Yesterday, a bit before noon, a flicker of movement outside my office window caught my eye. A bird? No, it was a yellow-gold leaf, spinning and dancing in the wind.
A leaf in the air in November isn’t unusual, of course, but my office is on the eleventh floor. Leaves normally fall down, not up eleven stories!
From my office window, evidence of the massive windstorm sweeping through our area was pretty small – the leaves fluttering up from far below, the tarps strapped to the building under construction across the street, flapping in the wind. You just can’t see much of nature happening from high up in a building, in an urban landscape. I’m sure the skyscrapers do sway a bit in the wind, but I couldn’t see it. Not the way you see trees bending and dipping in the wind from the ground.
Renee texted me around 1:30 that power had gone out at our house.
By the time I left work, the storm had mostly cleared from downtown Seattle. I could see a few streaks of blue sky. The commute home seemed normal at first, with congestion in few typical spots. Then my bus began slowing down, even though we were in the express lanes that normally zip right along. That’s when I guessed that the stoplights in the area were out, so the various exit ramps were backing up. We slowly inched up our exit ramp, I got off the bus with a herd of other commuters, and we wove our way through the dark Park and Ride lot to our cars, the only light coming from headlights.
We hunkered in at the house, running our new gas fireplace for heat (the kittens stretched in front of it, trying to hog all the heat). We had spaghetti with sauce from a jar because we could cook it in the dark on the gas stove and we didn’t need to open the refrigerator too many times. We used a battery powered table-top lantern from the camping gear and candles up on the mantle. I helped Renee finish editing a paper for school…but without Internet, we had no way to submit it. Hopefully her teachers will be understanding.
When I stepped out on the back deck to convince the dogs to do their last visit outside before bed, I was surprised at the mostly clear sky and the abundance of stars.
I pulled a solar battery pack out of the camper and recharged my phone with power drawn from the Montana sun back in July, when we camped in the Rocky Mountain Front.
This morning, I brewed coffee with a single-cup filter and hot water, and ate breakfast in front of the gas fireplace before getting dressed with the help of a headlamp. That camping gear can really come in handy.
It was a bit surreal driving out of our dark neighborhood and into an area with power…and then on the bus into Seattle, which looked as though nothing had happened.
Our power came back on around noon.
During an early afternoon meeting, I looked out the conference room windows at Puget Sound. A sailboat drifted by. Two ferries passed by each other.
No signs of the storm that knocked out power to 200,000 people.
I did not notice any high-flying leaves outside my office today.