No Lights but our Own

The storm brought everyone outside: neighbors checking on each other, comparing notes, tsk-ing, and wondering at the downed trees, the debris-strewn street. I managed to sneak a post yesterday before ComEd shut everything down so they could address live wires and blown transformers. (Photos in yesterday’s post.)

ABC News reported that there were 215,000 Chicagoans without power this morning. I’ll tell you how we spent our evening. We’re one of the suburbs just west of Chicago. It was a very quiet night. With no electricity, there wasn’t the hum of the fridge or the roar of central air. I came inside and my husband had lit all the candles and wall sconces he could find in our teeny brick bungalow. It struck me…I’m so used to the noises inside my house — the whir of the laptops — it’s sort of a relief to hear the quiet in our home.

I pulled our boy outside with his harp thinking that our neighborhood might enjoy a little home-made music. So he sat in his jammies jammin on his harp. *lol* Our awesome next-door-neighbors came over and B. played his silver trumpet. A duet of trumpet and harp, two boys adding peace to the ragged edges of the storm. They played a little “Paruparong Bukid” (Filipino folk song), “Star Wars”, “A Whole New World”, and did a sweet duet of “Twinkle-twinkle Little Star”.

It was nice to hang out with our neighbors on our front stoop, enjoying our boys, and their music. Don’t get me wrong. I did worry about whether the lack of our sump-pump would flood our basement or if the food in the fridge would all go bad and whether the the temperatures would soar the next day leaving us trapped in an pressure-cooker of a house.

But the aftermath of the storm brought its pleasures, too. The quiet of the night. The boys’ music. Conversation with neighbors. A certain relaxed pace. I fell asleep to the voices of the men next door trying to figure out if they could get the garage door up and working.

Best line I heard yesterday, hands down, came from two boys cruising our hood on foot to take in the devastation:

Boy #1: “Whoooaaa! Look at that!” (He points to our neighbor’s house engulfed in tree limbs.)

Boy #2: “Told you. It’s better’n’cable!”

See what can happen when we’re unplugged?


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