I live an hour away from Blacksburg, VA, home of Virginia Tech University. When I belonged to a knitting guild, I drove to Blacksburg twice a month for meetings and fellowship with other knitters. Our group met directly across the road from the campus.
Blacksburg is so small, though, that just about everything is across the road from the campus.
Small and friendly and quiet [except on football Saturdays!], and except for their excellent sports teams I'm sure the rest of the country didn't think much about that school or city at all. Until yesterday.
I didn't hear about the tragedy until after the Boston Marathon elite runners finished. Mr. Shrinking Knitter flipped over to the news and there it was, in your face, every channel. He had to leave about 4 p.m. At 4:45, the howling winds we'd had all day howled just long enough to knock out our power. For the next 12 hours. And this time, for some reason, the phones went out as well.
Today the talking heads have moved beyond reporting the facts of the matter, and are speculating about the shooter's motive and how it could have been prevented. How could anyone predict a horror like this?
The combination of our very ill friend, the cuh-razy weather [West Virginia has been declared an emergency – the entire state!], the news from Blacksburg and the loss of power tested my ability to stay calm and centered. I give myself a C.
We went out early yesterday morning to see how high the river was. We drove down the road where I do my long runs, as far as we could go. The picture on the left is the sixth green of the little nine-hole golf course near the beginning of the road. Three greens were completely under water.
We kept driving, maybe another mile and a half, and had to stop. That's probably a foot and a half of water across the road; the truck in the photo was stalled. In the second picture the driver has the hood open. I did a seven-point turn [hey – it's a one-lane road!] and we went back home.
The road to Alderson was closed, so I didn't make it to the prison last night for drawing class. With the power out, I probably wouldn't have gone anyway.
Technology is great, and I'm quite the electronic gadget collector. But when you're left with a rapidly discharging cell phone and a 5" black-and-white television with 10 dying size-C batteries, you learn quickly that technology is a two-edged sword. The good side, of course, is instant communication and entertainment at your fingertips. The bad side is that the good side needs Mother Nature's cooperation for everything to work right.
Right now, even with the power on, it seems like the world just isn't working right.
Eleven days until race day.