Monday, November 5, 2012

In the Dark with Frankenstorm

Trivial Pursuit by candle light
If you got slammed by Frankenstorm this year, you know where it's at, huh? No joke out here- that's for sure.

A whole week later, and my family in Jers is still without power. Bleh.

Of course, the inconvenience of going old school is nothing compared to what some are enduring as a result of this storm. 

We were fortunate enough to have only been in the dark for about 30 hours. Here's a little peek into our colonial adventure. 

With all that whipping wind and rain, it was cooooooold out here. To keep warm, we kept a fire blazing in the ole' fireplace. Heh- from my hearth to yours, right?

Mmmmm. And as romantic as that bathtub looks, I assure you that it wasn't being used for leisure this time. We'd wisely prepared in advance and had a full tub to scoop out pitchers for use in flushing toilets, washing hands and dishes.

Because the warnings were so severe, we also used our reverse osmosis water filter to fill every lidded cup, thermos and water bottle in the house. Fortunately, these held up to supply drinking water during the outage.
Lots of indoor activities kept the kids occupied- the usual art projects ensued.
We had a few early dance parties before the juice in my iPod was spent, some more bizarre than others. You get a little stir crazy after awhile, you know.

But all roads seemed to lead back to the fire? Brrrrrrr...

Because we have no gas line coming into the house, we got into our camping groove and made mountain pies (grilled cheese sandwiches) in the fireplace. 
Family room grilled cheese makin' 
After about 12 hours, it was time to start moving food out of the freezer and fridge into the cooler we'd prepared before the storm hit.
Our frozen tomatoes made nice ice packs to keep our refrigerator food cold.
As force of habit, of course we were still futilely flipping switches in every room, so we strategically placed candles, headlamps and flashlights around the house to light the way.
The natural glow was actually rather soothing through the difficult experience...

Very Halloween-like and juxtapositinal for the creepy weather outside.

Our essential dairy was stored in our camping cooler.
And double-high fives on the trip to the local winery we'd made immediately prior to the big black out.

As long as our daughter was still able to read her stories at night, bedtime wasn't too much of a problem. 
Long after the wee ones were a' snoozing, we busied ourselves with a 1000 piece puzzle of, appropriately, New York. We busted out a bottle of Chambourcin and an old radio and got "jiggy with it" (whomp whommm) till our necks were stiff and our fingers twitchy .
Aaaaaaand we carved another pumpkin.

All in all, our stint in the dark was small potatoes in comparison to the plights of others, but it really threw things into perspective.
The rush of hot water in our shower feels a little more magical this week, the grime running off my hands in the sink- a little more cleansing... the warmth in our bedrooms more lulling and the light in our hallways more guiding than ever before. Preparing a stovetop meal hasn't felt like a burden these past few days, and our clean laundry smells fresher than I've noticed in awhile.

Isn't it crazy to realize how much we take for granted? As cumbersome as it feels to go without, I'm reminded of how much we actually have, how completely lucky we really are.
And we are lucky, friends. Every day is a gift. Sometimes it takes a kick in the gut to see it, but it's the truth.

The result of this storm reminds me of an Emily Dickinson poem that I've kept on my refrigerator for years.

"There are winter mornings when the cold without only adds to the warmth within, and the more it snows and the harder it blows, brighter the fires blaze."

Sending extra love to everyone affected by Frankenstorm's wrath. The worst is past, and the light will return soon. May your fires within blaze bright, people. Hang in there!

1 comment:

Shazberry said...

I hope your family in Jersey is doing ok. That was rough. We were without power for 72 hours, which still isn't that bad compared to others. I'm just happy to be warm again! Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.