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We Made It Through Isaac

A quick note from Your Working Boy. We made it through the hurricane. The rain has pretty much stopped, and there’s just a gentle breeze outside. The yard — everybody’s yard — is a mess: branches, limbs, leaves covering everything. We lost a couple of banana bushes, but nothing else. We were very lucky. Power went out yesterday afternoon, though we couldn’t get the generator going till about half an hour ago (thanks to my dad and brother-in-law troubleshooting). It’s unbelievably humid, but not too hot. I’m updating the blog and letting you know what’s going on, but I’m not going to keep wifi going all day. We need our very limited number of generator-connected outlets for essentials. Like the floor fan.

We slept on the floor last night in the den, where we could prop open the door to the screen porch. Went to bed not long after eight, because there wasn’t anything to do, and I popped up at 4 a.m., ready to start my day. But it was pitch-black. I had forgotten how even when all the lights are off, there’s usually enough ambient light around from the street to help you move around the house. This morning, nothing — and I couldn’t see two feet in front of my face. I finally felt my way into the kitchen and found my iPhone where I thought I’d left it, and used it as a flashlight to locate matches and candlesticks. Fiat lux, etc. But candlelight is not strong enough for me to read by, so there I was, stuck with my thoughts until daylight.

I had to laugh, but not really, at how completely unnerving it was to me to be alone with my thoughts. I tried to pray, but got the heebie-jeebies. I hadn’t quite realized how I spend all my waking hours stimulating my mind with either the Internet or the printed word. There’s something really wrong with that — I mean, with finding silence and stillness so alien and off-putting. I know, I know, this is entirely predictable, but then you find yourself sitting there in the dark and the quiet, with nobody to talk to and nothing to read, and you may feel that your own sense of self is something like an electron cloud: requiring constant motion to create the illusion of solidity.

I would like to tell you that if I could figure out a way to hook cables up to my eight-year-old boy, we’d have enough generated electricity to run the freezers of everyone on the block. If science can one day harness the power of bored eight-year-old males confined to a dark, hot, and humid house, our alternative energy needs would forever be solved.

OK, time to go do some clean up. Just wanted to let you know we’re all fine. You will see new posts going up today, because I loaded them into the system before we lost power yesterday. Don’t misunderstand and think that I’m active online. I’ll approve your comments as I can, but like I said, I’m not going to leave the wi-fi on all day.

UPDATE: Was just in the local supermarket buying ice, and overheard the deejay on the radio telling all the people who live along the Tickfaw Tangipahoa River to “get out now,” because a dam upriver in Mississippi was about to break. “Take a couple of things and go, but go now!” he said, freaked out.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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