Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The House Began to Twitch

Storms ripped through our tree-filled neighborhood yesterday evening, downing trees and power lines and generally making for some exciting times in Knoxville. I was still in my downtown office building when the power went out. Once there’s no power in a tall building, it gets very, very quiet. No computer or elevator hum, no phones ringing, no printers printing, no piped-in music. Just QUIET. And it’s about that time one begins to think philosophically about things, such as, “Hmmm. . . . the sky is that yellow-green you see in Iowa right before a twister hits. Hope my babies are safe.” Or to apply senseless blame to inanimate objects, as in, “I can’t believe I lost that Word document AGAIN, Lord, I DESPISE this computer.” Or to plan next steps, like, “There's no way on God’s green earth I'm getting in the elevator even if the power DOES come back on. Suspended in mid-air overnight? I think not.”

After hoofing it down eighteen flights of stairs in my 3.5 inch wedges and picking my way through traffic light-less Fort Sanders trying to find a way home, the Spouse and I decided via cell phone to have a feel-good meal at Mr. Gatti’s. This was such a dramatic detour from our ordinary culinary peregrinations it caused Boy Wonder to shout incongruously, “Oh MAN, this is the best day EVER!” Circling back to our neighborhood after a meal of puffy white bread and chemical lettuce, we quietly surveyed the damage in our neighborhood, then headed home to our dogs cowering in the dark. Other than a flipped-over grill, some downed branches, and post-traumatic canine stress disorder, little seemed to be amiss.

So with the one remaining flashlight Boy Wonder has not yet broken and some camp lights, we went to bed in our cool, quiet, dry rooms, marveling that such destruction could leave us relatively unscathed. I even downloaded a book on my Kindle and read until late in the evening by the wee light on my Kindle cover.

Although we don’t have power, we are very grateful for all we have.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful testimony to yesterday's chaos. Trees crashed in my neighborhood and lightening hit nearby again and again. Today some streets were closed off with yellow tape as stumps and branches littered the ground. But being on the 18th floor of a building without electric power is more scary than I can imagine. I am very grateful that you got down OK and are here to tell the tale. BJF