Now that we have thawed a bit, I have the time to note some of what were real blessings in the last few difficult days. From Friday at 11pm to Sunday 8pm, we were without power, except for a bit provided by a small generator that Tim had the good sense to rent on Thursday afternoon. We had one space heater, and occasional power to fridge, Keurig*, griddle, smartphones, and lamps. It went down to the mid-40s in the house and we were cranky and getting ready to abandon ship. But were there blessings? Definitely.
1. My amazing husband. He grew up on top of a mountain, has camped for weeks at a time, and he knows how to be rugged and resourceful. He also knows, however, that I am none of those things, so he rented the generator, maintained it, and set us up for as much warmth and comfort as we could manage. He also cleared us out along with neighbors, and today walked around with the snowblower, making the paths of some of the elderly neighbors wider and clearing some space around the Chapel. He then went out and bought us doughnuts. Like I said, he’s a hero, and he knows me pretty well. He’s really the best and I am lucky.
2. Our amazing friends and family. We had a constant stream of texts and facebook messages** with offers of help from those with electricity. It is so good to know that you are part of a greater network of people who will be there when times are rough. We had hot showers at one friend’s house while the kids went to another. There, they were fed, loved, and cared for. We were prepared to camp out on a friend’s floor, but she had actually prepared for us bed-and-breakfast style accommodations that were so luxurious, we almost stayed even though the power at home was restored! We are so fortunate to have the wonderful friends we do, and if you were someone who helped us, offered to help, or provided a listening ear, we thank you! May your kindness be returned a thousand times over.
4. Kids being kids – Maura: At some point on Saturday, Maura cuddled up with me and we took a short nap together. I don’t know that that could have happened with an almost-thirteen year old in any other environment, so I took it all in and thanked the blizzard.
5. Kids being kids – Brian: At some point on Saturday, Brian was on the couch next to me and I started reading my book aloud. Amazingly, he didn’t leave, and it was a wonderful throw back to precious memories of the two of us on the couch reading stacks of books. Also, later that day, boredom drove him to take out long-forgotten legos and he built the most amazing things. It was a grace to see his creativity come to life out of necessity.
6. Kids taking care. Brian sensed that we were on the verge of losing our cool when we got the estimate that we wouldn’t get power back until late Tuesday. I took the kids to the 99 while Tim manned the space heater at home, and Brian continually pushed French fries and pepsi in my direction. Like his father, he knows me pretty well (food=comfort), and his instinct to take care of me is something I hold very close to my heart. It was also beautiful to watch my two kids getting along for the whole time. They actually really enjoyed all of the togetherness (still are!) and it was a blessing as a mother to watch them.
7. Our home was not damaged. We can’t say the same for others, and we want to offer help to anyone who needs it. (Really!)
8. *Keurig. Drinking something hot while being so cold is indescribably awesome.
9. Your stories. Hearing how people extended themselves and reached out to those in need just makes my heart happy. This is as it should be.
10. Restoration. From the moment we heard that power was restored (pure joy and relief!) to falling asleep in a warm room with fresh flannel sheets, we have a new appreciation for that which we take for granted. And that’s a good thing.