Dec 28 2008
Life since that last post has been quite the adventure! In the pre-dawn hours of December 12th, I awoke to the most extraordinary noise, that went something like this:
- Repeat every 20-ish seconds
That is the sound of trees falling. Weighted down by a thick coat of ice, thanks to the “wintry mix” that had been falling several hours, entire trees were snapping like matchsticks. I’ve never heard anything like it – a strange nighttime battleground. Things became a bit nerve-wracking when a giant falling limb grazed the side of the house where I was sleeping, and for the rest of the night I stayed awake, listening.
In the morning I went outside to see what looked like the set of a strange, post-apocalyptic video game.
I was particularly dismayed at this sight:
Yes, that is – or um, was – my car. Ouch!
After girding ourselves with coffee and pancakes in Colony Hall, which thankfully has generator power, the only sensible thing to do was to go exploring.
Everything was coated with ice.
Including downed power lines, yikes!
It was all very surreal.
The next day the temperature dropped even more, down to single digits, but the sun came out, and oh, it felt like being inside a chandelier.
Long story short, there was a bit of winter camping, a lot of time spent on the phone with my insurance company, and extensive fire-stoking. The staff was completely incredible during my whole time at MacDowell, and over this difficult week they were heroic – many had sustained damage at their own homes and were without power, but they still showed up and always kept their cool, and their senses of humor!
Unfortunately electricity hadn’t reached my wonderful studio before I left, and packing up my gear in freezing temps (even a roaring fire wouldn’t totally warm up the large space) was definitely glum. However, I did receive an fantastic gift during that week – as small pockets of electricity began to come on around the estate, Resident Director David Macy invited me to spend a day working in the music room at Hillcrest, the huge, lovely house that is now used for important visitors. Built by Marian MacDowell as a special place for Edward MacDowell to work, the music room is one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen – my photos don’t do it justice – and I was completely honored to be able to simply look around, let alone settle in a bit and do some composing!
Basically? This was an astounding experience. Another reminder that Mother Nature can seriously kick our butts at any time!
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