“I have heard what poets write about women. They rhyme and rhapsodize and lie. I have watched sailors on the shore stare mutely at the slow-rolling swell of the sea. I have watched old soldiers with hearts like leather grow teary-eyed at their king’s colors stretched against the wind.
Listen to me: these men know nothing of love.
You will not find it in the words of poets or the longing eyes of sailors. If you want to know of love, look to a trouper’s hands as he makes his music. A trouper knows.”
That was a quote from The Wise Man’s Fear. An even more beautifully written book than The Name of the Wind.
We’ve actually had a pretty decent winter. It began early, that’s for sure. The weather started getting rough (I feel like I’m singing the Gilligan’s Island theme song) in October and I though we were going to be in for a crazy season. That only seemed to last for the mid to late autumn. After that, things weren’t bad at all. And to make things even better, this March was incredibly beautiful. Warm weather and sunny days. We went walking and hiking and everything in between. It’s been great.
That is, until this past Thursday. On Wednesday, Laura informed me that we were in for some sort of a snow storm. I said, “See, I told you there’s always one in April.” I didn’t really believe her though because just that day, I was outside in a t-shirt cutting down trees. I probably got a sun tan during the process. If someone had walked up to me while I was cutting and said, “Dude, at this time tomorrow, you’ll be standing here in 10 inches of snow…” I would have slapped that person silly. Silly, I say.
As much denial as I was in, I sat in my chair listening to the rain fall heavily on the rooftop for a few hours Thursday morning. It was really coming down. Then, just around 3pm, I noticed the raindrops transition to snowflakes. Big, fat, crazy huge, very wet snowflakes. Like grapefruit sized slush balls falling from the sky. A half hour later, those slush balls turned into very heavy and sticky snow. And that snow landed on the wet trees and stuck to their branches. A half hour after that, the lights went dark. And then bright again. And a few minutes after that, they went dark again and stayed that way for 48 hours straight.
We actually got off easy. As I sit here and type, many Mainers are still sitting in despair. Last I heard, 280,000 Central Maine Power customers didn’t have electricity. Not having electricity isn’t the worst thing in the world to go through – we’ve all experienced it – but it surely is annoying. As I say to Laura, “If this is the way it is going to be from now on, then so be it. We’d eventually find a system and get used to our new lives.” Washing pots and pans in the stream, cooking on my little camping stove, using the generator to keep the refrigerator and freezer from going warm. The thing is, we work on the internet. This is what we do. We sit and type, update websites, and browse around doing all sorts of things. To have that routine taken away in the bat of an eye can get under the skin. I’m sure you understand.
We ventured out in the car yesterday to see the damage. We do this every single time there’s an outage that lasts for more than a day, which isn’t that infrequent up here. It seems to happen all the time. Anyway, as we drove down the road a few miles from home, we noticed a few broken branches on some wires. It wasn’t tremendous damage, but it was enough for the power company to turn off the current. And since the branches were on the wires and I knew they weren’t coming off any time soon, I suggested that we go grocery shopping. If we got to the store around 7pm, I thought we’d be in good shape to avoid our fellow townsfolk. We didn’t have anything else to do, so what the heck.
We made it to Hannaford right on time. Around 7pm. I love going shopping at this time because there really is hardly anyone in the store.
Since the last time we’ve been out, things have changed somewhat. For one, people are now wearing masks. Not everyone, but quite a few people. Also, last night there were two men standing in front of the store taking count of who was inside. Hannaford is no longer allowing more than 50 shoppers in the store at any given time. I though this was rather nice. We’d have some breathing room while shopping. There was no line outside to get in or anything, so we strolled through the doors. I have to say, having all this mandatory spacing has really been working out for me. While we were waiting on line to check out, I noticed red tape on the floor that told us where to stand. And it also told the people behind us where to stand. This meant that any over-eager shopper could no longer crowd us as we chatted with the cashier during checkout. I liked that. I am also enjoying the six-foot distance rule. Any other day, some in-a-rush shopper would try to cut me off as I was standing in front of the milk cooler trying to decide what type of milk I wanted to purchase. Not anymore. Now people have to wait their turns. Six feet behind me. I feel so empowered. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that this whole distancing mandate has wedged a form of politeness back into society. I’m not against it by any means. Any time I can go into a grocery store with no more than 50 others and have those 50 stay the heck away from me, I’ll take it. Now, if I had to stand on line to get inside, that would be an entirely different story. I wouldn’t be nearly as gracious as I’m pretending to be right now. But I didn’t move to Maine for the people. I moved here for the space.
I’m getting off topic. I merely wanted to share my quick story about the weather and the power outage with a sprinkle of current news thrown in. I’ve done that. I wish you well and please enjoy a few photos below courtesy of Laura.