It’s 4:45 on Monday morning and something has kicked my brain into gear on this very cold February morning. Baltimore just received upwards of 36 inches of snow two days ago and ‘paralyzed’ is the best word I know to describe my street, at least. We have not seen any sign of a plow here. Not to mention most of the region, from what I’ve gathered. (From the internet solely – my TV digital converter box decided to die on Friday night too. Ah, the timing…)
So I lay in bed and pondered how to still my mind to return to slumber. Then my heat kicked on. Mind was already kicked on, and the heat joined it. You see, I keep my thermostat at 55º, so this house is cold.
When the heat came on, I thought of two of my friends who lost electricity in the past two days. One was without it for 24 hours, and the other for 8 hours. Both of them lost their heat in these frigid temps. I’m mighty grateful for having natural gas to heat my house. But then it struck me that I don’t even know what will happen if my electricity does go out – will this affect my furnace?
We’re supposed to get another 6 to 12 inches of snow in another day and a half. This will be on top of all that is on the ground. Is there such a word as ‘super-duper-paralyzed’? I mean, we’re talking about up to 48 inches of snow in less of a week!
But then again, one of my neighbors has a new land rover car which might, might be able to get out. I have lots of butter and munchies in my larder. Maybe another neighbor has an extra good supply of kitty litter?
What if we all got together tonight for a fun block gathering, ala trudge in the snow? We could get our heads together to see how we could help each other make it through the next week or so until our roads are clear and we can pick up on our ‘normal’ lives.
(Is anything normal anymore though, with this climate chaos that we’re experiencing?)
So I got the brainstorm to organize a community gathering tonight. We’ve got several elderly widows in their 80’s on my block. Another older man has leukemia. We’ve all got cabin fever of various levels. And maybe someone on my block can tell me whether my heat will go off if we lose electricity.
I’m going to suggest that we keep it simple, make some tea and coffee and share some potluck snacks. We can bring a list of personal necessities in short supply for the coming few days and see if anyone has some surplus. We can tell jokes about the snow and wax poetic about its beauty. We might even get silly.
But more than anything, we’ll remember that we’re a community and we can truly behave like one. And if there is one thing about this whole concept of sustainability that does not get aired enough, it’s that sustainability also means creating community and learning to share more and listen to each other more, and be there for each other – more.
I’m looking forward to tonight. It’s going to be fun. And I’m tired of trying to entertain myself at home alone anyway. Plus, I could use some more kitty litter, soon.