By sea and by land.
The first sort of normal day since the blizzard rampaged about my little neighborhood and much of New England. The kids are on vacation, so there’s a constant hum and buzz where quiet or music normally reign. I’m attempting to adhere to my 10 pages per day workflow on the book, and am adding 5 more per day to make up for last week’s shambles.
We did, in the end; lose power. From Friday night til Monday night the temperature steadily dropped in my house; despite getting the generator running Sunday which kept us warmly in electric blankets watching a Harry Potter marathon. I have an open-plan first floor, so the space heater was laboring completely in vain, alas.
Monday morning arrived, and with no utility truck in sight and 38 degrees fahrenheit in the house I gathered up the urchins and fled to Brockton for hot showers, heated spaces, and bliss. We all fell asleep within ten minutes of landing in the warm.
The power came back on late Monday and so we trundled home to warm spaces, our own beds, and muddy floors. Everything was in disarray from moving power strips about and being too cold to keep up. I personally didn’t quite recover until around Friday. The whole thing was totally exhausting and I remain fairly pissed off at the government for doing nothing to get people warm. No shelters, warm places, nothing. Over 3/4 of a million houses out of power in the middle of winter, with children, the elderly, you name it…and no one did a fucking thing to help. Disgraceful. If the school can manage to call everyone’s cellphones daily and alert them as to the status of school (all closed until Wednesday)…they can alert people where to go to get out of the cold.
Three people were hauled out of my small neighborhood by ambulance for carbon monoxide poisoning, as people did everything (including running gas stoves) to stay warm. Those are three separate houses, not one house of three people. That started Saturday, and the town still did nothing.
This week I have fired my own burners to try and keep up with the book. I have googled about, read forums and advice etc…to try and ascertain what a reasonable page count per day is among authors. Although my book is both photography and writing; I cannot find any advice from photographers who publish anywhere. Although I am one, I have always found photographers to be a strange bunch. Everything is closely guarded, unless it’s about tech. I personally find more common ground with artists who work in other mediums, and with writers. These are usually a bit less mysterious and quite happy in their own shoes. They share advice and experiences without any cloaks or daggers. I have decided that if 10 pages per day is good enough for Stephen King (not a favorite but that’s ok) …it’s good enough for me. Any advice to the contrary please feel free to write.
And so, a sunny day at the lake, snowdrifts everywhere and summer rather longed for. Still pissed off about those elected letting their people eat cake last week. But, progress, per mare per terram.
A surreal experience at the lake today. The air smelled different this morning, the wind felt different….brighter, saltier, fiercer. There is an other-worldiness to big weather events here. The past two years have brought three of those, and they still scare and enthrall me.
The energy in the build up to hurricanes and blizzards; the preparations and the local buzz; is an adrenaline rush. Then I shut the door and enter this suspended animation, outside world news and input trickling in as from some far away place, disconnected from our reality but for added color.
Everything that can be done, has been. Water is ready in the restrooms, food prepped, candles, batteries, things to do, blankets stacked. All done. My little raft in the blizzard is now afloat; the urchins are at xbox live and I have music up and cider to hand. This is my last one. Wine sounds better now, for the busy bubbly start to the blizzard has segued into the gentle lull of snow and an introspective night between these walls.
May the gods and goddesses of power watch over us in this very cold winter night. Being without power in the summer can be rescued by a generator plugged into the fridge and an open window. Not so in the winter. That is the only part which genuinely frightens me. The safety of people I care about. The rest of it is something exceptional, and I don’t mind. A beautiful drama out the window, and one I plan to wander in, camera in hand, tomorrow. Stacks of candles, wine, good food, happy children, lots of books. The soundtrack will get ethereal; the music on will accompany our experience. My son escaped the dorm at BU, landing safely at his girlfriend’s on the last train yesterday. Time to put on my fuzziest socks and relax for our ride in this place.