Hurricanes are generally no joke but over the past few years we’ve had some pretty laughable ones in the past (Hurricane Earl, anyone?) so it came as no surprise to me that so many people took Hurricane Irene’s intense media coverage as a “hurricane” instead of a HURRICANE. I’m the type that would prefer to err on the side of overly cautious (perhaps paranoid) as opposed to under prepared so we decided to be sure that we took any potential projectiles off the lawn and secured what we could in the basement. Although we could have passed the storm at home we decided to make the 10 mile mecca to my father’s house since (a) he’s like MacGuyver and (b) he has a generator.
The news reports from North Carolina and into Virginia were unbelievable but here in Rhode Island we just had a lot of rain and wind. My father was so anxious to fire up his generator I think he was actually hoping to lose power… but we didn’t. Then by Sundayafternoon Hurricane Irene was Tropical Storm Irene and we decided to spend Sunday in our own home since it seemed like all systems were a go.
We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Apparently, there were literally millions of people without power on the East Coast and Little Rhody was no exception. Considering that I live in the smallest state in the union with approximately 1 million residents, it was hard to believe that nearly 400,000 people were without power on Sunday… including me.
If it were only Sunday we were out of power it wouldn’t have been such a big deal but by the third day of no electricity and water and discovering that we could potentially not have power for another 5 days was a little exhausting. Traveling to my parents house for our basic needs, plugging in our computers and phones anywhere that would let us, and just the general fatigue that comes with your life getting surprisingly thrown out of whack really began to take its toll. People likened it to camping but when you camp you are prepared to go camping… I was not prepared for three days of darkness.
On the afternoon of Day 4 we finally got our power back. I longed to listen to the toilet flush by simply pressing the lever not heaving a gallon of water into the back of the tank. I couldn’t wait to take a long, hot shower in my house. I wanted to make a cup of coffee and just exist as I was so used to existing.
It wasn’t until the following evening when we were clean and clear that I discovered something beautiful in the eye of the storm. It was the fact that Jeff and I had an opportunity to talk by candlelight for four nights. We had restful sleep night after night without the distraction of television. We got to spend time with our family and got to truly appreciate the little things in life that we take for granted every single day.
As I type this there are a few hundred families in Rhode Island that are still without power or water. I welcome anyone to my house for a hot meal, a hotter shower, and outlets to charge your connection to the world. I hope even more that people took this time to realize just how many blessings we have… especially when it seems like we have nothing at all.