By bobp on Dec 22, 2008
Another year (2008) will soon be in the past. Technology has enabled most of our days throughout the world to be busy, productive and sometimes almost endless. Las Vegas, Nevada is no longer the only city that never sleeps. On December 11th am and 12th pm perfect conditions were present in Southern New Hampshire and just below in Northern Massachusetts.
Those conditions enabled tress to get coated with ice mostly without the ice freezing on the ground. The good news is that motor vehicles and people were not sliding all over the place. The bad news is that those trees eventually began to explode and split apart from the sheer weight of ice glued to the trees. Snow is much less dense than ice so snow covered trees are the norm here in New England U.S.A. While the ice coated trees transformed into beautiful art by nature it wreaked havoc on man made items. Simply put once the trees started to split apart and break they took down many power lines. So many power lines were broken that approximately 1.5 million homes were without power.
As the trees were breaking during the night you could hear them snapping and cracking. When power lines were breaking you could hear power transformers blowing and sounding off like gunshots. People in my town, 7 days after the storm, had no power. When the power lines come down one at a time, the only way to fix the situation is one power line at a time. However, before you fix the power line you have to be able to get access. A perfect problem created by nature.
When nature forces you, especially over the weekend, to pause there is a lot to be thankful. With no electricity one is forced to modify their day. Early to bed and early to rise. In the Northeast of the U.S.A. this time of the year you need to keep the house warm (fireplace, wood stove, etc.). For refrigeration you can use the temperature outside to keep food cold. At night, if cold enough, the temperature will freeze anything solid. Candles, oil lamps provide basic light at night. Flashlights allow you to navigate around your house. Reading by candle light is not as easy as I thought. Boardgames and good old uninterrupted face to face conversation can certainly pass the time of sans electronic anything. I paused for 2 full days in an electricity free environment before I caved in for the gas powered generator.
The year of 2008 has presented many challenges throughout the world. Front and center has been the economy unwinding throughout the world. Sometimes nature can help cure events created by people. For example seeing new growth sprout from a brushfire created by a careless individual. While the economy problems today are more like wildfires, nature still finds ways to recover. I'm not sure nature can help fix the economy but it may have the ability to get people to pause and think. After all people are the ultimate creators of the current economic problem. Any problem creates opportunity and somehow there will be a catalyst to start the recovery. Happy holidays and best wishes for the 2009 New Year.