Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The drive down to Brookline on Saturday morning was incredible. I've seen ice storms before but not like this one. Everything you could see was glazed with a thick coating of ice. Like the Pyrex fairy had run amok. The forested hills were white with sparkling ice.

Along the roadsides all the trees were bent over, their branches drooping under the ice's weight. Huge, tall trees bent over to the ground. It looked like the roads were lined with giant frozen fountains or as if massive tidal waves of ice were about to crash over the road and obliterate the cars.

It was outrageously beautiful and astonishingly threatening. It was as if nature was saying "Look at my glory! Nothing is more beautiful than I am! I will wipe you off the face of the earth if I care to"

No one had power, only a few gas stations were open. In one small town cars were lined up for a mile and a half down both sides of the road to get in to the only working gas station for twenty miles. I'd never seen traffic on that stretch before.

Down in Boston everything was completely normal. Pete's band's Christmas party was scheduled for that night so he was hoping I could stay and go to the party. Our Vermont neighbors had offered to watch the fires for us so we took them up on it for Saturday night and I stayed in Brookline.

Pete decided to take the next fire-tending shift so on Sunday he went up north. About half an hour after he arrived, at about 7:30 PM, the power came on. Two days early! Thanks again CVPS!

So now Fay and I are back up in Vermont too. On Monday it was a balmy forty five degrees out. Today it's snowing again. My friend Michaela lives on a mountain top just outside of Brattleboro. Her power is still out and is likely to be out until tomorrow. I heard on the radio today that over one-hundred thousand "customers" in New Hampshire still don't have power.

Modern Western life is so much easier when the power and the plumbing are working normally. Unfortunately we know that we Westerners use power at an unsustainable rate. It's very likely that in the somewhat near future we're going to have to learn to live differently. Obviously it's possible to do - we've only been using electricity for a tiny fraction of human history. But wow, what a change that's going to be. God help us if it's a sudden change forced on us by uncontrolled events rather than a decision we make on our own.

In the mean time I'm going to try to remember to shower whenever I can and to keep the car full of gas!


michaela said...

P O W E R ! I've GOT IT!


Posted some pics of the destruction and beauty on my blog... awaiting some aerial shots.



pete said...

Well done! You said it!