Friday, December 1, 2006

Out of Touch

An old-fashioned snowstorm blew in the Monday after Thanksgiving , creating a fairytale setting, here in the San Juan Islands, a robin's egg sky, brilliant sun orchestrating a dazzling scene everywhere it touched. Every tree limb, bush and railing is covered thickly in a layer of powdery frosting. The house is filled with the smell of woodsmoke and lamp oil and the ticking of the grandfather clock. The power has been out for close to thirty hours now. There's nothing left of the twenty-first century: no internet, no telepone; the cell phone is on its dying gasp and the car is frozen solid. I've tramped up and down the neighborhood where the only news comes by word of mouth. Power has been restored in the hamlet of Eastsound. This is a major bulletin. Do I care? Not really. Tonight I'll have oil lamps to read by and propane to cook with and feather comforters for warmth, and in between there's a spectatular white world, the likes of which has not been seen here for a decade.