Tuesday, June 19, 2007


On Monday, a sultry breeze greeted me as I took my morning walk through the gardens. The wind grew stronger as the day went on, bringing with it across the lake waves and waves of heat and a strange sense of foreboding. A storm was churning far away in the west, but we could feel it moving toward us all day long.

The kids and I went to a local nursery to see if the "bargain bin" had been set up for the year yet. It had not, but there were vegetable plants available at a reduced price. We selected mostly herbs and a pepper plant that already had baby banana peppers appearing and then headed home. I called the nursery to let them know that the garden bench in the pavillion by the shrubs and trees no longer had a price (as evidenced by the yellow tag in Tanka's hand) and that the lovely bronze fennel was infested with aphids (which they might want to tend to before selling any more plants.) While I was on the phone, the power went out, and the line went dead.

I plugged in the "emergency phone" which does not require electricity to call the nursery back, so that I could finish my sentence. Then, I called the power company to report the outage. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon. They estimated that the power would be back up and running by 9 o'clock at night. I was happy to go into "power out" mode, which for me means reading out loud as a family. Unfortunately, my "sales pitch" for Wind in the Willows did not capture the boy's attention. I was astonished and launched into the first chapter with great enthusiasm (it is a read-aloud favorite of mine) but still, they would not listen. Sighing, I went off to read a book on my own.

We ran an errand late in the afternoon, to make sure we would have a dinner that was easy to prepare without electricity. Limerick got home and set up the generator, so the guys had their dinner heated in the microwave. Hiaku and I had mini whole-wheat pita's stuffed with hummus and some fresh ingredients from the herb garden (chives, oregano, cucumber-flavored salad burnett.) We moved the generator around to take care of various tasks and then plugged the large upright freezer in the basement into it, to keep the contents frozen.

I finally talked some family members into a read-aloud, but had to select a book that would appeal to all. I read the first chapter of My Brother, My Sister, and I, by Yoko Kawashima, an autobiographical account set in post World War II Japan. As we concluded the chapter, several household items blipped and chirped, the electronic announcement that power had been restored forty-five minutes ahead of "schedule."

Through this all, the wind blew wildly, but the rain never came. Late in the evening, with sand and dust from the road blowing in my eyes, I watered my recently planted blueberry bushes. I slept soundly all night, never waking, which is unusual for me. When I woke before 6 A.M., I saw a world washed clean of dust and grime, through droplets trickling down the window glass. The much needed rain had fallen heavily as we slept and today the sun is shining on wet green fields, 20 degrees cooler than they were yesterday, and replenished by the nourishing rain.
photo by Aisling, June 19, 2007, Blanket flower drenched with rain


L.L. Barkat said...

Isn't this sometimes how it goes... we are replenished in moments when we are least conscious? I love how it rained while you slept.

Aisling said...

l.l., It reminds me of the lyrics from that old musical, Camelot: In spring it never rains til after sundown, by 9 the morning dew has disappeared..." :)

Mrs. Pivec said...

Everything just looks alive after a long wait for that drink, doesn't it? I love the picture of the blanket flower - and of YOU down below! It's always nice to put a face with a name. :)

Whenever the power goes out around here (which happens quite often during hurricane season), the girls have the tradition of wanting to play charades by candlelight. And yes, we read stories too. I would have gone for Wind in the Willows myself, but at least you got some good reading time in! :)

Aisling said...

Mrs. Pivec, I know what you mean about putting a face with a name. I don't know why, but I am always reluctant to post photos of myself and family members here. Flower photos I could post all day long, in case you hadn't noticed. *grin*

The reading time was great. I have the book we were reading sitting here, bookmarked at the start of chapter 2. I am hoping I do not have to wait for the next power outage to get my family to sit still long enough to listen!