Aways a good practice to keep yourself humble and thankful. My parents would always stress that. Take a look at this amazing picture that was taken just south of me in Richmond during the storm.....http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6k3ia6OqF1qzbw2lo1_500.jpg
Even if you don’t live in the U.S., you probably heard of the unbelievably harsh storm – a super derecho or land hurricane, see pic – that hit many of us, particularly on the East Coast but apparently as far into the country as Indiana, this past weekend.
For us, it was Friday night (June 29). I was already in bed (hey, I do bootcamp, I have to go to bed early!) but woke up when we lost power (which was at 11:09 pm… I know because when it finally came back on, that was the time that was flashing on our phone).
The next day – June 30 – was my husband’s birthday, so I’d probably have woken up around midnight anyway, but for a completely different reason.
Three days of hell
So began three days of what felt like hell. It’s bad enough that you end up having to throw all your food out when the power goes out for an extended period of time, but add scorchingly hot temps, an emergency water restriction, and three dogs who have no idea what’s going on… you get the picture.
However, we did get our power back on Monday evening, and count ourselves very lucky; there are still people in our area who don’t have power, and who may not get it back until Friday night.
In fact, as tough as it was on us, we were really lucky:
None of us died
We don’t have kids/small children/older people whose lives were in danger
Our home wasn’t damaged and, in fact, our neighborhood got off relatively easy, as we saw when we drove around on Saturday morning (got out early to grab breakfast, gas & ice!)
Even with the restriction in place for a couple of days, we still had water and gas, so I was able to cook something akin to a birthday meal for my husband
Our neighbors lent us their generator before they left for the beach, so at least during the day, on one day, we were able to cool down somewhat
I was able to get us a reservation at a nearby hotel on Monday (using my points, so we didn’t even have to pay for it!), and I can’t tell you how blissful it felt to be able to take a proper shower. They didn’t accept pets (hotels really need to figure the pet-friendly thing out, IMHO, given how crazy we are as a country about pets), but it was close enough to our home that we could come back to check on them… and, in fact, that’s what we were doing on Monday evening when the power came back.
And today, the day we celebrate our country’s heritage and legacy as the “land of the free and the home of the brave, we actually have power, and I can write this post.
We take so much for granted; it’s only human nature. In the developed world, electricity is one of those things. And while Pepco and other electric utilities are coming under fire, as they always do when such a severe weather event occurs, and there’s a lot I wasn’t pleased with, they did get my power back on.
I have strong opinions on what they do, and don’t do, right from a communication point of view, but I’m eternally grateful to their crews on the ground.
So today, I’m going to keep reminding myself how lucky I am.
Not just that I am a citizen of, and live in, the land of the free, but of all that I have, that gives me the freedom to do the work I want and not have to do; to be where I want and not have to be; to be with who I want and not have to be.
Happy Independence Day.
You know, it is so easy to take this stuff for granted - and I try to live a life of gratitude every day. Griping and grousing about the minutiae of your day is easy. The inverse is more difficult, and well worth the effort. Thanks for the reminder, @shonali
@adamtoporek I was so relieved when it came back. We'd come back from the hotel to hang out with the dogs for a bit, feed 'em, etc., and then I got a text from my neighbor saying the lights were back on (we were outside on the deck). I literally jumped up, screaming "OMG OMG OMG OMG" and jumped all the way into the house!
My kids and I talk about this all the time. It is really easy to take so many of these things for granted.
@TheJackB It is. You know, I grew up in India, and Calcutta at the time had regular "load shedding," for an average of 8 hours a day. For many years we didn't have a generator, and then when I was in high school, we did get one, so that helped a little. But we figured out how to deal with it. The thing is, systems & cities here are not equipped to deal with situations like this. Maybe everyone should have to go camping once a year to remember/learn what it's like!
Glad everyone is safe and sound, Shonali! I can't imagine what no power feels like in this heat (I got tastes of it when the power went out in the summer in Illinois, but never had it out for that long!). It's easy to forget to count our blessings.
@annedreshfield It was horrible. Had there even been a slight breeze, it would have helped so much, but with no breeze, and the temps... it was horrid. BUT - like I said, there was a lot going in our favor, so we weren't as badly off as some people... in fact, some people still don't have their power back. I feel so bad for them.
At least is wasn't hot after the power went out...............doh.............electricity and air conditioning is something you 'miss' very, very quickly. I was wondering if you were one of the lucky ones.....I saw that you were tweeting somewhat so I figured you must be ok.
That was a very scary storm; must have seemed like the end times or something....
Glad all is ok.
@bdorman264 When I woke up on Friday night (after the lights went out) and looked out our bedroom window, I saw a neighbor's (very tall) tree literally whirling - it looked as if it was rotating. It was a little scary, to put it mildly... and actually, I'm glad it was at night, in a way, because if I'd seen those clouds/that sky, I'd probably have freaked out. Did you see "Take Shelter"? It was just like that.
And thank you, my friend! Yes, Twitter & Facebook were how I could let people know how we were. Isn't it incredible? And, in fact, thanks to Facebook and so many friends there, particularly @justinthesouth , I got the right recommendations on what kind of mifi device to buy, called a Verizon store in the area to confirm they had it, and then went and picked it up. Social is AWESOME.
@Shonali Glad I could help out. Helps that I have clients who this is their world. Here is to next week being better than this one.
A good reminder, Shonali, of what it is that truly makes life "good" and a reminder that there are others who can only dream of the comforts that we so quickly take for granted. Happy Fourth and beyond!
Great post, @Shonali, with valuable reminders about counting our blessings. Thank you for sharing this message of gratefulness. Have a safe and fun holiday.
@BeckyGaylord It was fairly quiet; we went out for brunch, and then came home, planning to do nothing... there was a local fireworks display planned, but with the temps so high, we didn't want to go out, even at 9 pm at night. Did you have a good Fourth? And thank you for stopping by!
@Shonali Same with us, on the quiet front. We didn't take extra days off, so the midweek holiday was really low-key. But safe! Be well, and so happy to still seeing you writing WUL as often as you do after taking your new job ; )
I am so sorry that you went through that. I did look at the photos a few days back but then I am glad you are okay. Like you say, count our blessings :)
Happy Independence Day!
@Hajra Thank you! And thank you for being the first person to stop by here. :) How are you doing, btw?