Writing again

Wind & lightning & lack of sleep: a ramble

It’s been a blustery week.

Two nights ago when I smelled woodsmoke on our evening walk I wondered who the hell was being irresponsible & lighting fires while we were under a hurricane-force wind warning.
The next morning I learned that I was smelling smoke from Plains region wildfires, blown all the way up here by those same winds.

Apparently Chicago area 911 dispatch & non-emergency fire department numbers were getting a LOT of worried calls.

Just lucky I did my into-the-city-to-meet-a-friend adventure on Monday, when it was clear and warm & still. The train home was full of jerks who pulled down their masks whenever the conductor wasn’t right in front of them, but at least the train car wasn’t being rocked by 60 mph gusts all the way home.

I did not sleep well. Fitbit claimed 5 & 1/2 much-interrupted hours from 4AM until 9:30 AM. Kinda figured that would be the case as soon as I saw the weather forecast. Windy weather always charges up my nerves & makes me antsy & energetic.

This was more, though. This was an “Am I about to be blown away into Oz?” kind of storm. Every time I dozed off, the wind shifted & something outside the house would rattle, crash, or clang, and *bloop* I was wide awake again.

No rain. Lots of lightning around 3 AM, so bright and so extensive I could see how fast the low, thick clouds were moving. I wish there’d been more rain. The garden needs moisture.

The power only went out once, briefly, just long enough to freak out our holiday lights timers & reset them for an extra 6 hours of festive lighting in the yard. Small favors. We have them set on steady, but they twinkle impressively when the bushes they’re on are swaying sideways in a gale.

Another thing I learned from that storm: the old-fashioned fan housings for the kitchen & first-floor bathroom fans make the weirdest noises when high winds catch them at the wrong angles. From previous storms, I knew they rattled a bit. These winds took the annoyance to new heights.

Big booming sounds Little booming sounds. Crackly snapping noises. Loud humming with tooth-aching harmonics. The WORKS.

The next day it was still windy. Not as windy as the peak hours last night, but still wild enough to keep me antsy and distracted. It’s hard to concentrate when the air is breathing low and loud and heavily, like it’s tired after running too fast for too long.

Things calmed down by evening, allowing us to go as planned to the Chicago Botanic Garden Lightscape. We oo’d and ah’d over the amazing displays with a good friend (HI DEB) & then caught up on all kinds of friend talk over a totally healthy late supper of hot dogs, burgers, & french fries.

Today was much more settled, weather-wise. Did I accomplish more? Yes, & no. I rested. That counts, especially in the middle of a week with lots of peopling in it like this one. Spouseman took care of some of my House Chores for me, and I used the extra time to sleep in & pay off some of my sleep debt.

And then I hung out with the cat & did Proper Tree Behavior lessons most of the afternoon while reading one of several awesome new Netgalley advance copies.

Because winter is good for reading.

And now, the cat tax plus a couple of blurry pics of the garden lights.

cat tax

That’s all for now. Until later!

By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.