Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Ice

My cold turned out to be a 24-hour virus, so I felt miraculously human and reprieved, but I spent the day at home anyway because I was unable to stand up outside. The ice storm continues: I tried to pretend it was only freezing rain, but it’s more and worse. It's supposed to continue tomorrow. I clung to the frozen shrubbery, skated sideways toward the sidewalk and tried to gain a foothold in the snow, then realized the snow was a sheet of ice and jumped towards the bushes again and pulled myself up the steps holding onto the ice-coated tentacles of branches. Even the threshold of our enclosed porch is icy.

A huge ice-encased branch crashed onto our roof. I heard something but thought it was a door banging. My husband came home and was extremely upset to find that the big tree next door had shaken off and tossed another branch onto our roof : this happens every couple of years and has been a great expense. He tried to haul it off with a rope--well, we could hardly use ladders--and naturally it didn’t work. We have to call the tree professionals tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy to find anybody since the whole city is a mess of fallen branches and trees. We have to be grateful that it didn’t go through the roof, no power lines are down, and we still have electricity. Parts of the city will be without power for days, and the western part of the state is a disaster area.

So we try to be laid-back.

I spent the day reading The Mill on the Floss, stunned by the clarity and beauty of Eliot's style. I like to have several books going on the side, but after Eliot I am now unable to read: (a) Ann Hood’s very charming novel, Somewhere off the Coast of Maine; (b) Rosamund Pilcher's popular family saga, The Shell-Seekers; and (c) Daddy-Long Legs (well, perhaps this isn’t a surprise, but I did enjoy this novel when I was eight).

I can, however, read Gail Godwin’s excellent new novel, Unfinished Desires, and Storm Jameson’s autobiography. I also read a little of a scholarly book about Virgil in case I find time to cram any literary criticism into our 30-minute segment on Virgil in my Latin class. (Doubtful.)

It’s a funny thing. When we moved back to the midwest, I thought the weather would be calmer. You know, bland. But it's been dramatic, one thing after another, floods, storms, tornadoes, blizzards, and ice.

Fewer power outages, though, which indicates the utility companies are better-run, because every time it thundered back in X, there was a power outage. There was lots of neighborly bitching on the stoop, sharing coffee from the old Melitta coffee maker, and yelling at every power truck that drove by: "When will you fix it?" It is truly depressing to sit in the dark at six and play 20 Questions, so I'm counting my blessings.

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