Maddy sat on the window set in the fading sunshine of afternoon. She could hear her parents moving boxes from the van, and bringing some upstairs. Outside the glass, the wind swayed the trees gently as she watched until she drifted off into slumber.
The world outside Maddy’s window was very dark when she woke as Father picked her up. A hint of a glow shown through or above the trees here and there under a sky filled with more stars than she had ever seen before. All those lights together were nothing compared to the combination of street lights, stop lights, and building lights that glowed outside her old window.
“Come on, little one. We have something to eat downstairs,” said Father, as Maddy turned her groggy head against his shoulder away from the window and back into the house.
A glow of light flowed out from the well of the stairs, where someone had put an electric lantern in one corner of the landing. Another lantern drew the eye to the foyer end of the big room, where it lit the short hallway, towards the kitchen with the only table and chairs available in the house. Even by lantern light, the kitchen still felt cozy.
“Don’t worry about the power. We have been firmly assured that it will be on and fully functional by morning,” Father said as he settled Maddy in one of the chairs.
“And, even without power, we still have hot water for your bath, so you can go to sleep warm and clean,” Mum added. Regular bathing was very important to her. She stood at the counter by one of the lanterns assembling sandwiches from the provisions they brought along in the van.
“Which would you prefer? Peanut butter and jelly, or turkey?” Father asked, picking up a paper towel wrapped example of each from Mum’s completed creations. Bottles of water and juice lurked in the ice chest beside Mum on the floor, where she had also gotten the jelly and turkey, and some other things for breakfast in the morning.