The Cambrian

Lady Tie Di: The joys of weathering the storm

I’m writing this in near dark, with pencil on paper. People who have lived here some time mostly take it in stride. Others are cursing, unprepared and making disparaging remarks about “our beloved trees.” While I’m truly sorry they’ve suffered from the falling variety, thankfully someone else pipes up — “They’re why many of us moved here!”

Here we are at the hardware store during our most recent power outage due to high winds and rain.

For having grown up in L.A., I’m such a Girl Scout. Weather doesn’t bother me. And, I knew of the conditions when I moved here almost 30 years ago. And, while inconvenient or cold at times, it’s part of the ambience of Cambria. It used to be like this all winter long in those early days! (Thank you, global warming.)

I don’t know if winter would be complete without at least an hour-long outage. (Ooo! More thunder!) Funny, my younger son was born 17 years ago, Jan. 19, under the same conditions. At home.

Miles was also born in Cambria, at home, only under more conventional conditions. However, our little “cabin” had a little pot-bellied stove for heat. Which I stoked before the midwives arrived around midnight.

The prelude to Zachary’s birth five and a half years later was a howler like this storm today. Here on Happy Hill, we usually don’t lose our power as often, as we’re on the San Simeon grid (as we politely thumb our noses at the rest of town). But, when we do lose it, we know it’s bad.

Therefore, I say remarkably, as my due date was upon me and things were “starting to happen,” to give us a heads up, as it were, our power was down. For two days. Some dear friends were eager to sacrifice their generator for the cause. “Ya know, we’ve got plenty of wood for the fireplace (thankfully, this was before we lost the chimney to the earthquake). Miles knows what to do and our midwives are extremely capable. I think I’ll be fine!”

Lo and behold, the big day came and so did the power. I did my usual early morning radio show at K-Otter (where my water broke!) and that evening we had a large, healthy baby boy born in the living room. Using few lights, to ease his way into this world — candles would have been fine.

So, I’m sorry if you’ve had a rough go of it, mostly for the merchants who’ve already suffered with this economy and now have missed a full day of business (hey, I’m a self-employee and feel the effects, too). But, like super chicken said to his sidekick, Fred, “You knew the job was dangerous when you took it!”

That’s one reason I live here and not in the city. And my kids have a smackeral of what the world is made of, who’s really the boss. Remember, you could be in Haiti!

Note: I know there are many here in Cambria who gave birth at home. I’d love to share your stories. Please e-mail or call me!

E-mail Lady Tie Di, aka Dianne Brooke, a member of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, at tiedi @, or visit her Web site at