Yesterday I was home watching the Bengals game when the remnants of hurricane Ike arrived in Cincinnati. The wind was 4o MPH with gusts of up to 75 MPH. It didn't take long for the power to go out, saving us from watching the Bengals get blown out (if only I had been saved from watching OSU the night before).
We watched and listened to the wind....saw tree branches fall...saw the big tree on our deck split and take out part of the deck railing and the Weber Kettle grill. We went out and visited the neighbors who were randomly walking around looking at the damage, talking about who had lost trees and how close they come to whose car or house....we had no rain to speak of, just wind...we comforted the neighbors cats who semed distressed by the weather...occassionally we decided it probably was safer indoors and went there until we got bored again. Fortunately there was no major damage in our neighborhood. We are so fortunate compared to so many in Texas.
I borrowed some batteries from the next door neighbor and fired up an old radio. We listened to some 70's music (Hnedrix, Zappa, Meatloaf, Fairport Covention ... an ecclectic mix which was chosen to fit the theme of a stormy day with no power. It was like FM radio we used to listen to back then - such a cool thing that Steely Dan even wrote a song about it.) We had no internet except what limited sites we could get on my Blackberry.
When it got dark we lit candles. Our neighbor was grilling his dinner...the wind had disappeared and it was getting cool, but still comfortable outside. We took some marshmallows, Hershey bars and graham crackers over there, along with some wine (a Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon, which pairs well with s'mores). When they finished dinner, they lit a big fire in their backyard fire pit. Some more neighbors showed up...adults, kids, dogs, everyone. We all sat around with the music, the s'mores, the wine and beer and soda. We talked to each other. It was a great evening.
Unfortunately, while 90% of Cincinnati is without power still, we have it downtown where I work. So I'd better get back to it.