"And the only tune that it would play was--oh, the dreadful wind and rain." Whoever thought up that folk song never came here. Here, the dreadful rain--and sometimes wind--is a way of life. Even in June. A friend in Ohio was blissfully talking about the summer-y weather and I was tempted to write back: "Dear K--I went to the library and got soaked coming back; so I stayed home from my sister's gymnastics class and watched the wind blow. This is Seattle." But she didn't make a big deal about it. Interesting thing about my friends, they don't ask how the weather has been--except for Seattle friends, who ask Well, how do you like this stuff that we've been having? whether it's been exceptionally cold, hot, windy, dry, wet, or whatever.
Monday the wind was strong, stronger than I've seen it in a long time. I wasn't in the country for the big windstorm that happened a couple Decembers ago, but some friends of ours told us that the airport was running on emergency generators and so a lot of it was eerily dark. Ah, well...that was in the past. It was a strong southwest wind; sitting by my north window I saw a bird flying west. It was struggling, and a gust actually blew it back, its wings curving in an agonized attempt to buffer the storm; I was glad to see that it was able to turn around and fly east. Now, that is strong wind for you. I thought: "It's a wonder the power isn't off." As usual, I spoke too soon--about nine fifteen in the evening, the lights blew out, and we were left in total darkness 'til about 2:02 a.m.
- My father went to bed early; he didn't really want to wait around for us to finish with the computer, and there was nothing else to do.
- We lit candles, five wee little tea-lights, which we set upon phone books and read by.
- I am--I admit it freely--afraid of the dark, so instead of sleeping alone downstairs, I slept on the couch, where the lights from far away in the city could come in through the picture windows and comfort me.
- We saved our showers 'til the next morning.
So where's the point in all this? Since I am a fiddling writer, did I get out the fiddle and crank out a few tunes? Ah, I might've--but Daddy was in bed. If he'd been up I might have gotten out an instrument. That is, after all, what they did in the old days.
But I didn't.
And the lights came on at 2 a.m.
And now I'm using all sorts of appliances and acting like the power outage never happened. It was a big one, too--all the way from 6th ave. to Lk. Washington; and the houses within a certain north-south boundary. That includes Charlie's house, I think. Also, I heard that there were power outages in areas that might be inhabited by other fiddle people I know; I told Mum that it was a sly attempt to get us to stop, by taking away our power. Actually, I don't know if anyone I know was affected by it, but it's possible.
Anyway, this is not the sort of thing you expect to happen on your first day of summer vacation, nor is it the sort of thing you really want to happen anytime. Thank God for candles--and fairly reliable electricity. I've been in places where it's a bigger danger (and I've seen houses with no electricity, too...).