Friday, January 28, 2011

the sound of silence

broken only by the call of the geese
the song of the birds
the crunch of the snow ploughs
as they scrape the roads
of the snow and ice
that fell on us all.

about two hours after my last post
the lights went out
and they stayed out
we very rarely lose the power here
we are on a co-op that somehow stays together
as the big huge power companies a little further North
fall like dominoes
plunging hundreds of thousands of people into the dark
and cold
we have a gas fire place that works without electricity so we had warmth
the hubs bought an oil lamp that gives us a light
and we don't have kids to worry about
(well, we have kids, but not here at home
and yes, we worry, a lot, about them
being out in the cold and traffic
but you know what I mean)
the snow that fell on us all
came down at a rate of 2" an hr.
there was thunder and lightning with it
it has been named

the traffic all over the area got so snarled
it took some people
12hrs to get home
cars had to be abandoned because they ran out of gas
people walked miles in the freezing cold because there was no other way
emergency and police and road crews were unable to get through the traffic

we listened to the  battery operated radio
and heard the stories from the people in their cars
tell of the nightmare they were stuck in
one of the reporters called every half hour to report on her journey home
usually an hour's trip that turned into an almost 8 hr crawl
and when she finally got home the lights were out and trees were down and then her battery died
so I don't know what happened next

our power came on at about 11.30 pm
I went to bed a little after that
 and the phone rang..... it was the power co telling us our power was back on!!!!!

at about 6.30 ish... I woke up because  husband was lighting the fire place again
the power had gone again

we have a gas cook top
so we were able to make some tea and I listened again to the radio
one million people without power
abandoned cars all over the place
hi ways and byways covered in ice and drifts and trees and branches
and live wires on the ground
Power company officials making all sorts of promises and giving all sorts of excuses
the system to get people out of a city that isn't that big to begin with
crumbled almost at the first sign of a snow flake
too many cars on too few streets
too many officials not using common sense and letting everyone go out
into an approaching storm all at the same time
kids in school buses
kids alone at home
parents stuck in traffic that was at a complete standstill for up to 12hrs
12 hrs
when the lights came on at 11.30 I saw the pictures and heard the frustration and saw the anger
and the thing that hit the hardest was the
so many asking what would happen
if something happened

this was a snow storm
the system broke down fast and furious
it has happened before
but never on this huge a scale
and it WILL happen again

but nothing ever seems to change
no one uses common sense
the "plans" never work and it seems no one ever learns anything

and one of the first things I heard when the TV was turned on
is that we no longer have a
colour coded system to show us how much
we are in
home land security has done away with the "colours of fear"
but the fear of what is real and present
has no colours
that's another story I guess

people died in that storm
a man was crushed in his vehicle by a falling tree
no one could help him and they found him somewhere else
which means he got out of his car and went looking for help
he never found it
he died in the snow and ice

if a snow storm,
albeit a freakish one,
can bring an area to a screeching halt
so fast and so completely
I wonder what will happen
when something happens

will a lesson be learnt from this

while the power was out we were home safe and sound

the ploughs came and cleared the roads
our neighbours drove in and out of the neighbourhood

the clouds parted and the sun came out and the snow started to melt

the sky turned that blue that it turns, after a storm has gone through
the hubs cleared the front and I tidied up the house a little
and made things easier in case we needed to move around in the dark again
he read and I knitted
and drank a lousy cup of coffee!!

we had grilled cheese for brunch!!!!  because we have a gas cook top
(we did that on purpose, because, we live out in the country and the lights go out, once in a while)
we know how to do things to "survive" for a few hours
we collected snow in buckets to use in the bathroom.....
I filled bottles with water because we lose that as well, because we have,
a well!!!
 and thought about cooking some things

 as soon as we had made ready to maybe go through another night without power
the lights came back on and they have stayed on
but there are thousands, hundreds of thousands,
 who still sit in their cold houses just a few miles outside
the nation's capital

and life continues as always

the house is back to it's "used look"
and the cat is settling in for a long nap
after watching the birds outside, eating as much as they can
 she is warm and fed and safe

the kids are OK

the people made it home

except for one

PS I just looked outside and it's