Yesterday’s column was about the seasons, but I was just thinking then about the normal four seasons. You know, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. It would appear that my part of the central US is about to experience the fifth season: Ice. The “pink weather” phenomenon has become more common as global temperatures have increased. I do not recall having this much ice and sleet at this latitude even ten years ago.
Much of Oklahoma is without power, and the storm is moving towards me from there. A friend in Southern Kansas has had to suspend part of his business operations because of power problems. The National Weather Service seems very confident that my little corner of Kansas is likely to get an inch of ice tonight, and another inch of ice tomorrow. That is a lot of ice. We are told to expect “widespread power outages.”
If I am off the air for a few days, that will be why. It looks like we will for sure have power this evening, so we are planning to cook a nice meal. My wife is at the store on her way home from work. She called to say that the store was a zoo, full of panicked people and empty of many staple items. I had already pondered this. We’ll get a nice meal tonight. We have enough milk and dry cereal for two people for two days. After that, we would have to get creative. I guess you don’t have to get too creative as long as you have peanut butter and jelly, and we do.
If the power is out during that time, what would I do, the “I” that is almost always at the computer sixteen hours a day. Well, while there is light, I will read. When there is not light, I will sleep. We do not have enough dogs for a three dog night, so we will have to make do with two people and one dog if we have no heat. If I keep the door to the refrigerator closed, the milk won’t freeze. ;o) It would be unpleasant, a major and uncomfortable inconvenience, but there are people all over the world that face worse every day.
Maybe it will teach us at least a short term respect for the brittle complexity that rules our civilized world until Nature comes along and proves once again who is boss. That respect always wanes quickly, until the next earthquake, or volcano, or ice storm. Perhaps it is part of human nature to be overconfident about our abilities. But when Nature comes calling, we all know who’s boss.