While losing power for twelve hours is not on my list of fun ways to spend a family evening at home, it does have some positive attributes. Yesterday a vicious wind blew up from the south. The wind never really stops on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, a reality one learns quickly if they want to prosper here. My daughter, a much heartier soul than I, considers most of our light gales to be nothing more than pleasant breezes.
The wind and weather can come from all directions: blizzards from the north, rain from the east, and hail from the west, but it is the wind from the south that is to be feared. Barns blown over, trees uprooted and shingle roofs shredded, these are commonality not rarity with winds from the south.
Yesterday’s wind began with blustery force. Hair had to be re-combed at church, even super-hold hairspray and gel withered under the assault. The drive home was a challenge for the newbie behind the wheel. No drivers ed course could prepare the novice for the head wind he faced, but luck was with him and the dust cloud arose only after he had safely made it home. One new driving challenge faced, one saved for a future day.
By 5pm the wind was gathering strength, but animals still needed care. The stalwart, hearty daughter braved the crossing of the yard, only to become imprisoned with her wards in the rabbit house. A decade of living on the plains has taught us to build strong, permanent shelters for our animals. Our rabbit house was built with the knowledge that our daughter would also spend many hours inside it. When the full force of the angry wind struck, we knew she was safe. When the power went out from multiple power lines being blown down, we knew she was prepared with emergency light.
The wind raged, escalated and began to sound more dangerous than anything we had heard before. The power went out. We heard sounds of crashes and wondered which yard items had been destroyed. Then as if the wind knew havoc had been rendered, it died down returning to the soft gale my daughter calls a breeze.
Dinner was jelly beans, Oreos and cheese. Lap tops provided a few moments of entertainment, books emerged and the piano was played as darkness settled in for the night. Baseball caps equipped with LED lights donned the heads of one and all. Quiet pursuits and conversations, calm thoughts and contemplations, broken periodically with laughter were the activities of the evening.
The power seldom stays out this long and we are prepared for emergencies. We could have cooked a warm meal, we could have lit a lamp, but the peacefulness of a simple evening was too inviting. The blanked quite of the night calmed our minds and gave us rest; a break from the world, the blessings of a blackout.