March 15, 2011

Chilly Sunday

Our first winter storm without a wood stove since 1979! Actually, our new home has a small wood stove – we just don’t have firewood for it yet. As the temperature in the house started to drop Sunday, I stood in front of the sad cold little stove and began formulating a plan for how my husband and I would stay warm during the night. He was napping on the couch all wrapped up in a blanket while I quietly pondered our chances of survival.

I could walk down the street and ask Herb for an armload of wood, but we have not tried the stove and there are branches that need clearing away from the roof and the stove is so tiny it likely would not accommodate the length of Herb’s firewood and I am not sure Jerry would feel good about asking for it and I AM sure he would rather I not wake him to discuss his plan for what we will do if the electricity doesn’t come back on before bedtime.

We could sleep in all our clothes, coats and blankets piled up. We’re campers, we can figure out how to stay warm.

The second problem was our evening meal. I pulled out a chilled baked potato with the thought that though I could not cook I could at least warm pre-cooked food in the microwave. When I rubbed my forehead to facilitate clearer thinking I realized that would require electricity as well, ahem. I found the slab of left-over venison steak and cut it up into tiny pieces because it was difficult to chew.

I had kept one oil lamp from our move and a box full of candles. I found the flashlight and matches and laid these things out on the counter.

All during our “no electricity” hours I felt I was walking in a shadow of the earthquake/tsunami victims in Japan and found myself thinking and praying about them almost hourly. Many of them would have loved to share my cold potato and tough steak, and I would have loved to offer it—along with my friendship and warm blankets.


March 2, 2011

A Warm Tour of Junction City

I headed out the door determined to be prepared for more icy blastiness but could not make myself put on a coat. I settled for my fleece and a pair of gloves, and even decided to leave my hat at home. Just a matter of days and the western Oregon tug-of-war between winter and spring was pulling us the other direction!

Within minutes I was downtown walking by Pillar to Post and waving at Jamie inside. I passed my husband’s truck parked outside the barber shop and stepped into the city building to pay my bill. Just across the street I checked out the library (I actually did not check anything out there, though) and signed up for a library card. I didn’t spend much time perusing the racks because I didn’t want to find anything I’d have to carry around town.

Birds were chirping and two cats were leaning on the glass in the sunshine to warm their fluffy selves as I passed by. Yellow daffodils were exposing their faces and short purple crocuses, some with snow still on them, reminded me of my failures to grow bulbs of my own. Good thing the previous owner of our home planted plenty!

I stepped into Goodwill to see if anything interesting had hit the shelves since last week. Later on I passed the new storefront they are moving to with a grin on my face. Months ago I commented that Goodwill would need to open another store because of the truckloads we donated when we moved. I could imagine taking a little credit for their expansion, I guess. They plan to open the new store March 17.

Jerry met me at Safeway where we loaded a few groceries into his truck. How fun that he gave me a little toot on his horn as he passed me. We parted ways because he needed to get back to his studies and I wanted more walking time. (I’m determined to strengthen my knees and get to know my new city better.)

I crossed the railroad tracks and spoke with the workers holding signs. Nearing home I turned around to look up into the sky and the cloud formation took my breath away. I’ve always been easily impressed by clouds, but this was remarkable. Lumpy and fluffy grays and silver, all at the same time, with sunlight coming through like a glowing eye.

Thanks for some moments of springtime, God!