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.
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.