Ike strolled through and wreaked havoc in Columbus Sunday. We are grateful we had no damage. Some neighbors were not so lucky. We went about 2 days without electricity and things were pretty peaceful. Neighbors talked and roasted marshmallows with the abundant source of fuel on the ground. Kids helped pick up the twigs motivated by the promise of s'mores later that night. It was great fun.
Until we left the neighborhood.
• Whetstone library, one of my favorite places in all of Columbus, was filled with new people coming to charge up their phones and gain access to computers to conduct that vital part of the day's tasks - read their mail. I doubt anyone bought a shirt or offered to volunteer to support the underfunded library's community efforts.
• Hungry and perhaps a little bored, the masses flocked to the few places that had power. McDonald's was one of those places. Guilty, I love Egg McMuffins. Frankie and I were served in about 5 minutes once inside the buzzing Clintonville franchise. Outside, however, in the middle of an electric (coal) energy crisis, was a line approximately 15 cars long. Drivers sat idling for up to 30 minutes to eat at the oft maligned McD's.
• The infamous intersections with lights not working. About 3/4 of the traffic seemed to handle the situation fine. Those who didn't remember to comply with the rules, charged through the intersection endangering everyone.
Many felt it urgent to maintain their routine as if nothing happened. They failed to embrace a preview of a new, possibly inevitable way of life.
Flickr search: Columbus Ike
Sunday, in Hilliard, I saw a few people charging through intersections with unpowered lights.
By Monday everybody seemed to have figured out we were supposed to treat them as all-way stops (just like Officer Al tells us).
Just Wednesday night, I got yelled at by some woman in front of an intersection on Indianola as she charged through. She just thought the running traffic had the right of way.
I really enjoyed a few days without the kids watching TV and I liked how dark my bedroom was for a change--no stadium-like parking lot lights from the church down the alley.
The main library downtown had similar scenes and I also enjoyed the comradery of all the neighbors getting together to clear the streets and their yards. Nothing like a crisis to help people remember we're all in this together.
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