Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Of Power Outages and Packed Coolers...

It's guaranteed to happen at least once a summer up there in Michigan! What may seem like a typical, warm summer day in the early morning hours isn't always the case, as it was once again demonstrated yesterday. The gentle rain that fell briefly about 6:30 a.m. suddenly gave way to violent wind bursts, and the mayhem had begun! After a word of caution from my neighbor, John, that I might want to put our outside blinds down as something ugly was heading our way, I casually did so, and not a moment too soon, either. The roar of the wind rushed straight down the lake, punching out anything that dared to be in its path. The thunder and lightning began their coordinated back-and-forth exchanges for the next hour or so, and then the power went out--then back on again, briefly, and then out completely.

It wouldn't be a summer at our cottage up there in Michigan, on one of the nicest lakes one can find, without a power outage of some kind. Most often, the power goes out and is back on again within an hour's time, but yesterday wasn't one of these "most often" occasions. The violence of the storm didn't last all that long. However, it managed to do a world of damage in the short time it raged, ranted, and reared its ugly head out over the water and the entire portion of our area. 

Afterwards, things actually brightened up and the air was clearer, fresher, and quite comfortable, but the power was still out and would remain "out" for who knew how long! We sustained no damage, and all cottages are still standing, and the tall and ancient trees remain--standing sentinel to the place. The other side of the lake, though, wasn't as fortunate. Many trees were uprooted and found some rooftops of houses and garages as resting places, taking down overhead power lines in the process. 

As the day wore on, and I realized that the power wasn't going to be back on anytime soon, I had a decision to make: Should I wait it out and hope that the power would return so the items in our freezer (fresh cherries picked from the orchard just last week, meat, etc.) wouldn't spoil? Or, should I go get some ice, load a large cooler up with all the stuff in the freezer and fridge and head for home, where I was going the next day anyway? I chose the latter, and all worked out fine. The cherries made it home to our freezer in the basement with no problems.

Once again the fact that a seemingly calm day can turn in a moment as the fury of the weather mounts incessantly, truly boggles the mind. It reminded me of that June night in the summer of 2009 when the storm, which featured a few violent micro bursts, took down a big tree on our lake shore, destroying most of our pier and ruining our 26-foot pontoon. Nothing like that happened in our immediate vicinity yesterday, of which I'm once more thankful, but I really feel for those folks across the way. I can appreciate how they are feeling right now: One minute summer is great and the joys of being at their summer home on the lake is the stuff of what dreams are made of; the next, they're at the mercy of the weather and watching their property sustain serious damage. Such is summer at our little spot "up there" in Michigan. Let's hope that's it for this summer's weather antics...down the road we go...MLA

p.s.-I received an e-mail from our neighbor, John, at the lake saying that the power came back on today at 10:30 a.m.--twenty-four hours after it disappeared! That's life at the lake!

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