Ten Writers, Very Cold

by wjw on June 7, 2007

All was well until the wind storm began. Howling ’round the eaves, screaming ’round the corners, causing mighty ponderosa to sway like seaweed in the tide.

Dropping limbs, causing landslides.

And knocking out our power, from Wednesday afternoon on. No lights, no heat, no internet. No refrigeration. No way to cook food, no way to read in the dark, or critique.

As darkness came on half were huddled under blankets. Since everything was blacked out, we headed down the mountain to Taos for a restaurant dinner, and one car, having lost its oilpan to fallen rocks, didn’t make it back.

We crawled back up the mountain, encountering a couple trucks from Taos Rural Electric Cooperative along the road.

We had flashlights, we had candles. Food satiation and wine failed to raise spirits. A glorious starscape, unimpeded by village lighting, failed to keep us from freezing our butts off whenever we looked at it.

No electricity came by night. In the morning I shifted critical foodstuffs to the freezer, which was still reasonably cold. Then went down the mountain in company, to buy ice and have a warm breakfast.

When I returned, the Rural Electric Cooperative had done its stuff. Heat, refrigeration, and hot water restored! Showers possible! Spirits improved! Critiques scheduled for later, after margaritas!

The wind continues to blow, alas. Which means it could all be undone in an instant.

If we can just get through dinner, all will be well.

Foxessa June 8, 2007 at 3:14 am


It’s everywhere.

I’ve had to make a new Fox Home, as punishment for registering for a gmail account. Feh.

And the entire point of the gmail account was to help me backup good stuff.


I’m still Foxessa here.

I think.

Love, C.

Kathleen June 8, 2007 at 2:09 pm

Some people keep telling me how miserable heat is and how much they want to live in a cool climate.

To which I, who spent nine LONG winters in upstate New York, say “Hah!”

Glad you’re warm again!


Tracy Taylor June 8, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Sounds like you had quite the night. I’m glad no one ended up hurt and everything is better today.

But I wonder, what’s worse, that one night in Taos or a summer in Michigan’s heat and humidity without AC or a stove? 🙂

Kelly June 8, 2007 at 5:16 pm

That was a big nasty weather system. At the same time you were freezing your butts off in the lower ranges of the Rockies, we were driving through torrential downpours as we crossed the mountain ranges through BC into Alberta in a motorhome with my terminally ill dad riding shotgun.

Glad you’ve got heat again, and are equipped to critique some stories into brilliance.

qtera31 June 8, 2007 at 7:52 pm

Walter – I am impressed that you could arrange all that weather just for atmosphere and writer inspiration. Talk about being a good teacher! I guess I need to add – “Master of the Elements” to your talents!

Melinda Snodgrass June 10, 2007 at 3:23 am

Oh, Walter, I’m jealous. I adore wild weather and even blackouts though the lack of food would have made this dire. Especially after looking over the wonderful menus you posted.

I did so want to be in Taos this year. Instead I had to be in f***ing Farmington learning more than I ever wanted to know about oil and gas accounting.

Looking forward to hearing all about the week.


Maureen McHugh June 12, 2007 at 12:50 am

Melinda, I wish you’d been in Taos. It would have been fun. The power came back, Walter made argaritas and black roux gumbo and we settled into comparative bliss.

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