Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More thankfulness

I've been wanting to sew for a week. Really. And this time I have a legitimate excuse for not sewing.

We all have heard on the news about this huge snowstorms that hit the DC metro area last week. I experienced it firsthand. And in any state where the average annual snowfall is more than 8" this amount of snow would probably have not been a problem. Unfortunately, this area is not accustomed to heavy amounts of snow in a very short span of time, so they don't have the knowledge and/or resources to handle it the way that I'm used to - remember, I'm from Michigan and snow doesn't scare me.

It started on Friday, the 5th. School was let out early. I'd already been shopping and was prepared for not being able to go anywhere for a week or so. It snowed pretty hard the entire afternoon and evening and the street was silent and white - very pretty. I couldn't sleep because the streetlights were reflecting off of all of that snow, making it very light outside. Then, around 3:00 am, I saw flashes of multi-colored light in the sky outside that lit up my room. It was the transformer for the neighborhood. Almost immediately the light show ended the power in the house went out and all of the streetlights shut off. Not having anything else to do, I went to sleep, hoping that the power would be on when I woke up.

No such luck. When I woke up (Saturday, the 6th) the temperature in the house was 65 degrees. I can handle that because my father left our house hovering around 62 degrees when I was a kid. It's cold enough that you can wear a sweater indoors comfortably. I was slightly concerned about the baby, so I put some leggings on him under his fleece overalls. He generally doesn't get cold easily - he's like his dad. We went about the day as usual, although it was hard to wash hands at all because the water was too cold. Thank goodness for hand sanitizer! I managed to get the front walk and part of the driveway shoveled out in little bits between going back inside to check on the kids, who were constantly at each other. Gwyneth had no concept of 'we have no electricity' so she couldn't understand why she was unable to watch a DVD or play on the Wii or why the lights in the bathroom wouldn't turn on.

I kept hoping for the power to come back on, because in Michigan I'd never experienced a power outage during a snowstorm and when we did lose power at all it always came back on pretty quickly. By late afternoon it looked like we were going to be without power overnight, so I got the fireplace going in the family room and told the girls we'd be camping in there for the night. I managed to scrounge up some dinner that was pretty good, thanks to my Girl Scout camp skills. With chicken breast (hey, it was already thawing!), carrots, and potatoes I was able to make some foil dinners that the kids actually ate. I let them have the last of the thawing vanilla ice cream for dessert. Thankfully, we had enough wood courtesy of the neighbor's woodpile and I had a ton of candles, so we could see and we were pretty warm.

My main concern was how cold it would get overnight and I called Scott. We'd been in contact throughout the day and he was concerned about the temperature inside, too. He reminded me of our friend, Ron, who lives nearby and told me to call Ron in the morning to see if he still had power.

Next morning (Sunday, the 7th) was freezing! We woke up to a temperature of 47 degrees and it only went up to 48 degrees after a roaring fire was going. We ate breakfast bundled in blankets and quilts and then I called Ron. Thankfully (again), he had power and when I told him how cold it was in the house he said he'd be right over. I was ecstatic! I should add that it was my birthday and this rescue was really the highlight of the weekend so far, although my girls gave me some yummy bath products from Lush and a bear that they made a Build-a-Bear when my sister-in-law took them shopping the previous weekend.

Ron took us to his house, where I was able to get a shower finally and the kids were able to get warm. Ron's wife, Kelly, and stepson made me a delicious chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday that evening, so I couldn't have asked for better. The weather was so bad and the snow was so copious that we ended up staying at Ron's house until Saturday morning (yes, that's the 13th and yes, the power was already back on) and when we came back the road still wasn't plowed out, even though it had been a week since all of the snow had started. Ron shoveled out the drive for me again and then took off to PA to pick up Kelly's kids who were visiting their grandparents.

One last thing to be thankful for: Scott came home on Sunday - Valentine's Day! - which was just about the best Valentine's Day present I could have gotten.

So, lots of things to be thankful for. I'm thankful that I had the skills to survive a day and night without power. I'm especially thankful for my Girl Scout-y skills at campfire cooking. I'm thankful that Scott came home. But most importantly, I'm extremely thankful for good friends like Kelly and Ron, who put us up for a week, fed us and rescued us from freezing conditions. Once again, I'm humbled by the goodness of people around me. Ron, you're truly a friend.

1 comment:

  1. What a dramatic, but lovely story. I'm glad your husband made it home for Valentines Day.