Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blue Moon - Fade To Black!

We ended the year with a blue moon rising spectacularly over the crystal covered prairie! On December 31, 2009 we had a full moon for the second time in December. In GriggsDakota that is referred to as a blue moon. I know there are people out there who are still trying to correct the error of this now widely accepted definition of blue moon. I think it is much easier to understand and use than the old definitions I've read. They have to do with calendars, quarters, and things that I don't remember studying. So if you have a problem with language evolving, my advice is stick with Latin. But in GriggsDakota, we enjoyed a blue moon on New Year's Eve. We did not bask under it, however. We froze under it with temperatures in the twenty below zero fahrenheit range. 
The frigid temperatures were not enough to discourage the snowmobile enthusiasts or others who braved the cold, but the farm cats thought it was ridiculous to have to be outside on such a day! 2010 dawned cold and clear. A new decade! And how will we articulate it?  Two thousand has finally gotten to the tip of my tongue after ten years of practice. It seems a shame to give it up in favor of twenty, but the blue moon convinced me to change. It will, no doubt improve the flow of conversation. I'm quite sure that it will be Twenty-ten all year long.
Just as we were about to serve supper on New Year's Day, the electricity went out. It is startling how very dark and quiet the house becomes when that happens. The lights blinked three times and then were gone for good. Power failure is a sobering thing out here when it is this cold. We have allowed ourselves to become very dependent on electricity in GriggsDakota and everywhere in rural America. We know from experience, it is no fun to be out trying to power up generators in the bitter temperatures. We decided to relax, enjoy the evening, and hope our faithful power company linemen could find and fix the problem for us. 
The solar powered Santas were shining by the door and our just-past-blue moon provided light as it reflected off the snow covered landscape to break the darkness outdoors.
Candles, lanterns, and flashlights provided light indoors. There was a nagging cloud of concern in the air. If the power was not restored, we would have a very long night of work ahead of us, but our experience told us not to worry. It was not storming, there was no wind, and no ice on the power lines. 
Farmer Fred kept the fireplace stoked up. Once we get the stones hot, it keeps the house toasty.
We ate our supper by candlelight and kept flashlights handy. 
Then we waited. I remember hearing stories about pioneers who went to bed in the early evening during the winter time. There is only so much you can do by firelight. They didn't even have batteries! The little ones entertained us. Kirsti read her book. I must admit that I had to fight the urge to crawl into bed as soon as supper was swallowed despite the guests in my home. We all breathed a big sigh of relief when the lights came on at about ten o'clock. 2009 has been a tough year for many of us from GriggsDakota, and also for so many of our friends. The lesson we want to carry with us into 2010 is best summed up by Theresa Trocke who said,
 "Yes, the lights went out on New Year's Day, but they came back on." 

We're all hoping for brighter days in 2010.

Blog content Copyright JK Huso Lukens

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