Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh. my. gosh.

Well, as I am sure YOU have had power for the last 5 days, you must know what happened in my neck of the woods. We had a little storm or 4 and many lost trees, power and more. Hundreds of lives were lost and millions of dollars of property was destroyed. In my city alone, 75,000 were without power. In our town and surrounding area, the death toll was more than 30.

We were very, very  lucky and lost only limbs of trees and power. The power was off from Wednesday morning until Sunday very late and it was like living in a dream where nothing works right and you keep doing the same things over and over.

I was lucky enough to have planned to go out of town and be with my sisters and s.i.l. in a hotel for the weekend, so my husband bore the brunt of the weariness that comes with no power. It jolts you  into the reality that you cannot control everything and that you are putty in the hands of nature's forces. I think if you still don't believe in global warming and the severe weather that comes with climate change, you need to go to Tuscaloosa, Ringgold, or just my neighborhood where 100 year old oaks were ripped from the grown by their roots.

Now that I have some perspective that comes from sleeping in an air conditioned room in my own bed for a good 8 hours, I realize that there are some good things that came out of this. Glass half full, if you will.
They are the following:

#1 My kids learned that laundromats are actually a really nice thing to visit when you need 5 loads of laundry done and you don't have electricity. They were a little leery of "the unknown", but  were very impressed by the efficiency with which we got our laundry done (5 loads wash, dried and folded in an hour and a  half). They also got to see some people that don't look or sound like us, but were just as happy to be doing their laundry in a well lit, nice place.

#2 I will now stock up on food that does not  have to be refrigerated or microwaved when I  know a storm is coming.   Microwave popcorn...not good in a power outage. But fruit, crackers and nutrition bars are excellent. We had lots of those. We do have a gas grill and cooked pizza, scrambled eggs, salmon burgers and boiled water on it. However, we had to eat out a lot. The grocery stores were open after the first day, but really, who wants to go shopping?

#3 Thank goodness we own cast iron pots and pans. They are amazing on the grill! They were worth every penny we spent on them.

#4 We had flashlights.  My husband had bought and horded flashlights for a situation just like this.

#5 The government is not all that bad. As my friend Ken said last night, " You can complain all day about the city government, but when your power is back on  in just a few days and you are safe, you have to think that is amazing."  As far as I know, we had no looting or violence from the power being out.

#6 Nothing is important as your family. We were lucky and did not have much storm damage, but many people did. Families lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and more. We did not even lose a cat. (They are not easy to wrangle and were not in the basement with us during tornado number two.)

Overall, we were super lucky. My kids were safe in their schools during the first storm. We were all safe during the remaining ones as well. But the reality is, we cannot control nature. It controls us. We get involved in our daily lives and sort of sleep walk through them. Nature has a way of waking us up and putting things in perspective. Thanks, Nature!

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