Saturday, August 25, 2007
I Was So A'sceered
The sirens started wailing about 6PM. The lights blinked off and then tantalizingly on again and then heart-sinkingly - OFF.
Before the internet connection died, I captured this. See those little cross-hairs. That's where I sat cowering alone on the bottom riser of my basement steps.
Well, not completely alone.
I hadn't been down there all summer. Actually, we've not had at the basement in years. I kept telling myself - next fall - or when the snow flies - or the next rainy day, hot day; somehow there was always something better to do.
Now I sat there with my little candle, weak flashlight and good old Coleman fluorescent tube lantern that hadn't been switched on since a camping trip in '92. The handset from the upstairs phone didn't work. Duh. And the battery on my cell didn't have a full charge. To whichever friend gave me that little heart-laced candle years ago: Thanks for the light.
My hubby was working nite call and kept phoning from the heart of the hospital to chuckle and say "Yeah, the weatherman says Sylvania is going to get slammed." Thanks, dear.
So, I sat hunched on that step, surveying in the dim light of my fading laptop and single candle - the neglected detritus of my life. It all kind of hurt. Funny I just typed 'heart' there where I intended 'hurt'. Guess that explains the hurt. There are a lot of memory-laden items down there. No need to list them. Just start with dog paraphernalia and work up to little boy and grandpa stuff. Nuff said.
The winds blew, the candle flickered, and on my miraculously operating basement battery radio, I listened to a minister intoning God's admonishments to us sinners . I couldn't get the AM bands to work. I turned him off and sat in the little circle of my candle glow. I promised myself - not God - to have the courage to face that mess in the basement next month.
Sitting there I knew I was going to have to make my way over to the sump to make sure the back-up osmotic reverse flow pump would take over. That required body armor. That's my winter coat - hood up. Boots too. Long pants, tucked in. I was sweatn'. That 20 foot trek through ages of spider nets and leavings was gonna be challenging.
Pretty, huh....? The back-up was working. Whew. (Now remember - it's pitch-black in that corner. You only see the pump because of the camera's flash)
Back upstairs I peered out to the street. I saw a glow in my neighbor's garage. We've lived on this street more than 30 years. Neighbors are a good thing.
We sat around the kerosene lamps and visited and agreed it was our best visit all summer. (Do you like my chiaroscuro effect? You can click on it, too - Lori, Rick, Dell, Mary Kay, Rob, Mattie, Ed and Audrey - won't mind)
I looked across to our side of the street. My porch lights were back on. My hubby was pulling in the driveway. Everyone with electricity offered food and lodging to those who still sat on the shadowy side of the street. The glow enveloped us all. Everything is OK, now.
(Now, if you want a REALLY scary storm story with a happy ending go to Bev's at Burning Silo entitled: Weird Sky!)