There was a storm.
A big storm.
It hit our area the Saturday before Halloween.
A tree fell on our house.
Large branches damaged our deck.
Landed on our car.
One of the trees that fell ripped the power lines out of our house,
and we were left in the dark.
NINE days later... We are still there.
The hotels in our area were booked immediately. Then most of them lost power, too, and people were left paying to sit in the dark and the cold.
The first few days we "toughed it out."
Poured water in the toilet to flush.
Ate food packed in snow.
Slept huddled in one bed in 20 degree weather,
trying to keep our Snowflakes from freezing.
Then a friend offered up a room at their house.
They had a generator that could power one space heater.
They used it in the guest bedroom to keep my little family warm,
while they slept in the cold.
Can you think of a more selfless act?
By Wednesday, with no end to the outage in sight, we headed out to stay with family who had gotten their power back, and have been there since.
Twice we were told our power was restored, and we packed up and headed home,
only to find it had not been.
The house was cold and dark.
Every tree in our yard had been destroyed.
It was pretty disheartening.
Yet moments like these make you realize just how good we've got it.
Yes, we complain about things like the price of oil (nearly $4 a gallon where I live, and the only way to heat our house)or about paying $5 a gallon for milk, but we generally don't have to worry about staying warm. Or having the lights on. Or our next meal.
My family struggles, as we all do these days, with our finances. I clip coupons. Worry about paying certain bills. Sacrifice to make ends meet. But our basic needs are always met. Even in this storm I knew the power would EVENTUALLY return. Life would EVENTUALLY go back to normal. That knowing, is itself, a blessing.
Over the course of the last week, I have learned that the friend of a friend died in pregnancy - leaving her husband without his wife and child. I learned that a very special baby that I have been praying for and have come to care so much about, is in all likelihood going to lose his battle.
These are REAL problems.
Yes, my property has suffered significant damage.
Yes, we have lost all of our food, and had to make it through some uncomfortably cold and damp nights.
Yes, we waited in line over an hour for gas - have been kept in the dark for nine days - and even lost our pet fish to the cold.
But my family is together.
We have the love of family and good friends who were willing to take us in.
So I am counting these blessings.
Even in the dark I can see that they are what truly matter.