Nature's power and quiet after the wind

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By The Staff

We knew this would end. No, not a death, but the end of the quiet and calmness after the storm. The birds were even quiet, the squirrels leery of getting out and about.

The deer were very jumpy. We were living without lights, running water and hot water. We could cook on an LP gas stove. Our neighbors couldn't, so we sent them boiling water for coffee. No showers, but generators running off and on in the distance.

The weather is perfect, no air conditioning or heat needed. We can live like this, for a while anyway. Only minor inconveniences until our electricity is restored. Life will go on as usual after it is back on. Slowing down and appreciating the small things make life and living very pleasant. You can make do with less than you have.

But the conveniences, well, they're convenient. Lights after dark. Yes, a flashlight will do the job. Flipping a switch is so much easier.

After the first night of waiting to do our usual after-dark stuff after dark, we decided to make sure to "shower" (a bucket of water on an outdoor table) before dark the next night. Inconvenient, but it works and we sleep better clean. Getting our next day's clothes out while it is still light outside, to save the flashlight batteries. Leaving us time to talk before falling asleep at our usual time, after a day of cutting and moving tree tops so the electric crew could get where they needed to repair our line and poles.

We have a freezer, so a generator was a necessity. Some very kind souls lent us the use of theirs with the remarks "glad that we have it and that you can use it." Don't you just love folks like that? We also had an elderly neighbor call to check on us. A joy to be around folks who are pleasant and kind rather than grouchy or grumpy.

On the morning of the fifth day without power, we had adjusted nicely and were enjoying the weather and the quiet. Spending so much time outside this time of year is a pleasure anyway. We have noticed fewer squirrels around the house since the storm. We had several calling the trees around our house "home and highway" before the wind. Our dogs have found one casualty, an adult grey squirrel and another so small, only one-and-a-half times the size of a field mouse (its eyes were not open yet). Squirrels do have young during "squirrel season."

Maybe it is time to move the season to the colder months. There also would be fewer ticks for the hunters

There were two very young squirrels out and about in the trees just above our heads, hanging from the tree limbs and fussing with each other, seeming to be watching us, as if we were the wildlife.

An adult squirrel came along and quickly went right between and past them and they followed her away. We knew it was her mother because you could see her "spigots."

She was teaching them for the future; you know a squirrel can never be too careful Even though we mean them no harm, others might.

The hummingbirds are visiting the flowers on our impatiens. We have not fed the hummingbirds for years now, having decided to go natural with flowers for them.

I think most folks don't take the time to keep their feeders clean and that spreads disease among the little guys. It also makes them dependent on us. What did they do for nectar before humans started to feed them? Flowers, of course. They seem to me to waste more energy guarding the feeders and fussing and fighting than they actually would seem to get from the homemade nectar.

One year we had an enormous amount of jewel weeds, a wildflower, blooming on our acreage around the first week of September. It was near my parents' wedding anniversary and they brought lawn chairs out to sit in front of the jewel weeds and watch the antics of the tiny birds. We assumed it to be a migration because there were so many. That was the first time I had heard the little chirping, squeaky noises they make. It was amazing having so many around you at a time. It was one of their most memorable anniversary presents.

Well, while writing this the "knights in shining armor" (the electric company repair crew) have shown up and are busily restoring things to right. I need to thank them for their long hours and expertise, maybe some baked goods to the warehouse are in order.

It shouldn't be long now before power is restored and life returns to normal. No more showers "al fresco." Oh, well, it was good while it lasted.

I think a nap on the porch swing is in order after they leave. I am worn out from all this fresh air.

Vann Hoosier lives in rural Tell City.