By Diane Silver
After almost eight hours without power, our electricity just came back on. To the anonymous utility repairperson who did this: Thank you so very much. You are my hero!
Meanwhile, the storm continues to ice my town of Lawrence, other Kansas locales, Missouri and the rest of the Midwest. The miracle of light and Internet access may or may not continue, so I'm getting this out while I can.
Before the lights went back on, I was sitting next to a candle. (I kid you not. I was hoping for a little heat and light as I scribbled with an ink pen onto good, old fashioned paper.) I was pulling my thoughts together for a new essay.
After a moment of concentration, though, I dropped the paying work and started a blog post (the pen-and-paper kind) about the ice storm. Focus didn't seem to be my strong point this morning, so here are a few chilly thoughts from earlier today.
No power. No heat. No TV. One working portable radio. We went from being a wireless house with 24-hour online access to no Internet at all because the router needs electricity to work. We can't cook (electric stove), can't microwave food, of course.
I'm wearing long pants, running shoes, a turtleneck, a thick cable-knit sweater, a fleece jacket and have a blanket on my lap and a pillow on top of that. The pillow is supposed to act as a laptop desk, but I'm hoping for more warmth, and yes, I'm still cold. I warm my fingertips on the candle.
I'm within sight of the digital thermostat -- a ridiculously 21st Century device in a 18th Century situation. The thermostat is methodically ticking downward, losing one degree an hour. We're at 58 degrees right now.
Outside my picture window, a FedEx truck speeds by, a mail truck rolls up and parks down the street -- all very 21st Century, but I'm wondering if another candle will provide more heat. My 80-year-old mother lives with me, and I keep trying to figure out when we should brave the ice to get her to a heated house.
Not to seem too dramatic, but this weird mix of 21st and 18th centuries makes me a tad uneasy.
And then the lights came on. I did a happy dance, turned on the computer, and here I am -- warm, bathed in yellow light and once again communing with the world.
PHOTOS: The view from my front porch, including a cedar tree that stood tall and straight before the ice got it.