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Monday, February 4, 2013

Acts of God, and Acts of Human Kindness

Dear Madonna,

I missed Beyoncé's performance during the Super Bowl half-time show. No MDNA, I'm sure.

Lots of talk about the lights going out afterwards.

Coincidence?  I've been evacuated from my condo following a water main break that resulted in all the power going out in my building.  A neighbor called me early Wednesday morning telling me that we were "on the news!" and that firemen were going floor-by-floor telling all the residents that the hyrdo-vault had exploded. I vaguely remembered the fire alarm and lights going on-and-off intermittently, corralling Zouk and Liza into the bedroom and going back to sleep. (I was still jet-lagged and "swungover" from SwingCouver and coming home on the red-eye). 

The first fireman was kind of young and cute, and I took a picture from my balcony of the scene outside on Yonge Street.  I heard on the radio that it was a three-alarm fire, and 18 trucks were deployed.  Kind of exciting, but I just started my day as per usual. Then a couple of hours later there were other firemen on the floor, banging on the doors, ordering us to get out as soon as possible, and to take things we may need as we were going to be out of the building for "awhile".  I grabbed my lap-top, BlackBerry charger, and dance shoes and headed to Starbucks.

A few hours later I went back to my building and discovered that residents were being allowed back up to their units to get a few more things, as we were going to be out for at least 24, may-be 48 hours. What?

A temporary shelter was set up at the Toronto Reference Library down the street.  The Salvation army brought in coffee and snacks, and later soup.  My cute gay neighbours had booked a room at the Bloor Marriott Yorkville, which I thought was a good idea, although Rita offered me Shelley's Blow-up Bed in the Topel Temple.

I think I was still hoping at that point that things would get sorted out in a day or so.  I ended up accepting Rita's offer the following night - and the news kept getting worse.  Two weeks! I had to find a home for Zouk and Liza (Doug came and took them to his home in Hamilton), and as I was already going to Rochester for one night, and I extended for another night. When in doubt: dance, eh?

At the same time my ancient lap-top starting to really, really die, so I bought a new computer and am in the process of setting up all my files on the new machine.

Through all this there have been small and large acts of kindness, between neighbours, strangers, and countless offers of assistance from my friends and dance acquaintances.  I feel so humbly blessed.


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