About three o'clock this afternoon, the weather changed. We've had rain, wonderful, slow, steady rain, over the past day or so; the kind that soaks into the soil and does not cause erosion. The kind that chickens and children want to play in. And the temperature has been warm enough for shorts.
This afternoon, after a brief period when the sun hinted that it might make an appearance, dark clouds appeared and I expected storms. Instead, the wind arose, and the remaining pine trees and hardwoods began folding over and rippling in the wind. Then the power went out. At first, it flashed off and came back on, and I could almost see a wayward tree branch applying pressure on the line, then lifting up. A few minutes later, I imagine, the branch snapped and took the line with it on its journey to the ground, because the electricity went off.
Even though I called the power company to report the outage, I still walked into darkened rooms and inexplicably flipped the switch to turn on the light. Habit is powerful. My bewildered two-year-old wondered why her fan turned off during the middle of her nap (I use a loud box fan to drown out the sounds of barking dogs and her yelling sister) and tried, in vain, to turn on the lights.
I am thankful we had all the trees near our buildings cut a few weeks ago. I did not have to worry about them falling onto the house. My girls, of course, thought the windy weather was great fun, and so I instructed them to stay away from the remaining trees in the woods in case branches decided to fall. Hours later, the wind continues to blow, and the temperature has dropped twenty degrees or more with such rapidity that I felt foolish, an hour after I left my home appropriately dressed for the weather, when a store clerk asked me why I was wearing shorts in the suddenly chilly temperatures.