After Sandy

Note: This was written a few days ago. They have been long hard days, and we have been without power until last night. So, I'm finally posting this now, and I hope to have more reflections up soon.

The darkness and a chill settles around the house. The chainsaws quit their buzzing, but if you walk out side, you can hear distant generators. In the gathering gloom, I connect to the world through the small screen of my cellphone. Friends, near and far, are sharing their condolences. Family members are sharing pictures of my mother.

If we had electricity, I might search around for my copy of Remembrance of Things Past and start writing a 1200 page eulogy of my mother. I remember the first time I wrote "a book". It was a couple stapled together pages where I wrote about an acorn growing to be a mighty oak. My mother was there, encouraging me. I remember the hallway where we had stacks of paper, discards from the paper mill where my aunt worked, and the encyclopedias and other books of knowledge and wonder that filled that hallway, always guarded by a heavy brass elephant door stop.

My mother told stories of when she was young and worked in the paper mill, of the practical joke they had played on a coworker, convincing her that onion-skin paper was made from onions and if you boiled it, you could make onion soup. These days, there are probably few people that remember onion skin paper. Now, there is one less.

We were a family that valued education. My mother, who never went to college until she separated from my father, would volunteer at the local school. When I think and talk about parental involvement in schools, I think about my mother, helping out in the learning center at my elementary school.

My mother was a voracious reader, an appetite I never really developed, or perhaps, instead developed the complementary passion, loving to write. She always encouraged my writing.

I look up from my computer screen. The darkness is much deeper now. There is a ting of red in the southern sky, and clouds but no stars. It has become colder as well. So, I will head in side, wait for Kim and Fiona to return with food, and for the electricity to come back on. Then, I will see what sort of sleep is granted me tonight.

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