Wednesday, February 2, 2011


OH, GOOD GRIEF! I WAKE UP this morning to find the trees have thrown off their white garb and put on something absolutely see-through! It's sheer and sparkling and, actually, it's downright stunning! There is an eensy-teensy problem, however. Because some of them can't quite carry it off--one of them near my house, in particular--I also wake up to find that the house is cold. When I glance at the bedside clock, it has died. I discover the lights, too, have died in their sleep. I rush around the house--it's downright funereal in here, so many things have died! Aha, I see that the cell phone is still alive. I snatch it up and call the power company to inquire about resuscitation.

For the next few minutes I'm pressing one or saying "yes" and pressing two or saying "no" or pressing three and swearing (no, no, of course I'm not). I never once talk to a real human being, but by the time I hang up, that great electrical breast from which we've been feeding has been informed that the milk's not there! Overnight we have starved!

The disembodied voice has predicted that by eight o'clock in the evening things should be humming--and playing and working and running--come back to life. But as I peer down the hallway of time, geez, I nearly have to squint to see eight p.m. And the house is getting colder by the minute. So are my toes.

So first things first--I get myself a match.

And from the front porch, logs. Following that, the little shoes of Fire step in and try to fill the great big clodhoppers of Furnace. (I've stepped into shoes, too, but they're my own.)

My yard man comes inside the house. His office in the barn is a death parlor, as well. His cell phone is gasping it's last bit of life before the battery dies. And now--the astounding occurrence: it's the middle of the week, going toward the middle of the day, and we are just sitting! It is quiet, more peaceful than a Sunday afternoon. In the small sunny meadow of BTUs that Fire has spread out for us, we each read. After while the yard man, his legs stretched out, feet on the hassock, leans back in his chair and snores softly. I wonder if I'm in some kind of double time know, like the year might be 1880 and I'm 80 years old. I daydream about this for a while (well, only the part about the year being 1880).

But then the yard man wakes up with a start. "Let's go get something to eat!" he says. Just like that, we leave all the deceased items behind, including the dying embers in the fireplace, and rush out into the modern world!

We climb into our car that is so much more comfortable and so much faster than a horse-drawn vehicle, and we go have a very late lunch where there's heat and light and even internet access! Our car is such a marvel of modern technology that we can also browse in a bookstore for a while, go visit our dear Little Actor, and still get home before dark.

And even the dark doesn't have to be all that dark anymore because it's 2011, and when we get home--hallelujah--the milky power is flowing!


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