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Dear Diary – My grandmother used to like the expression “when life hands you scraps, make quilts”. She was an avid quilter and I proudly display a few of her carefully handcrafted quilts in my home.

While I have been very fortunate to work on quilts with both of my grandmothers, my Mom and my aunt, I am not a quilter. However, I’m also not a “waster”. Mom helped me this week begin to cut strips of fabric from the scraps of fabric used in my business for another project. Hopefully, dear diary, I can share the finished product with you soon. It’s a time-consuming process but a worthy one to keep it out of the landfill. If we each do our part, we can begin to make a better world.

Do what you love, love what you do, leave the world a better place and don’t pick your nose.

Jef Mallett

Dear Diary – It was another wild weather weekend at “the cottage” (aka my parents’ place), which seems to be an apt description for most of North America, if not on an international scale!

Saturday morning I woke with a start! The sun was already beating down behind my blinds and the famers were probably enjoying their first (or maybe second) coffee break. But it wasn’t the sunshine or the late hour that disturbed me; it was the lack of noise. My faithful electric fan was no longer buzzing beside me. I clicked the lamp next to my bed and it confirmed my fear: the power was out!

I was the first out of bed and I tried, in vain, to see if I could find out what had happened. Or more importantly, how long this was happening. My phone battery was already drained and my data plan, not unlimited. So I texted Hubby to see if he could find the answer and let me know.

He didn’t return my texts.

I texted Oldest Son as well.

He also didn’t return my texts.

I waited impatiently for someone to share my misery, as my nightgown dampened and my flesh screamed for caffeine. (Just re-living it makes me want to put the kettle on…)

Eventually my parents staggered from their chamber, less concerned with how we would manage. We had access to a pool to keep cool – but what about the seniors in town?

After consuming the sourdough cinnamon and raisin muffins my Dad had baked a few days before, he ventured into town to the nearest Tim Horton’s. My hero!

I settled into the soft couch with book to await his triumphant return. But his highly anticipated return was not triumphant. Nothing in town was open. All the street lights were out. And the park where there’s free wi-fi was one long string of cars.

More than an hour had passed, with my phone battery coughing it’s last, I called Hubby. He was playing Minecraft! 🙂 But he was able to confirm a large outage in our area and he reported our address. The estimated time for repair was more than 5 hours away…and they were still investigating. We were in this for the long haul.

I immediately popped 2 tea bags in a pitcher of room temperature water and set it aside to steep. I failed to notice Dad popping out the patio door. Soon after, he returned triumphant with a kettle of boiling water. Oh yes!! The BBQ.

Mom, meanwhile, was already feeling unwell and had fallen asleep in a chair. I had to restrain myself after the first glorious mug of golden elixir that lifted my flagging spirits and my caffeine-deprived body, so I wouldn’t drink her mug too.

Youngest Son slept on blissfully.

No tea and no pee! The absence of hydro meant not only no tea and no air-conditioning, it also meant no pump for the well, which meant no toilet. If anyone had to do their “duty”, they had to do it downstairs and use a bucket of pool water to flush!

By lunchtime, we were soggy. I tried to nap in my room but it was too hot. It didn’t help that there were still flannel sheets on my bed. Concerned with the contents of fridge and freezer, my Dad started up his generator. It staggered to life, belching fumes and grumbling like the old steam-powered machines at the local Fair. One that was on its last legs! But it’s grumbling helped the fridge and freezer do its job (and boosted my phone battery too), and allowed us to flush upstairs, away from the creatures with many legs. At least for an hour.

By mid-afternoon, I exchanged my third outfit of the day (each one showing more skin than the last) for my bathing suit, and Mom and I dunked in the warm pool to cool off. But without hydro to circulate the water, it was filled with very noticable hot spots and cold spots. It reminded me of swimming in a shallow lake, the kind where lots of kids are hanging out about waist deep…and when you hit a hot spot, you knew someone had just peed.

Dad chose this auspicious moment to run the generator to top up the cooling appliances. I felt like I was swimming next to a burping, aged tractor, but I was so thankful my internal core was no longer threatening to melt down.

Also, without the distractions of electronics, and being forced outdoors to try to escape the heat, we were reminded of all the beauty around us in nature. When the generator wasn’t running, we could smell the lilies nearby. Most wondrous of all, we were entertained by a trio of Monarch butterflies dancing in the field nearby and chasing each other in a game of tag. One even hid among the lilies, only to “attack” the other two and send them into a flight of fancy. Like tethered flowers, these tiny creatures flitted and fluttered and circled each other, an ethereal spectacle that we would have missed hunched over tablets inside.

By the time I was dressed again and armed with my camera, only one remained. It played with me instead, making me chase it from flowerbed to flowerbed, alighting only long enough for me to line up the shot. My finger pressed the button, but it was already gone. Except once…

Power was restored just before dinner…which meant we had to cook! 😦

We woke Youngest Son in time to eat.

Hubby made sure we didn’t stay in the dark. He texted to report there had been an explosion and fire at the local power station. Over 30,000 customers were impacted by the outage, yet this news story never made it on the local news!

On Sunday night we went to bed under a severe thunderstorm watch. The winds were high and thunder rumbled in the distance.

In the morning, we found out a tornado had touched down just 30 minutes away. That’s the second tornado this summer to touch down…also 30 minutes away from me. Tornados are not a common thing in our area, and as a kid, I took great comfort in knowing I never had to worry. But things are changing, and if things run in threes, I’m not liking the odds…

A long weekend is fabulous, but a 2 week holday is so much more satisfying. Instead of wondering where it went, I’m looking back, amazed at how slowly it passed. Tomorrow I am returning home, still lacking vigour and with no grand schemes in place, but still… feeling blessed.

Melting at the Drive-In – Woo hoo!!

I sustain myself with the love of my family.

Maya Angelou