|A downed trellis was our only casualty.|
Recently, New Jersey was assaulted by the howling winds and torrential rains of Hurricane Irene. It traveled up the Garden State Parkway, jumping tolls along the way. A week later, many areas of the state are still flooded. Most of the wonderful mom-and-pop stores in nearby Denville ended up in the middle of a raging river and are now out of business—permanently altering the psyche of the town.
Steve and I were lucky that the worst thing that happened to us was that our metal trellis was ripped out of its concrete foundation and thrown down on its side—and we lost our electricity for a day.
Those of us in developed countries rarely have an interruption in our energy supply, so when it happens, it can be a startling reminder of just how dependent we are on things beyond our control. Electricity is necessary for our grooming (hot water), sustenance (refrigerator, stove) and entertainment (television, computer games, Internet).
"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars."—Og Mandino
When the lights went out, we donned flashlights, lit candles, and then realized that we had no idea what to do with ourselves. Our activities were reduced to reading books by battery-powered booklights or brushing up on conversation. Undoubtedly, there will be a crop of "hurricane babies" next June. At first, the blackout seemed terribly inconvenient and boring. Eventually, I found it relaxing (less mental clutter) and reminiscent of when I was young and there was no cable, computers or Internet.
As children, we sought entertainment by running out into the neighborhood and playing with whomever was around that day. The rule was we had to be home by dark. Our parents chatted with neighbors as they did yard work. Everyone on the block knew everyone else. There was a sense of community and connection.
|Denville: Flood insurance doesn't cover hurricane damage. [NJ.Com]|
"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."—Terry Pratchett
We were the Baby Boomers—the children of returning World War II soldiers. That upwardly mobile generation that protested against wars and social injustice instead of spending hours playing World of Warcraft or chatting on Facebook.
|It's a Tilt-a-Whirl World.|