Sunday, December 21, 2008

In the Bleak Midwinter

This is a beautiful song, often rendered by choirs in reverberating chapels with vaulted arches lost to sight high up in the darkness. This is a unpretentious and straightforward rendering by a woman with a simple but affecting manner.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I See Whether

Perhaps you heard about the ice storm that swept through NH last Thursday night.

Our power disappeared about 11:00 p.m. Thursday night and was not seen again for almost 3 days. It returned from it’s vacation around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. We are among the lucky ones. As of Monday morning almost 160,000 people were still without power. 

Ice storms are strange beasts. It’s is warm enough aloft to rain, cold enough below so that what water hit the surface soon freezes. The ice builds up layer on layer, coating everything: roads, rocks, cars, houses, grass and trees. When it collects on trees, it bends them, breaks them, and all that breaking and bending wreaks havoc with the power grid as the trees drop and lean on the power lines. Unless you have a wood burning stove, no electric power means no heat, as the furnaces all require electricity to operate. When the temps drop to the single digits, as they did Friday and Saturday night, you may see frozen and burst pipes, and all manner of other mayhem.

We managed the crisis by moving in temporarily with some friends who had an electric generator, and then moving the generator around to 4 different houses, just enough to run the furnace to heat the pipes and keep things from freezing. The girls thought it was all a lark, as they got to spend two days sleeping over with their friends. I guess that’s good. The grown ups spent some time drinking wine and chatting, but mostly just got by managing a merged household with 6 girls.

The photos here don't show it, but there were too many trees down to count, and that's just the ones that could be seen from the road -- or more correctly stated, the ones that were lying in, on, across or near the road. Oak branches broken and hanging akimbo. Birches leaning and draping themselves across that way as if much too tired. Shattered pine tops hanging from power lines, or the remains lying smashed on the ice covered pavement. Hard to imagine how much more deadfall litters the floor of the woods. I was listening to it come down Thursday morning, smashing and tinkling as the branches would break and careen to the ground along with their glassy coatings.

In just getting to our friend's house, I had to drive under at least 2 downed lines that were hanging diagonally across the road, not touching the road, but blocking off one side. It's remarkable that the damage wasn't worse. From what I've seen, our area got off fairly easy compared to the southwestern part of the state. 

Today (Monday) temps approached 50 degrees outside. Go figure.

There’s still over 100,000 people without power. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I am going to keep this brief this morning, though I expect I will post more on this later.

I received word this morning, about 3:45 a.m., that my Mom passed away. I had seen her yesterday, exchanged a few words (all she could manage), held her hand while she slept, and told her several times that I love her. She was 87 years old. Dementia had been stealing off with much of her memory for years, and the cancer that had started more than a decade ago has been raging through her for about a year now. In spite of this, because of the good work of faithful people she has been comfortable and content, and her passing was quiet.

It was time. I am thankful for her life, and the life she imparted to me. I am grateful for the love the she gave me and the love that she taught me.

I live in expectation of the resurrection.