Saturday, January 23, 2010

Devastation and Stillness

We've been snowed in all week. Last Sunday was the last time, before today, that I went further than my driveway. We got about 5 feet of snow. The television channel has been out all week. Our computer cable went down for just one night - thank god! The mail didn't come for three days - gghrrrr! And our cat, who is an outdoor cat, has been refusing to go out at all, and she pooped on the kitchen floor, out of desperation no doubt!

All this is really nothing since we have been safe and warm inside with plenty of food and drink. Thank god the power never went out and the roof is holding up.

We have been getting our aerobic exercise by shoveling even though we had the bulk of it done by a charming young man who drove by with snowblowers and asked if we needed help. He was raising money for his band trip! We were so thrilled to have him and his friend do it because using the shovel was almost impossible since the berm was so high we couldn't move it by hand. He came by Thursday and Friday. Last year when David was at Princeton and we had heavy snow, it didn't occur to me to hire someone to help. Now I would totally do it. I like outdoors and exercise, but there is no reason to injure yourself.

Anyway, today we drove to a cafe for an early dinner and went grocery shopping. On the way we drove by the shopping center where we rent videos. I heard about it on the news but seeing it was shocking - The roof of the local used bookstore and the next door JoAnn Fabrics had completely collapsed!! Looking through the big glass front windows, all you could see was the top of the building inside and on the ground! These are two of my favorite stores here in Flagstaff. I don't really have favorite stores here. I don't shop that much. But I do buy fabric and sewing supplies and I do buy used books. I know the people that work at both of these places. I can't imagine the waste and the disappointment of these people.

There were other building that collapsed, like the local skating rink that is about 30 years old, and many had leaking roofs, but overall, it is small-scale destruction. I looked at those heaps of metal, wood, etc., and I wanted to cry. Then I though of Haiti, with a much huger loss and the addition of massive death toll, and I felt very small, and very shaken. The good news is that, like in Haiti, tough times bring out the best in people.

We had a sweet, pleasant week at home. We heard that the city and several businesses were doing what they could to help those who needed it. Everyone seems to set their trivial concerns aside until things go back to ease, mundane, and boredom.

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