Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pioneer woman? Not so much.

Last week's storm was a good'un. Some people were annoyed that their cable was out for a day; others are still waiting for electricity and heat to resume after almost six days. I'm somewhere between the two.

Power went out Thursday. I decided to stay home Friday. I relished in the fact that I was sans technology. I cleaned (very unusual). I stitched. I read. I journaled. I was starting to feel pretty accomplished. Then I looked at the clock. Noon. Wow. A day without TV . . . is a much longer day. But I went with it. I stayed on the couch, by the window, and did all my favorite Kelly things.

Once in a while, I got up to see whether anything new had appeared in the fridge. And I had a bit of a duh moment while eating lunch: Eating isn't as interesting when the TV isn't on. Without the trance of that glowing box, suddently eating was something I was very aware of. I was aware that I wasn't hungry. And I felt a bit . . . limited in my actions, frankly, because I was eating. I didn't finish lunch. (This reminded me of when I briefly was a smoker in college. I resented the fact that I couldn't go inside a building until I was finished smoking. Cigarettes, to me, started to feel like a friend who wouldn't shut up. I had to finish my smoke before I could do anything else, leaving me practically tapping a toe and becoming impatient. Much the same, holding a bowl and fork meant I couldn't hold a book, so I lost interest.)

I read and wrote until the sun went down, holding my journal up to the window to capture the last minutes of light to finish an entry. I lit a few candles, sat back on the couch, and looked around. Now what? What the hell is a person going to do from 6-10ish alone in the dark? I read by candle light--but they were Yankee candles and gave me an awful headache. I played mah jong on my laptop until the battery died. I brushed Millie the cat. For the first time in a very long time, I was bored. I heard myself sigh. I listened to my neighbors bang around in the dead silence. I thought about stuff. I read some more. Eventually it was time to sleep.

Saturday was more of the same, but colder as the heat left the apartment. Millie was amused as I fumbled through my camp gear and announced a triumphant A-ha! when I got to my headlamp and wind-up radio. Wind wind wind wind wind. Static tsssssssssss.............NH doesn't offer much for radio stations. I listened to some lousy country music, some bad soft rock. I found myself singing along to Peter Cetera. Time? 6 a.m.

The cold and quiet were starting to bother me, so I took a whore's bath and got on the road to Mom's, knowing she'd have the generator going. The ride there was nifty. Durham later called the storm "Tree-mageddon" in the local paper, which was apt. Big pines were down everywhere, roots and all. I drove by a cemetary in which all the trees were broken in half or just ripped up out of the ground. A bleak site.

Exeter was underwater. Most roads had detours. Route 108 just south of town had a large amount of water running over it. I saw a couple pickups slowly drive across. I saw the DPW truck in my rearview, surely coming to close it down. I said fuck it why not and plunged forth. It was one of my blonder moments. I had visions of being that asshole on the news, sitting on her car, waving to the helicopter for help. I pictured my stepfather watching the news and saying to my mother, "Not very bright." before looking closer and realizing it was me. But I got across. Don't fuck with a determined girl in a Ford Focus.

Saturday night I got my power back. By Sunday much of the water had subsided and mostly what was in the road was brush left behind from tree removal. I put away my gear and enjoyed a long, hot shower. And while I consider myself something of a back-to-nature gal, I realize that I only like camping on my terms. And with someone.

Note: There are so many good pictures out there, but I am unable to attach them. Thebostonchannel.com has good photos such as this, and Foster's Daily Democrat published stories about each town in the area, along with photos. This was about Newmarket.

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