Beginning on February 24, 2010 a blizzard hit New York’s Hudson Valley dropping over three feet of snow on the town of Beacon and knocking out the power for some 150,000 homes in the region.

Including mine.

On the night of the 24th I was sitting in the bath reading when the lights flickered.  Then I heard the nearest transformer explode and the lights went out for the next two days taking the heat with them as my apartment was entirely electrical.  The heavy, wet snow and lack of wind was weighing down trees so badly that even century old oaks were snapping from the weight of the snow.  When trees fall they tend to take power lines with them.

After spending a night shivering with the cats on the couch under every blanket I owned I awoke to find the town transformed.   It was otherwordly and beautiful.  Especially the normally phlegmatic fishkill creek was a crystalline wonder.  As lovely as it was my appreciation was cut short by the need to find food that didn’t require cooking or refrigeration and wicks to make olive oil maps with.   Such wonders are best appreciated when you can go home to an apartment that isn’t rapidly approaching the ambient external temperature.