To Irene, much obliged …

The copper beech, our upside-down octopus in brown and green, has roots-to-China sturdiness, and stood firm in the gale.

A good Chardonnay is good at any temperature.

I am careful with water, with food, with my MacBook Pro battery. I think ahead.  I consider consequences.  Four sheets of toilet paper will do.  (Did I actually write that down?)  The smaller red onion.  Fewer spinach leaves.   The laundry chute doesn’t need a foot of wet dishtowels tossed down into it, so hang them out to dry.   What is “conservation” anyway?

Ancient candlesticks in the sunroom, the kitchen, the dining room.  A lovely glow.

Two bathtubs full of water – our “wells.”  The indoor plants – we’ve taken them from the wilds – need water too, and we can’t forget them.  And the birdbath.

The refrigerator/freezer:  40 degrees is the cut off.  Under 40 – fine, eat it; over 40 – toss it.  So much food ….

People from far away call.  They care.

My laptop, my imagined freedom from being “shut down” creatively, is now at 47%.  Careful!  And pick up a pen, silly woman.

Raking debris works the upper body and raises blisters on the palms.  I don’t like to do this.  I’m lazy.  Can somebody else to this?  I’m interested in my own comfort.  I need to see this about myself.

I need to figure out a way to wash my hair, dry it, put that goop in it, style it.  My hair is on my mind more than I’d like to admit.

Ice is a (relatively) recent phenomenon.  But today, where to get it?  Who has it?  Should I get in the car and go out on a search?  Or conserve gasoline?

Shoulders that usually are coat-hanger tense relax when given a welcomed three-day reprieve from Fox News.

We have dinner by candlelight.  We talk.  Nice.

The Coleman stove – hissing, whispering yellow-blue under a pot of water – brings memories of camping at Mount Desert Island and a promise to return there next summer.

Two candles – one his, one mine – carried up the dark stairs, placed on bedside tables, and blown out simultaneously provides a Downton Abby moment.  How quaint and fun.

I glance, from habit, at the digital display on the range, the VCR, the clock.  But it’s the grandfather clock in the library that’s the faithful presence. “Well, the clock works,” he says.  Interestingly, it was built in the 1800s.   I like that.

When the lights pop on, part of me is delighted; part of me is sad.   I think about my hair … and Fox News.  A return to old habits.

But for new impressions, thank you, Irene.