Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of lamplight. And candles glowing in a darkened room warm my soul. If only they’d warm the rest of the house! We’ve been without power in our West Avenue neighborhood since early Tuesday morning and I’ll be truthful, it’s getting a little tedious. Though I do find comfort in crabbing about it with my neighbors.

Yesterday when I walked in the living room, I could see my breath along with my dog’s and cat’s. The house was down to 52 degrees, so I quickly fired up my oil lamps, candles and gas cook top, (no I still can’t get the stupid oven to light) and got the temp up to 60 by bedtime. I like it cool in my house and rarely raise the thermostat over 62 in the winter, but 52 indoors is a little nippy, even for me.

What does worry me is the possibility of bursting pipes and gigantic old trees falling on the house. So I keep all the faucets dripping and say lots of prayers.

The silence is the other thing that nags at me. I am not a person who likes dead quiet. Give me the peace of a dense forest with birds chirping, bugs buzzing, twigs snapping, creek bubbling, and wind streaming through leaves playing a soulful, hushed tune. That is the kind of silence I love. The ocean’s roar on a gray, cool, drizzly day on the Washington or Oregon coast- - I adore that kind of white noise. That is my kind of lullaby. Not the oppressive quiet that seems to engulf, even swallow me in my tiny, uninsulated, dilapidated rental home.

My two German Shepherds, Bella and Zeus, seem unnerved by the silence too, pacing and panting back and forth constantly until I snap at them to, “go lie down!” My cats are so wigged out by the cold, blackness of the basement that they have been risking life and limb to venture upstairs to the kitchen, only to become chew toys for the dogs.

The first night of the blackout, it was impossible to sleep. There was simply too much calm. Last night it was a bit easier because I was exhausted from the stomach-churning noiselessness of my day. But hey, I’m getting a lot of reading done and the snow is beautiful. Shhh! I’m trying to think!