Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I've been telling myself I'd write about the big windstorm. It's one of the worst storms to hit this area in a very long time. They are now saying it's worse then the inauguration day storm. My power was out for 6 days. I still feel lucky, I have a woodstove and camping gear so I could have some warmth and cook. Friends let me use their showers. Neither my car nor home was damaged.

I feel hesitant to write about the experience. I was in bed during the storm. I actually slept some too. My small house is surrounded by trees. I pondered where was safest to sleep and decided that I wasn't going to sleep in the tiny hallway or bathroom, so I climbed into bed and hoped for the best. For me the story is more about having no power and I was well equipped for that. I guess that's why I feel I need to be careful with my words. I think of the people who died from the storm. Others have bigger or sadder or harder stories.

I also try hard to find the "simple gift" in what I write here. I could share my awe of the power of wind. It's a good reminder that we humans are not so powerful as we think. That's not what stays with me this time. The first night of the blackout was also the first night of Chanukkah. I came to much greater appreciation of the idea of "festival of lights". Lighting candles is such a huge part of Judaism and in the dark nights that followed the storm the warm lights of the menorah became more then tradition. I spent nights bumbled around carrying flashlights and I realized just how wonderful electric lights are. I needed a flashlight to go to the store (and that was during the day), to the bathroom, to cook, etc. Each night though, I lit the menorah and sat and watched the warm, lively glow. Each night as candles were added the light got brighter. There was comfort in that. The novelty of the blackout had long warn off but the nights were getting brighter.

Just a few blocks from my house
Taken 2 days after the storm

In town
Taken 2 days after the storm

Local Roads - Roads were blocked for many days

Taken with my camera phone
The trees are hanging on power lines and I watched cars driving through

The road I normally drive to work
It took 5 days for them to clear it

Dark and cold
The sound and smell of generators
No phones (not even cell)
Shopping in the dark
Long lines and limited supplies
Cold water
How wonderful a warm shower felt
The menorah lighting my house
Quiet house


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