lives were simpler and more of a struggle. We reach back in time to make do with what we have available. We are not powerless. Maybe we are a bit spoiled.

I miss seeing Dad ride off on that tractor with a big smile on his face, and his return with the stories of his adventure. I miss seeing Doris walking into the house from a hike up the lane to visit neighbors. Red cheeks and bundled head to toe, she joined us by the fire. I miss the silence that accompanies a world without power.

I wonder if I should pick up some chips and dip. Can I roast hot dogs over a Duraflame log? Ah, solitaire and books. I’ll be just fine.

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