I trust you all had wonderful, frisbee throwin’, back deck grillin’, smoked meat chompin’ fun packed yesterday as we celebrated our Independence. Please tell me you partied enough for the both of us, because this year we found our July 4th smack dab between a 64-hour power outage and vacation. To say we didn’t celebrate, would be accurate. Perhaps you heard, if you keep up with weathery news things, that a derecho flew right threw Washington D.C. Friday night at 10:30. PRIME baby-asleep-we-can-party-hardy-all-night-long-for-two-hours-before-hitting-the-sack time. It had us scrambling throughout our half disheveled house (construction finally underway for a pantry, and folks, I’ve been swooning at the single shelf that has been nailed in almost a month ago as things keep delaying further progress, but boy is it a perfect shelf) to find any spare half burnt (read: has the remotest chance of still catching on fire) candles strewn about the house.
It was one of the most random moments of my life. A slightly humid summer evening, with heat lightening in the distance. Muggy, with flicks of yellow amber glowing from lightning bug tushies and the rhythmic chirp from crickets. A slight rustle in the trees as an occasional sticky wind passed through their glossy leaves. No sooner did we schlep ourselves inside, put the baby to bed and sit down to determine how we would spend our last few precious Friday night hours than the storm came raging in full force. I’m pretty sure at one point I saw Toto fly by my bedroom window as I tried to predict which method — the rattling window and wall shaking wind, the lightning strikes eerily too close for comfort or the drenching monsoon tidal wave downpour that joined the assault — would destroy our little home. Then it stopped. Just as quickly as it started. And we were then left in a sans air conditioned, spoiling refrigerator, muggy, sweat house. Also, our house’s windows have no screens, and 92% can’t open either. Not that there was even a remote wind to carry us through the epic heat wave that landed on us exactly as the power grid was wiped blank. We were stuck. In humidness. With a baby. Who doesn’t understand what we mean when we say, “Sorry, honey. I know you’re hot, but we’ve got to keep at least the diaper on.” To boys, birthday suits are the bee’s knees.