Any “Port” in the Storm…preferably with a hint of chocolate essence and a silky smooth finish!

by Debra Chappell

View From the Deck : (of the cabin – in the non-stop rain)

 photo copy 3

Mood Reading: ZZZ’s (would have been more Z’s but kept waking up to see if power came back on.)

So, after a wonderful week in Charlotte N.C. visiting the offspring (who opened their home and hearts to us for a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday) I am trying to recover from the week of over-indulgence by a trip to the cabin and some (ahem) healthy eating and exercise.  I drove the 2 hours it takes yesterday and made it as far as the little country store in town before CIMG0918succumbing to that  voice in my head reminding me of the excellent little butcher counter in same.  I popped in and before you could say “medium rare”, a prime cut of NY steak and a sweet potato with my name written all over it landed in my grocery basket (I have no idea how that happened!) I cooked it up last night and devoured it as if I hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks.  Aiy-yi-yi! I think the five pounds I lost recently just made their way back to the “found” department located between my rib cage and upper thighs!

So it started raining cats and dogs yesterday when I arrived and hasn’t quit.  I was fine, fat and happy as long as I had my wine, phone, internet connection, logs for the fire and normal power.  images-1Unfortunately though, they couldn’t quite all manage to function at the same time, and one by one started faltering.  No worries, I thought to myself, if the lights flicker, I’ve got candles.  If the computer seizes, I’ve got cell service.  If the logs run thin, there’s a forest out there.  If the wine goes, well…uh, that truly would have been reason to panic but no problem thanks to the wine co-op we belong to, we have about 8 cases stored so even I felt marginally safe there.  So…for a while at least, all was okay.  Have laptop, will write… even under duress, in the dark, trusty Cabernet at the ready.

But when my iphone started dropping bars like Aspen leaves in Autumn (and my sole connection photo copy 2to the outside world along with them) I admit, I got a little jumpy.  “No problem,” I told myself, pour another glass of that 2008 “full bodied red with hints of eucalyptus and berries” (now there’s a career for an unemployed writer if ever there was one), crank up the tunes, keep your nose to the laptop and all will be fine, right?  Yeah, right. Seemingly, the internet went the way of the bars and the power and lights not far behind. I soon found myself rooting around for the candles by the light of my MacBook Pro, hoping like heck I still had enough battery left to light a few and make it into the bathroom for my nightly make-down ritual.

The power came back on in time for the facial stripping but soon flickered off again as I crawled into bed to read.  Damn…nothing else to do but go to sleep. So much for those extra calories I had planned on burning along with the mid-night oil.  Tucked snuggly under the warm covers, I’m somewhat certain they incubated overnight and multiplied ten fold around my waistline by the time morning rolled around.  At least that’s the way it felt when I dragged my sorry you-know-what out of bed this morning to see if the power had returned.  It had but my cell service was still AWOL until about 8:00.

But take heart!  All looks different in the light of a new dawn and even though it was still pouring,photo after a pot of coffee I had managed an already improved outlook. I lit the fire, crawled under a quilt and settled in behind the trusty laptop to see what the world held forth…and Eureka!!  My internet sprang into action — headlines appeared with nary a pause and I was soon once again reading about the looming fiscal cliff, a shakeup at NBC News and the supposed new digs of England’s latest shiny new royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge .  The fighting between the Democrats and the Republicans has apparently, according to AOL , gone on unabated in my absence, and the Patreus scandal is still topping the charts with no signs of waning.

“Ahhh,” I thought to myself, all is right with the world.

UnknownI brought in some wood, charged my phone battery, and made myself another pot of coffee.  Then I set about locating the emergency flashlights, some extra candles, and a couple good bottles of Pinot Grigio with “fresh cut lemon and lime character, layers of citrus fruity flavors and a crisp, refreshing finish”.  One can never be too prepared I always say, and if it happens again tonight by god, I’m going to be ready, comfy and half looped by bedtime.