So…we were without power for 100+ hours. But we never once got upset or down about it because, as the power went out we already new that devastation in other parts of the state was much worse. Now, we didn’t know the severity, but we knew enough to be grateful we had our home and our lives. Power? Eh. Who cares. Even when we got word it would be five days (which – for the record – took me several times to actually believe) we still couldn’t get too worked up about it. WE HAD OUR HOME. AND OUR LIVES. The rest was cake.
And besides the obvious: Lives, Home, there turned out to be SO MUCH MORE that was awesome about being without power. As the days past I found myself enjoying it more and more. As a matter of fact, there were only handful of things I didn’t enjoy.
- Crazy people. There weren’t many, but when you had to go to PUBLIX which was the only place for groceries at first, you tended to stumble upon them. Like the lady who grabbed my arm and whispered in my ear, “DON’T FORGET THE PEANUT BUTTER CRACKERS,” and then gave me the look that said: Do it. OR DIE.
- Lines. We went to Publix the first morning for peanut butter and bread and cat food. And the line five minutes after opening: OUT THE DOOR. Dominoes had generators to sell $7 pizzas at night, that line? TO THE STREET. Gas stations that were open? MILES LONG. Luckily we didn’t need anything too desperately to wait in a line too long. We knew that, given enough time, the lines would shorten. And they did.
- Generators. We didn’t have one, but after a few days there were several on our street and they were LOUD. And ANNOYING. And LOUD. We may not have cared if we had one, but since we didn’t? It was a bit like torture. HEAR THAT SOUND? THEY HAVE POWER SOMEWHERE.
- Cold Showers. I shaved my legs in the tub the first day. Washed my hair/conditioned it the second day. And FINALLY…the third day? Braved the full-body cold shower. And while it wasn’t so bad? It wasn’t awesome either. And not something I wanted to do over and over again.
But…these things were minimal. VERY minimal. The rest? ALL SILVER LINING. Now, two things might have changed that: Rain and Heat. Luckily it wasn’t too hot to sleep without air-conditioning, and it wasn’t raining. So we spent the five days playing and working outside. Cleaned out the garage, planted flowers, mowed the grass and Donnie built a french drain. We rode bikes, played games, went on walks with the wagon, played with bubbles and chalk. In short: We loved it. Family Time and Fun Time in BOAT LOADS.
The state is full of darkness, literally and emotionally. Lives are lost. Families in mourning over dead children, flattened homes, missing loved ones. Being without power was nothing. We feel almost guilty about finding so many moments to smile over the last five days. We’ve tried to help where we can, we’ve taken diapers to churches and given other items requested by friends. We’ve donated to Red Cross. We’ve bought t-shirts as fundraisers and we’ve dropped off cases of water. But I hope that the best thing we could have done was what we did: We savored each other. We gave extra kisses, extra hugs, we played and we talked. We laughed and we colored. We had four full days of family time sans TV or Internet. We did our best to appreciate the blessings we had.
For we have so many.