Let There Be Light Post

Part 1 (Note:  Written 12/1/11 and posted on 12/2/11 after power came on.)
The ill wind I wrote about swept through So Cal like the evil witch with the tail of her broom dragging and smashing everything it touched. It was soooo loud! The avocado tree in the back yard shook and swung about like it was possessed. Couldn't see the huge live oak in front since it was pitch black.

The power was snuffed out around 11 p.m. for my neighborhood. My internet connection with Verizon went down first and then everything else followed. We were all plunged into the inky blackness together.

It reminded me of a similar windstorm when we lived up in the foothills of La Canada about 15 years ago. The same howling banshee winds snapped gigantic trees like they were toothpicks. A towering parrot flower tree, with a trunk too big to get your arms around was twisted like a child's top and we heard an explosion. In the light of the morning we found it's grain burst revealing a huge vertical crack that ran the full length of the tree. Sadly, we learned there was no way to save it.

Back to the current day. Luckily, I'd just purchased a new hi-intensity little flashlight for emergencies and had another flashlight on my nightstand to make maneuvering at night easier.

The power was out in a 20 mile radius. Little did anyone know how far this destruction really reached. Most of LA county was hit. I vowed that my first purchase after this would be a battery operated radio. With no heat, I decided it was bedtime and was off to sleep and warmth under three quilts including Valborg's silk one on the very top. Mmm, toasty!

Part 2
This morning, no power. This did not bode well. The one thing I took seriously in Girl Scouts was their motto:  Be Prepared. I was. Well, almost. Five years ago I picked up a retro-Coleman camping lantern. No, not for camping, bite your tongue! Emergencies like earthquakes.

The word "battery" was on the label so I presumed it came with one. Having never had the need for it, I never opened the box. Surprise, surprise...no battery. Swell. Even worse it needed eight, yes, 8 size "D" batteries. I had AA and AAA batteries, yes, but D? No.
Poor tomato plants, snapped.
Sitting at my desk, looking at a blank monitor, I was bored out of my mind. I pulled out a pad of paper and began writing. 

My neighbors across the street and in the house behind me both called to check on me which I was so thankful for. Fortunately we were all fine. Both the trees made it through intact, thank goodness, the avocado flinging about 10-12 pieces of fruit to the ground. Picked them up. I'll be trading them for some Meyer lemons. About 30 feet of 6 foot wooden fencing on the property to the West of me blew down...the one separating the two houses. 
Note missing fence on the other side of my fence (in the foreground)
Around 3 p.m., it dawned on me that I'd better go out and get some provisions since I did not want to open the fridge or freezer...I was hoping to avoid spoilage that way. Why I sat around writing how bored I was vs. going out earlier, I'll never know.

While out, I found a number of huge trees blocking roads, on top of cars and debris was blown into piles everywhere. Other than no power and a big old mess, this block seemed to survive it pretty well.
Avocado leaves all over the yard along with a palm frond or two.
Decided to hit Trader Joe's for salads and a bottle of cabernet. Concluded that every store in the neighborhood would be wiped out of batteries, so decided to take surface streets out to Costco. It was a slow drive, everyone was being very polite and cautious since all traffic lights were out.

At Costco, I found and bought 2-12 packs of "D" batteries and a set of three high intensity lights (see what I mean...be prepared). Everyone was so nice, of course we were all in the same boat and there on the same mission.

Wound up comparing notes with a gentleman who was also picking up flashlights. We lived in the same city. A woman passing by stopped to grab two packs and overhearing us, said she'd heard there'd be no power till Saturday! Yikes! Sampled some delicious smoked salmon and pork tamales but resisted the urge to buy them because of the power problem. 

When I left, I wanted something warm and was going to get one of their hot dogs, the best. They use Vienna Red Hots and sesame seed buns. You can top with relish, onions, catsup or mustard, just like being in the Midwest, yummy. But it seemed like everyone else had the same idea. So I left, it was dark and my knee hurt.

Drove into Subway near my house but it was packed, so went on to McDonald's...closed. Continuing I went to the next Subway but it was dark. At that point I gave up and went back home. Made due with one of the salads I'd purchased and an orange. Enjoyed a little Cabernet once I got the lantern full of batteries...hallelujah, light!!! I decided it was nothing short of a miracle. You never appreciate what you have till it's gone!

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