However, that could be said about my life at any moment. As a person who lives in a wealthy nation with dependable (usually) access to clean water, electricity, and a ridiculous amount of food, just about anything I might express displeasure about would appear frivolous and self-involved on a global scale. Does me whining become proportionally more insensitive the closer the tragedy gets to me?
Then I realized I was overlooking a fundamental truth of human nature: People love to whine and complain, but nobody really wants to listen to other people whining and complaining. Ever. So I chucked the whiny post that I wrote while still waiting for the power to come back on and I’ve instead decided to discuss the five things I was grateful for after Sandy took my power away.
Would it be awesome to have one of those big fancy generators that seamlessly run the entire house without having to play guess how many kilowatts it takes to run a toaster oven? (answer: too many) Of course it would. But, we don’t. And since this one got us through with the necessities, do we really need a bigger beast? I’ll let you know the next time we lose power...
The photo below was taken after last year's Halloween storm...
I am no longer surprised when I hear about ancient civilizations solving tough engineering feats in order to create running water. That's what I would have spent my life working on too.
After the July outage, my husband got the generator hard wired into the house. This solved the running water issue. So, when this storm hit, I could fill up my Brita pitcher so we didn’t have to buy drinking water. I could wash dishes. I could flush my toilets. I could take extremely cold showers. (I don’t know how grateful for that last one I am, actually.)
My short hair. I got my hair cut the Thursday before the storm because I was originally supposed to get family photos done by Silverpixels on Sunday. The pictures were cancelled, but the hair was still done.
While my power was out, from Monday night to Thursday night, I had two cold bathing experiences. The first was a bath that I tried in vain to warm up with kettles full of boiling water. Because the house was cold, the water out of the faucet was so icy, and it took so long for each kettle of water to boil, I could not get the temperature in the tub above OH MY GOD, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I couldn't even sit. I stood naked in a tub filled to my shins, covered with goose bumps, and wildly splashed water onto my head and pertinent areas, yelping and howling with each hit like someone was shooting me at pointblank range with paintball pellets. Which is to say, I found it somewhat unpleasant.
Holding my head and my pertinent areas in a direct stream of freezing cold water long enough to rinse whilst already naked, wet and shivering ranks pretty high on my list of experiences I’m hoping never to repeat. Along with spinal taps. And childbirth.
Fortunately for me, however, my four year old was not interested in playing board games. For reasons I don’t think I will ever fully understand, he spent the better part of the power outage entertaining himself by making crafts. If I didn’t believe in miracles before, I do now.
So while the little guy was encircling himself with glue and paper bits, me and the older two solved murders. I taught them the art of misdirection, of protecting your secrets, and how to box people into a corner so they have to give you the information you want. Basically, a bunch of tricks I will later regret them knowing.
My family went to bed early so up until the power went out, I distracted myself by watching the (oh so soothing) news and then a disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow. In retrospect, maybe wasn’t the best choice. And then, fade to black... There I was, alone in the dark, listening to the howling wind, the pecking rain, and nothing else. I was scared.