When I was in grad school, my mentor asked me why I felt I always had to be strong. I thought it was a ridiculous question – I had two pre-schoolers, a difficult marriage from which I was extricating myself, no job, no proximate support system – uh, what were my choices? Wise fellow that he was, he then rhetorically posited – ‘Isn’t it possible for someone to be both strong and weak? Aren’t there risks you run in being either one or the other?”
I loved that guy.
So here I am in the ridiculously, unforgivably hot and humid suburbs outside Washington, D.C., trying to remember what it was like last Friday, when we had power. Some irate storm tore through here on a whim, arbitrarily kicking down power line after power line. I’m not sure what the storm was so annoyed about – my hunch is it needed an attention. It got it. Initially in its wake, there were some amusing moments. The only open Starbucks within miles had a line that slithered around the shopping center by 7:00AM Saturday morning. We were all jolly enough – smiling indulgently at the babies in pajamas still dozing on their parents’ shoulders, the weary comparisons between strangers “have you heard when the power is coming back on?”, the snarky looks at people asking for two venti triple-soy-no foam-lattes, with one and three-quarter pumps of hazelnut (really? there are six hundred people out here). There was a run on gallon jugs of any kind of water so that people could flush their toilets (many of us are on well water – you get the picture), bags of ice and an abundance of good humor.
It’s been four days and counting. No one is smiling. There are some assurances that everyone will have power restored by Friday. We have so lowered the bar when it comes to our expectations it’s ridiculous. That’s a post for another day. Suffice it to say, I haven’t seen one truck on any of our major roads, let alone our neighborhood. I guess they’re starting farther out and working their way in. Happily, my son and daughter-in-law got their power back last night, so I am sitting in comfort at their house, happily connected and soooo thankful that the Sirs have stopped panting. They of course are so wiped out, they’re snoring (which in dogs is kind of cute, in husbands not nearly as endearing).
I am strong – and I’m a wimp. I don’t do heat well, and humidity even worse. My fingers look like Viennese sausages, my joints look…gross. Let’s not even talk about this oily slick that covers my skin, not necessarily an attractive glow per se. It makes my shorts cling to me – and I don’t even like my shorts that much. My flip flops don’t flip or flop – they’re glued to the soles of my feet. When I left my house to drive over here, it was 96 degrees upstairs and a balmy 88 on the main floor. I want my power restored. The frozen food melted all over the kitchen floor yesterday – I want to refill the coffers. I want my house back. Don’t get me wrong – I am beyond grateful that my kids are here – they are gracious and loving and wonderful. But I’m fried – literally. And when the customer service person told me (after being on hold for twenty minutes) that we weren’t even on the repair list yet – I lost it. I know that my mom would have referred to these as ‘silken worries’, but she was wrong. Deny a person sufficient sleep and food while seated in a sauna and you can wear a body out.
I did learn a few things though (hey, it’s me, when don’t I learn something…amazing to be this old, and find a lesson in almost everything). I learned that people you’ve never met can matter more than you could ever imagine. Rhonda, Lori, David – thank you for being my friends – in whatever universe we have found ourselves. I only hope I can return the favor by telling you that I keep you in my thoughts pretty damn regularly – and they’re all good thoughts. My sister who graciously confirmed for me that I AM royalty – or at least “royally pissed off” made me laugh while I was hiccuping with sobs. Allie and Angus – ‘hang in there hugs’ that inclined me to do so. Aaron – who called at just the right time and said just the right things to his mom. Matt and Liezel who told me I was being ridiculous about my hesitation to invade their home – with the dogs. My kids – my heart and soul. I remembered that there is beauty in silence – unless you have tinnitis. And of no less importance – for all the really ugly behavior that we see or read about everyday, there are still some really cool people out there. And friends of course are cooler still – regardless of what the thermometer reads. Happy to be back among the blogging…
37 thoughts on “WonderWoman – Not”
Very happy you returned to us. It is really difficult for me to imagine a modern city like DC without gas and power. But I know that nature is stronger than anything we can establish. Wonderful that you have family to give you support. And so good to hear that there is still solidarity between fellow citizens, even if they don’t know one another. This is a very nice post.
almost forgot to say, that I loved that picture of the dog getting a bit of a breeze from the fan.
Me too! It gave me a smile – glad it gave you one too..
Thank you Shimon. You are right of course – nature is stronger than anything we do to protect ourselves from its harsher moments. I’m still thinking about your post on Happiness, and look forward to your thoughts on spirituality…
Hi Mimi, glad to hear from you, your posts were missed. Thank you for the update on D.C. And the outage. My sweet Aunt is in Silversprings and the last I heard from her was Sunday a.m. She was at the local Wholefoods where she was able to plug her IPhone in for a few minutes to send me a text stating she was okay. She said there were literally dozens of people waiting to plug in there. I hope the power is restored sooner than later for you all…sending good thoughts your way!
Hi Tina – thank you! It’s good to be back, though I look forward to being able to write in my home. I hope your aunt has better success with her power restoration than we’ve had so far…Fingers crossed…:-)
Oh Mim…you are priceless and I’m with you…I thank the blogging gods for bringing your truck into my driveway. So very thankful. First of all, I laughed…many times, but hardest I think at the picture of your clingy shorts. You would have thought they could have picked a better time and place to make a pass. Love you Mim and so glad you can at least say the days’ grime is gone for now. Power prayers for the power people to get the pole outta their butts and get a movin’. You ARE wonderwoman…ity bity but wonderwoman all the same.
