January 5, 2008

A Great Storm

You might have heard about the California storm that we've been experiencing. Torrential downpours. Winds so severe they closed the bay area bridges to avoid additional big-rigs from blowing over. A landslide on highway 17.

When I arrived home around 7:30 PM, the last few blocks of my drive were from another place and time. Instead of my pseudo-urban, busy, well-lit subdivision full of Christmas lights and blow-up decorations, I found myself driving in the country at night, unable to see anything except what my headlights illuminated. In addition to the blackness, when I got out of the car, it was beautifully silent (except for our neighbor's generator, but they have a newborn baby, so I was glad they were prepared). I wonder if that's what our neighborhood was like when it was first built.

Given the all-electric kitchen, we drove downtown, where they have power, and went out to a simple Italianesque dinner at a restaurant that used to be a regular in our rotation but somehow fell out. We remembered why we used to like it -- the food is good and there are simple options, the service is great, the specials were delicious, the owners are quirky (the head chef often sings opera while strolling through the restaurant), and the wine list is short, but well-selected and reasonably priced. We enjoyed a delicious, light Ventana Pinot Noir that they sell for around $38, which is very impressive given the retail price of $28.

After the big night on the town, we came home and lit candles to brighten the house and tone down the eerie glow of our flourescent lantern. We have a few decorative candles, but that's it, they are just decorative. The wicks are primarily unburnt. Until last night. Thanks to the storm, I realized that candles are nice, they give a soft glow to the room, and they smell good. They just feel relaxing.

And they make a nice relaxing side to a resounding round of scrabble that goes 'til midnight. (I lost. By one point. Apparently, Slavak is not a word.)

This storm was an excellent opportunity for me to work on my New Year's Resolution:

to be more calm and roll with the punches.

My sister and mother were *supposed* to visit this weekend (no travel due to the storm). Last night, I was *supposed* to come home and run on my treadmill (which requires power).

But hey, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the dark neighborhood, the candles, or scrabble if things had gone as they were *supposed* to.

Now I just have to figure out how to roll with today's planned long run of 11 miles and the predicted thundershowers and I'll be in great shape.

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