Saturday, February 06, 2010
Appreciating The Little Things
There are so many things that we take for granted in life. After having just gone through a nasty snowstorm and no heat or electric power for over 30 hours, I appreciate the little things much, much more. As most of you know I'm not much of a camper. But this past weekend I found myself camping out in my own house. We were somewhat prepared by having candles and sterno, a propane camping lantern, etc. But we soon found out that you can never prepare for something as wicked as what Mother Nature had in mind for us Western Pennsylvanians. As the snow started to fall Friday night, many found themselves in flickering lights. And soon even those flickers went out. When you live in a rural area such as this, everything shuts down. Local stores and gas stations were all blackened out by power loss. Many, many people found themselves in freezing cold houses when the temps dropped to 5 degrees. And we were one of them.
Our power went out on Saturday morning. We entertained ourselves as best as we could while we still had daylight. As it got darker outside, it got darker and colder inside. The good thing about living in a rural area though is the fact that neighbors really are good people. One of our neighbors went through and plowed out each of our driveways with his snow plow. A few more attached snow plows to their trucks and started plowing our streets. It's great to see people pulling together when something like this happens. You really begin to appreciate life and those around you. It's an awesome thing to witness!
Because of everyone's hard work, Rich was able to venture out and made his way to Walmart. Where there was at least a hundred more who had the same idea, to hunker down and ride out the storm. Rich was able to purchase another lantern, more sterno, more candles, and a propane camping stove. In the meantime, I was able to heat up some soup for me and the kids using the sterno we already had at home. So we were able to go to bed with our tummies full of something warm. We all ended up sleeping in the girls bedroom, because they have two double beds in their room. The girls and Nick slept in one bed, Rich, Nathan and I in the other and Zach and Anthony slept on the floor between the beds. We were bundled up with blankets and able to keep warm through most of the night. Rich didn't get much sleep though what with Nathan using him as a punching bag during the night. So he ended up turning the lanterns and camp stove on and the sterno off and on through the night trying to keep all of us warm.
In the morning, I ended up having an even harder time with it, because I was scheduled to work that afternoon and ran out of my asthma meds. So Rich once again went out and made it to the pharmacy to get my inhalor refilled. And then he continued on to our good friend Lew's house. Lew if you remember him from some of my older posts, is a farmer with a huge stone house that him and his sons built themselves from the ground up. He's an older man with acres and acres of land and just a wonderful and generous friend (he gives us fresh farm eggs from his chickens and gave Rich a pony, that Lew cares for and boards, seedlings for our garden and other produce that he has grown). He has a propane fireplace and a woodburner in his house and so he was able to lend Rich a kerosene heater to help make our house warmer.
After getting some medicine in my system I went to work, and I felt guilty leaving my family in a cold house without power while I was in a warm, lit building. But halfway through my shift, someone said they heard that the power was restored in our town (about 15 minutes from where I work). After about an hour or so, I was able to get a hold of Rich and the kids, they had power and heat again. What an ordeal to have gone through. I'm really praying that no one in my family gets sick from having been cold for so long.
In all, we have about two feet of snow and went 30 plus hours without heat or power. My asthma is getting better with my meds. And the kids thought it was a great, big adventure as most kids would. There are still several people without heat and power....my heart goes out to them. There are people who lost some of their pets, mostly fish. Our's were spared. Bandit, Zeus and all of our fish survived. There were a few fatalities, mostly from carbon monoxide poisoning. And a few fires from all the downed wires. Of course there were car accidents as well. Tyler (Amanda's boyfriend) got his car stuck in a ditch and someone hit his mother's truck too. Now, the clean up begins as people are clearing fallen trees from roadways, etc. But all in all, from what I've heard everyone seems to be doing well. That's the power of God. And that's a lesson to me, not to take the little things for granted. Isn't God's gifts amazing and beautiful - especially if you can appreciate it from inside a nice, warm house. God Bless!