Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Last night our electricity was restored, after being knocked out in a massive, windy thunderstorm Sunday night. It's funny how attached we are to our electricity, and how many times I forgot and flipped a switch, opened the fridge, or even tried to make coffee these past few days.
It was the same way two years ago, when we were without power for three days after a tornado flattened the next street over and did some moderate damage to our house (see that story on Kyle's blog here). This time, though, it was a little less depressing, since the damage to our house was minimal by comparison, and the weather in the days after the storm wasn't dreary and rainy.
Because of our experience with the tornado, we are not a family that takes bad weather lightly. Sunday night our weather radio was only talking about a thunderstorm warning, but when the rain started blowing in around the cracks in our (closed) windows and doors, we decided to wake the kids and go downstairs anyway. Only after we'd settled into our basement bathroom did the weather radio begin instructing people to take shelter. By that point, we could hear glass breaking somewhere upstairs in our house.
Let me just say what a terrible feeling that is, to think that something is going very wrong and that you are required to just sit there and let it happen, because there is nothing you can do to stop it.
The funny thing is, even though my nerves felt like they were on fire, in the back of my mind I really feel like somehow we cannot be hit by another storm, as if our past experience must have inoculated us against all further inconvenience and homeowners insurance claims. Like we are invincible somehow, since we already had our turn. As we sat there, listening to the storm blow and blow our house and imagining all our belongings getting soaked, all I could think was, "Seriously? Again? No way."
Just as we did after our last basement party, we sent Kyle upstairs to survey the damage. He returned with the happy news that everything was dry, and that it was only a couple of storm windows that had broken. This did NOT help me overcome my denial, as I hardly felt surprised.
In the past few days, I've been thinking that I need to get past this feeling. I know that sometimes more than one bad thing happens to a person or a family or a neighborhood. I need to remember that there are people in the world who endure one hardship after another after another, and many of them don't even get a nice house like mine to be concerned about. How spoiled am I that I complain about having to drive up the street to McDonald's to use the internet? Really, it could hardly be said that I've experienced my share of hardship in this life.
I am grateful that, this time, we are back to normal barely 48 hours after the storm. No chainsaws or insurance adjusters or contractors were required. All the meat from our deep freeze got a trip across town to our friends Madeline and John's house (seriously, they should start charging us for our bi-annual invasion of their freezer space). The kids were overjoyed that we broke our fast food ban in order to use the internet Monday morning (really, with all the downed power lines in the roads, the internet was the best way we could think of to check whether our classes were canceled). We really don't deserve much sympathy for this storm.
It is nice, though, to recognize how much power we take for granted in our everyday life.