This Cloud Was Nothing BUT Silver Lining

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.

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

100+ hours without power

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.

100+ hours without power

13 thoughts on “This Cloud Was Nothing BUT Silver Lining”

  1. I love you guys. So glad you got the power back on.

    Happy Power!!

  2. I’m so glad that you guys used your time well and that you were all safe. <3 yous!

  3. I totally agree. Really, for me the worst part of not having power was not being able to blow dry/straighten my hair. I didn’t brave the cold showers like you, but took baby wipe baths. The other upside to the outage was that my boys spent more time outside, as did neighbors…. my oldest got to know some of the other teens he has never spent time with and took lots of bike rides and hung out, something he never did before the storms. My daughter and I spent a couple of afternoons cutting up old magazines and creating collages. It was so much fun, we are going to do it again when our magazine supply is built back up. I was amazed at the lack of stress of it all. (Can’t say the same for my poor hubby, who had to work every day of the outage except the weekend.)

    My husband and sons spent Sunday afternoon with others from our church, helping a tornado victim clean up the debris. My youngest was even interviewed for WAAY31 while they were there. It was good for my kids to step out of themselves and serve others.

  4. I thought of you first when I heard about the tornadoes. You’re my only Alabama connection. Was so glad to hear that you and yours were not in harms way…so, so glad.

  5. I’m so glad you and your family are OK. I’m really impressed with your ability to focus on the positive.

  6. Very glad you’re all okay, and appreciating your blessings, too. I should probably turn my OWN power off for a day or two 😛 You really are so awesome.

  7. Wonderful, true words. My family and I felt the same way: after the initial terror of the storms themselves, we were inconvenienced, and so, so, so lucky.

    And as for the generators? I had fantasies about siphoning out the fuel from our neighbor’s and watching gleefully while they scrambled to figure out WHY CAN’T I WATCH MAH STORIES?!

    I think my parents are STILL without power, though, so I think “inconvenient” may soon turn into “mind melting fury” for them.

  8. I’m SO grateful you guys are okay and the fact that you go to enjoy each other for a few days really, truly is a silver lining.

    So um, COMPLETELY random, but WHEN DID YOU START WASHING YOUR HAIR?? I thought you never washed your curls.

    (And I feel like scum that of everything you wrote about, THAT was the one thing that made me go.. HUH??)

    Again, SO glad you’re all okay.

  9. Oh…I just say “washing my hair” but I still don’t use shampoo. I just soak it with water, condition it for several minutes, and then rinse. It’s easier to say “wash my hair” so I just do that instead of trying to figure out some way of describing what I actually do without getting those LOOKS. hehe.

  10. Wow!! Family time sans tv and internet~~it’s really a blessing, just like a similar story that in some parts of Japan, the entire sky was sprinkled with stars coz all the artificial electricity is out and everyone’s door is open, just like in times of old~~~a silver lining that’s so treasured~~~xx take care~~~xx

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