Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A Storm With Silver Linings

            Friday our part of the world was hit by a great big, huge enormous storm. We were expecting a thunder storm, but nothing like the one we got. We were winding down at the end of a very hot day – the temperature hit 104 degrees Friday (about 40 degrees Celsius for friends down under) – when suddenly the biggest thunder storm in my memory blew through. Trees and power poles broke like tooth picks in its fury. Electricity went out across several states.
             We went to bed hoping the power would be on by morning, but that was just wishful thinking. It is weird how we you forget how much we rely on electricity. My first problem was that in my all-electric kitchen I had no way to make coffee. I am not nice without my morning coffee. We set off for the local coffee shop to get a fix for my habit. None of the traffic signals were working, so driving was a little tricky, but most drivers were thoughtful and we all just took turns through the intersections. We were delighted to see the shopping center had power and pulled up to the coffee shop to find a line stretching down to the corner. It would take an hour to wait in that line, so we thought we would just go to McDonalds and get coffee. As we drove around town we realized that the reason for the long line was that there was nowhere else with power and nowhere else to get coffee. We waited in line.
            My coffee need taken care of we tried to figure out what to do with the day.  It was too hot to do more than a quick cleanup of our yard before we began to long for air-conditioning. We discovered that our granddaughter had power and we were welcome to crash with her.  It is strange to realize that we are old enough to have a grown-up grandchild who can shelter us from the storm. We stayed at her house until bedtime. It was a wonderful afternoon of family fun as more of the family gathered in the coolness of her house. We watched movies, played on the internet, and enjoyed an unplanned day of togetherness. Some of the family stayed there for the night but we headed home to sleep in our hot, hot house.
            Sunday we gathered at church. The electrical power had been restored to the church building. After services several of us who were still powerless gathered there and enjoyed a respite from the heat and some time to visit with friends we don’t have a chance to see often. In the late afternoon we came home to our very hot house and emptied the refrigerator. I was grateful that I had not been to store recently since everything had to be thrown away. As darkness fell we went to the shopping center, usually a pretty quiet place on Sunday evening. All of the stores and restaurants were packed with people seeking refuge from their hot, dark houses. One of my granddaughters works in a shoe store. She said it was busy all day with people trying on, but not buying shoes. We eventually came home and tried to sleep, but it was just too hot.
            Early Monday morning we heard a loud bang and then the wonderful sight of lights coming on the wonderful hum of the air-conditioner. It was a happy moment. I made coffee, smiled, and thanked the Lord for family and friends and electricity.
            My still powerless daughter and granddaughter came to share our electricity. My fourteen year old granddaughter and I sat at the kitchen table and colored together like we did when she was little. It was fun to visit and laugh with this beautiful girl of mine who is no longer a little girl. They headed home in the evening when their power was restored. A still powerless friend came over to do a load of laundry. We had a lovely visit. My still powerless older daughter and son-in-law spent the night. They just couldn’t take one more sleepless night in their much too hot house.
            There are still thousands without power. I am thankful for the many utility crews working hard to restore the power. I will try to be more appreciative of the many comforts and blessings that come with the wonder of electricity.