Saturday, December 16, 2006

Winter Storm ’06, again….


Geez, here I thought this was a food/travel blog, and I am finding that I want to post about the weather, again.

This post was supposed to be about the Apple Bread I made last weekend, reminiscent of the ol’ Crusty Loaf Bakery…may she rest her soul..but, instead, I am drawn to the fact that we pretty much had a Hurricane the other night.

Yesterday morning, I was less than smart, but a damn devoted employee. I decided to get an earlier start on my workday. It has been crazy busy and on Friday we were supposed to have a luncheon. Since business has been booming so much, the kitchen has like 20 new hires…well, more like 3…but the space is so narrow, that once the inflow of people commences, I find that I am squeezed out of my little corner of counter space, out of the ovens, moved from the range…it is a hard transition sometimes. I get so used to having the whole kitchen.. a place to spread out my doughs, mixers and tools…but, come noon, these beloved spaces fill up, and then, the spaces in between those spaces fill up too. My level of productivity seems to halt, when I find that I am skirting between, behind and below everyone, just to grab a mixing bowl, or just to get into the oven to grab a bubbling Pear Crisp.... SO, lately, every once in a while, I wake at an ungodly time (4:08am to be exact) just so I can have peace and space for that much longer, before the big guns come to squeeze the little pastry lady out..

Maybe I should prelude a bit now. So, on Thursday night, there was a Hurricane.
Well, maybe not a hurricane to be exact, but in some areas in the state, they did track ‘Hurricane Force’ Winds. There was a bit of wind, and some areas were hit worse than others. Luckily, we were spared in many ways. The two LARGE trees in our back yard didn’t come tumbling down, our basement wasn’t flooded and we didn’t lose our power. We were lucky. So, when I woke up on Friday, I didn’t really think anything was amiss. I preceded to get ready for my day, and then headed out the door to work..

I think I realized that something wasn’t quite right, when I drove about a block, and I realized that it seemed really dark out. Yes, I realize it was only 4:30, but it was SO dark. There were no streetlights on. Then, when I approached what normally is a stop light, it too was out. I turned onto a main throughfare, one that is usually tackily lit with signs for car dealerships, seedy bars, strip clubs and the like…and the eeriest thing, it was all dark. And, so I drove to work, in the dark, never having to stop once for a red light…or any light for that matter.

I turned onto the woodsy and curvy road that I normally take and when I saw a large tree completely blocking the left side of the road, I started to wonder if this ‘storm’ hadn’t been a little more serious than just a few non functional street lights.

I think that what I encountered next was something beyond anything that I have ever seen before. I can’t say that I have been in areas where many natural disasters have occurred before, (aside from the ’89 San Francisco earthquake)
but what made this so eerie and scary to me was that I felt like I was one of the first people to come on the scene of the storm aftermath. As I drove up the hill, I could barely see the road. It was completely blanketed with pine needles and tree branches. Every block or two, a downed tree would be blocking part of the roadway, and I would have to maneuver my way around it. I think what scared me the most was seeing the downed power lines just hanging limply on the side of the road, swaying in the wind. I then came to an intersection where the power lines were literally hanging about 10 feet above the ground. It was at this point that I knew that I was crazy. I mean, shit, I couldn’t believe what I was doing, just so I could get to work a little earlier, just so I could make a few cheesecakes and some bread. It really made me think. What I was going to do was really so trivial, compared to the fact that I was quite possibly putting my life in danger, just to get there. I pulled over into a parking lot at this point, because I really thought about just turning around. It so wasn’t worth it to be electrocuted, was it? I let a car pass and saw that he cut through the parking lot and was able to maneuver around the downed lines, and when I saw that he was ok, I followed suit. When I drove on, I continued to pass many downed power lines and fallen trees, and then many huge trees that had fallen and were literally suspended in the power lines. This, too, was pretty scary. The thought that the lines could break at any moment, and the tree would come crashing down.

So, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when I arrived at the restaurant, that we had no power. That was yesterday. And, this morning, after retracing my steps and finding that the power still hadn’t returned, it has left me feeling lucky that I have the warmth of my house, not too mention, a Saturday off.

I feel very fortunate. Posted by Picasa

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