Let’s just say this working, not working, freelancing, stay-at-home, flex-time, tele-commuting, blogging life I’m living is not really an on-ramp, off-ramp situation. It’s more like the movie we’ve all seen but never admit to: Chevy Chase’s European Vacation. Remember? “Look kids, Big Ben!” Constant chaos, but with moments of clarity, beauty and humor that make the trip worthwhile.
Except while researching and reading and writing and editing and pushing out copy from the home office (aka homework central aka the dining room), I notice the sky getting dark. Really dark. So I quick send an email to my new boss (I have a boss!) with a ‘head’s up: it’s getting dark here and we’re infamous for losing power with every thunderstorm.’ She writes back, ‘no worries, let me know when you’re back on line should power go out.’
So I continue writing. And it’s dark. Then darker. And windier. Kind of Snoopyesque:
It’s windy and then I hear what sounds like a train going through the backyard. It’s true, what they say. Tornadoes sound like freight trains. Even teensy-weensy tornadoes.
So, yes, our little New England town experiences a little, small-town tornado. Lucky us, no major damage except downed trees, lost power, broken fences, scared kids. Neighbors didn’t do as well, and we try to help out. And we gather new respect for Mother Nature and new sympathy for Mid-Westerners who live with this daily.
No power, no potty. But we can flush due to our handy dandy CO-producing generator which we leave on only long enough to flush toilets, run the refrigerator so we don’t lose a Costco size shopping list of groceries . . . and so I can write that first ever job I’ve had in years. YEARS.
So now we have no power, moody teenager #1 is upset she can’t use the phone (“Geez, not even the cell?”), the youngest is puking, #2 doesn’t understand why it’s not a good time to tampon practice because swim team starts in 2 months, #3 wants to know what do I mean I have a job what do I know how to do and where will I work and when can she use the computer and that damn dog we had to get and I’ve got a HEADACHE to beat the band.
And oooops, the generator isn’t running the fridge for some dumb-ass reason. It runs a ceiling fan, a night light, the well-pump. Oh, and the outlet the computer’s plugged into. Apparently the puking and headaches have to do with the CO fumes from the generator getting blown back into our house. Uh oh. That’s really, really not good.
I look to husband and confide: It’s a sign. The tornado. The carbon monoxide poisoning. The puking. I’m not supposed to work. Not now. Not ever. I get my first job in eons and this is what happens!
To which he so calmly and prophetically responds:
And so I get back on and start writing.