Wow our timing is so in sync – my sister just wrote to tell me how much she liked the line about Starbucks…I told her I liked the line about my shorts! It’s true – they have developed a relationship with me that is waaaay too close. Love you too and thank you so much for bringing me karma I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to have…
And yes, the grime is off for now – and I actually can stand being in the same room with myself..xoxo
I’ve been thinking about you. That sounded like a terrible doozy of a storm. We missed youand ae glad you’re back!
Thanks – I missed reading your posts and comments too!! Can’t wait for this doozy of a week to be over (though I hate to push time away – this is gettin’ crazy)…Happy to be back..:-)
it is so good to have your blog back! You’re marvelous…even half baked!
That’s me – and you know me well my friend!! And that’s on a good day!!
I’m really sorry 😦 my husband works for OG&E (electric co.) here in Oklahoma. They shipped out most of their crews (on Saturday) to help with the severe overload of outages. I remember going through a week without power and water I was at my wits end. Good grief! Your positivity and humor is just astounding and wonderful though! Praying your lights are restored soon!
Thank you! And thank you for your post today – it was such a wonderful boost!! Much appreciation to your husband and his colleagues…:-)
She’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaack…fingers and toes like Vienna sausages, we love it all! It was so quiet out here in blogosphere without your perky chirping each morning. Look at the bright side, there you sit adjacent to the Nation’s Capitol, marinating — living like a savage – it’s all part of the grander scheme. And you have a front seat!
Lol..and the grander scheme is???? No don’t tell me, if this is what’s needed to prepare I think I’m moving to Australia.
It happened to us this Fall with the October snowstorm. And, like you, I did find a few things to be grateful for:
Remain strong. I know you can do it!
🙂 thanks, she says wiltingly…
I was wondering how you were on the power situation. I am glad you (and the dogs) have a place to be comfortable. I hope you can go home soon!
me too!! Thanks!
Gotta tell ya, Mimi, it was the “royally pissed off” line that sent me into a spasm of giggles. I know how miserable it can get without power–we had it at the other end of the spectrum a couple of years ago when a big snow storm took us “off the grid” for 10 days. The first day or two is kind of romantic, snuggling up in front of the fire with your honey and your hounds, but when the thermometer in the living room reads 40 degrees and ya haven’t had a hot cup of coffee for days, well, let’s just say the novelty wears off. ;-). So glad that your son and his wife got power back so that you and the boys could get a break. Sending you BIG hugs, my friend! You’re plowing through with your panache intact! 🙂
If you saw me now Lori, you’d wonder where the panache went…I think it dripped off while I melted a few more inches. You raise a hellish thought – no coffee??? I don’t do ‘cuddle’ before coffee – it’s a rule (well, a breakable one but a rule). Maybe today will be the lucky day and we can go home, re-stock the fridge and get back to pseudo-normal. Thank you thank you thank you for checking in these last few days! hugs, m
Fingers crossed that today’s the day! Xoxo
Well looks like it won’t be today either …I’d say something really inappropriate right here, but I’m not even sure how to spell all the words I’m thinking if they were strung together into one extended epithet…
Oh crap, Mimi, I am SO sorry!! I know how old this must be getting. Do you and the sirs know anyone with a pool perchance? Sending you waves of cooling breezes in my mind….
Boy, do I appreciate the cool breezes..thanks for sending! 🙂 We actually have a pool, though the boys don’t like it. I carried Sir Theodore in the other day, and he enjoyed the result far more than the experience itself. Andy took Sir Arch – who was really irate that he would be taken against his will 🙂 Though – once he realized that he was cool, he too appreciated the trauma of being placed on the first step and having water gently trickled down his fur. He is not – to say the least – intrepid. 🙂
I suddenly realized that I hadn’t received a post from you in awhile and my first thought was maybe the daily emails were becoming too much for you. But no! You actually couldn’t post. Wow, I do know what you’re going through; been there several times. It’s tough, but think how much you will appreciate having power again! And of course, it’s always wonderful how people come together in those circumstances. I’m sure you haven’t been able to read my last two posts about my nightmare, weekend wedding trip (where I was stuck in DC). Nothing like what you’ve been through but still, it was Planes, Trains and Automobiles for me . . . and then my husband and son got it on the way home again! Craziness in the air over the past two weeks for many people I know. Hang in there 🙂
The mere inclusion of planes, trains and automobiles in one sentence is enough to make one want a tranquilizer! I can’t imagine, but since you ended your comments with a smile, I’m hoping it all worked out ok..
You my friend are so biased – and I am so grateful…We now have power back, so once the house cools off I may actually return to some semblance of myself!
Yeah!! You have power!! :-). Wishing you and the sirs a cool, relaxing evening and a restful night….hugs, L
We just got back from the first supermarket expedition…:-) The Sirs are sprawled out on the kitchen floor even though it’s still 84 degrees in here. Don’t get me wrong – I’m SO happy we’re back home (as much as I love my kids)…Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to write something coherent! Hugs, me
I loved it ” why can’t one be strong and weak both’ in trying to be strong always we overwork our self.
Thank you – so true – and we deny ourselves the time to recoup and regain our energies..
It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this article as well as from our dialogue made at this time.