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March Madness

4:45, that's what the clock said for what seemed like a very long time.

The day began somewhat gloomy with a few hours of relative calm. I needed both gas and groceries (you'll recall the bare cupboards), so I got those errands done early. On my way home from Publix, I stopped at Lois's house to see if the poppies were up. As a matter of fact, they were. Lovely. Even more lovely though were her irises in the back yard which she implored me to go see for myself. Oh my! She was not kidding! I took a few photos before saying I might be back later after unloading the groceries that needed refrigeration. While putting away some fresh milk, I recalled someone telling me that I could make something cool with food coloring in milk, so rather than throw away the expired milk, I put it to artistic use.
Pretty neat, huh? Hurray for a new idea to play around with! I've sold both of the small canvases I had of the food coloring, oil, and water which has spurred me on to experiment. Anyway, after lunch, I was looking at this
when Matt rang through on the computer. Bruce and I are hoping to finally make a trip to England to see Matt, which as it turns out, may be just in time for his 35th (!!!!) birthday. After catching up on his Singapore/Hong Kong trip, Tom's family, and of course, an evaluation of my new hair, we began to discuss what we might do while there. Originally Matt was thinking the Lakes district might be nice, however, the longer we talked, other ideas emerged. Last summer he did a mini tour of England by bus, visiting Stonehenge which intrigued me after he raved about the experience. Searching the web, he found some cabins in the Forest of Dean which seem ideal. Lots of ideas came pouring out, a very pleasant way to spend a gloomy Wednesday afternoon, for sure.

While chatting, it began raining, slowly at first, but then I looked up to see the rain pouring through the open window in my office, a rare sighting because our home, built in 1960, has very wide eaves to shade the house from the sun. I quickly ran into our bedroom to shut that window as well. Soon thereafter, the thunder and lightening was so loud, Matt could hear it all the way in London! And then, the power went out. 4:45 the clock read.

Moseying out to the living area I looked out back to see what was going on. Lots, as it turns out. While Matt and I were visiting, Tom, our pool guy was here, cleaning the pool, which, by the time I went outside, you would have never guessed he'd been here.
As you can see,  there is something in the pool that does not belong there. Why yes, it is a piece of the outdoor furniture, blown there by the ferocious winds. Here's a look at what was earlier a lovely clean front porch. Whoops! Never mind, I forgot to upload that one. How about this one showing the winds, which according to reports was 60 mph:
Not great, but you get the idea. It goes without saying that I am very happy now that the tree limb fell on a nice calm day forcing us to remove the tree. I hate to think what a weak tree would have done under yesterday's circumstances. According to people I spoke with there were downed trees all over! 60 mph winds will do that you know. The palms out back are the sturdy sort, blowing, bending, but never breaking.
Now, you and I both know that the television weather folks will hype anything, however, they missed their opportunity on this storm, saying it would rain, with no mention of what felt like a mini-hurricane!

Eventually, the rain stopped, allowing me to assess the consequences. Because I had no power, I couldn't peruse the websites of the travel plans, so I went out back to clean the debris out of the pool. Thinking the power would return any time, I then went and picked up the tree branches strewn all over the front yard. Still no power. David called, we chatted, his power was out as well. Angela called, no power. The daylight hours were waning. Bruce called while driving to Syracuse. I told him about the storm and he suggested I go get something to eat. Surely, I said, the power would be on any time now.

It wasn't. Finally, I braved the messy roads in search of food. Because I don't eat out often the location I chose wasn't the best. I was hankering for something warm. Not to be--Jimmy John's has no warm sandwiches. Oh well. After eating by candlelight, I then shut the house up, climbed in bed with a handy little book light and read for a while. Still no power. Baxter and I decided to call it a night.

It was the sound of the pool pump coming on that woke me up. Rolling over, I saw the digital clock by the bed flashing 12:00. My cell phone, which fortunately I'd charged yesterday morning, told me it was 1:00. I'll tell you what, I can't remember any time that the power was ever out this long. I kept thinking about those poor Japanese people--they would have been delighted had their only inconvenience been no power for eight hours! I'm unsure if our new underground power, once it's active, will make this the last time we have to manage without power. Good grief, there sure are a lot of "I's" in this paragraph!

After falling back to sleep, the next sound that awoke me was the sprinklers coming on in the middle of yet another round of rain. As I type this, the wind has once again died down but you'd swear it was early evening by the color of the sky. Allison and Trish both called to discuss our bridge meet up this morning, with all of us deciding that driving in this weather unnecessarily is not a good idea.

Finally, a timely anecdote. Angela, is 43 years old, old enough to be much savvier than I, but not as tech savvy as our children. One of her calls during the black out was asking me to look up the phone number to Tijuana Flats because she knows I still have a phone book. Our children, a decade younger, have an app for that.

We are experiencing our own March Madness around here, here's hoping it will be over soon, in time for both the twins 32nd (yikes again!) birthday tomorrow and a little weekend getaway Bruce and I are planning.
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