Novelist Anna Quindlen Loves Her Electric Generator

QuindlenAnnaNovelist2013-04-23.jpg “Feel the Power: Author Quindlen at her home, which is kept up and running with occasional use of her beloved generator.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. M14) I love my generator. It’s not much to look at, a beige box half the size of my desk, hidden by a scrim of native grasses. If my power goes out for more than two minutes, it clears its throat and rumbles into life.

The fridge hums, the TV flares, the water flows from the faucet. Every once in a while I give the generator a pat in passing to show my appreciation.
. . .
. . . , in 2009, the tornado came. One of the things that was freaky was how exactly it conformed to every news report I’d ever seen. Dark air like demonic possession, a sharp path cut across the land by meteorological shears. We were lucky; the sharp path fell directly between the house and the garage. You could follow it from there by looking at the empty spaces in a solid line of trees, the rootballs waving their witchy root toes in the air. We lost a lot of trees. And the power, for five days. Five long days. It’s funny the little things you miss. Our coffee maker is electric. Each morning my friend, Emily, would bring a thermos of coffee and take my phone away to charge it.
But there was a big thing missing, too, and it wasn’t light. Where we live, if you lose power, you lose water. And after five days of keeping a bucket by the back door so I could get water from the pond for the toilets, five days of trying to convince myself that going in the pool was almost like an actual shower, I called the contractor and said, “Generator. Please. Soon.”

For the full commentary, see:
ANNA QUINDLEN. “HOUSE CALL; A Message Delivered by Tornado; After five days without power, a desperate writer calls her contractor to say: ‘Generator. Please. Soon.’.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., April 12, 2013): M14.
(Note: the online version of the review has the date April 11, 2013.)
(Note: ellipses added.)

QuidlenBelovedGenerator2013-04-23.jpg

“Ms. Quindlen’s beloved generator is shown.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited above.

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