So on Sunday, we had a fierce thunderstorm that knocked out the power in our neighborhood from about 3:30 or 4pm in the afternoon until 10 am Monday morning. I was on the computer when powerful wind gusts started whipping around the trees outside my window. The lights flickered and went out almost immediately. And then the thunder, lightning and pouring rain came.
I paced in the apartment, sure that there was a tornado warning out. The storm itself was very quick and when it left, there was half of a tree on another resident’s car, the windshield all smashed in.
With the power still out, I managed to finish the book I was reading (Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones) by planting a folding chair by the sliding glass doors as the sun set. I could see other residents in the complex moving about their apartments with flashlights, and as in our apartment, the flickering of burning candles.
The next morning, I woke up early, as I tend to do when something isn’t normal, such as there still not being any power. Where I work still had power, but I knew from my battery-powered shower radio that lots of traffic lights were not working. It was a very interesting commute to say the least.
I go through about twelve traffic lights on my way to work and only the last two were working. Police were at a couple of intersections, but mostly it was a bunch of beleaguered drivers trying to remember how the rules of a four-way stop work in large intersections with three or four lanes of traffic.
I’m glad we got our power back on Monday though – apparently others in the area are still without power even now!
I’ll be glad to get away from the D.C. area humidity and craziness when I fly tomorrow to Maine. Yes! It’s vacation time! As in: two weeks in Maine, which is where I’m originally from. I’ll be staying at my parents’ home, going hiking, sea kayaking, seeing friends who are up there, and maybe even attending my 10-year high school reunion (yikes!).
But of course, you bookish people must be wondering, will I be doing any reading? And the answer is oh yes absolutely.
Last summer, I almost perfectly calculated the amount of books to bring with me. We’ll see how I do this time. I am bringing:
Blood Cross by Faith Hunter
– 2nd book of a cool urban fantasy series I discovered this year
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
– I’ve heard nothing but praise about this sci-fi author
Evia by Sara Wheeler
– Wheeler is a travel writer and the author of the Terra Incognita which I read earlier this year. Evia is a Greek island. Sounds like perfect summer vacation reading to me!
And then I’m getting all ambitious about my “Read 19 Books older than I am” challenge:
A book of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays, including “Self-Reliance” which I remember loving in high school
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
– I think this should be a good summer read.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
– I had actually first picked Great Expectations for the list but I find myself more drawn to Our Mutual Friend. It probably helps that I really liked the 1998 miniseries adaptation of Our Mutual Friend. This was Dickens’ last novel.
Now of course, including a tome like Our Mutual Friend is a risky move. Reading Dickens is a risky move as I loved Bleak House but hated David Copperfield. So we’ll see.
And because the Middlemarch readalong, hosted by Nymeth of things mean a lot is at the end of August, that book will be also in my bag, just to see if I can get a start on it. Now that, I’ll admit, may be wishful thinking. (I am determined to read my “19 Books Older than I am” list in chronological order, so that is why I’m waiting to read Middlemarch until the others are done.)
So there you have it. Now I probably will post some while I’m on vacation, so next time you’ll hear from me, it will be from up north. Can’t wait!