There are still pockets of our town without power. Not so much full pockets as much as slivers of pockets. Slockets if you will of miserable, cold people who chose to stick it out in their dark homes rather than spend a single night with local friends offering heat, light and Wi-Fi. I don’t judge those who willingly live like pioneers – braving the elements and making the best of things in order to stay in the home they love – unless they incessantly kvetch about it all over Facebook. Then I judge a little. But don’t be hurt! If I learned anything from my mother, it’s that to judge is to love. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t bother.
We have been at home now with power for about a week, and to date I am unable to turn the switch of a light without smiling and thanking the little 8 pound 6 ounce infant baby Jesus for power.
In addition to the baby Jesus, I’d also like to thank the crews from Florida who schlepped all the way up here to our ravaged state to work day and night and get the job done. I’m not gonna lie to you all. On the 7th day without power, I drove home to fetch some essentials to bring back to the house of our benefactors. As I turned the corner on to our road and saw the trucks lined up and the burly men in their fluorescent yellow, man-vests climbing trees and stringing up wires to save us all from darkness, and I started to bawl right there in my car. I wept out of joy and relief.
I may have also been exceptionally fragile due to the continual absorption of alcohol throughout our exile. Furthermore, I was hormonal because of my impending menses. I wasn’t worried that I was many days late, of course. If there was one thing I learned from Todd Akin, it was that my body has a defense mechanism that allows me to shut down during stressful situations, and clearly my uterus was shutting down my period until I could bleed in the privacy of my own home. But between the drink and the hormones and the stress of being displaced, it was understandable that I should body jerk with sobs in my car and laugh hysterically when I wasn’t crying and wonder if I should offer to give my Floridian saviors BJs right then and there. In a moment of clarity, I decided against it. But I might buy a fluorescent, yellow vest for Gabriella to wear.
The next day, our Floridian saviors restored our power, and we moved home. We pumped the heat to a balmy 68 degrees and unpacked. It took a few days to feel that regular state of normalcy. We had to stock our kitchen with all the basics and ease back into routines as schools and extra-curricular activities began to open doors. There were still plenty of people without power, and conversations continued to revolve around hurricane experiences and power statuses. Running into friends in town was never a casual affair. When people asked, “How are you?” They meant, “How ARE you?” and we all connected over our best and worst moments.
A friend of mine was without power still when we saw each other at Tae Kwon Do. She looked frightening. It wasn’t that she looked physically ugly – she is in fact a gorgeous lady – so much as depleted and cranky and a bit crazed like she could claw your eyes out if you looked at her sideways. She was in no mood for small talk, but she did tell me that she had discovered a really great boxed-wine that she had been drinking often throughout the week. You see, no matter our race or religion or level of education, the longer we are deprived the basics of modern living, the easier it becomes to give up, numbing ourselves with food and drink and hiding in the darkness as our inner crack whores rise up and out. I shared this theory with my boxed-wine drinking friend, and she couldn’t help but agree. When the End of Days is upon us, it’s not going to be pretty.
We certainly made the best of a crappy situation, and I hope everyone in our community was able to do the same. I personally think we all do better in the company of friends during tough times, and we are lucky to have some amazing friends who are giving and gracious and great fun. Well, that’s our Thanksgiving toast sorted.
Thank you so much to the Kremen Family who made us feel like family and who shared with us that Talladega Nights clip which kept us laughing and praising baby Jesus for days. Our kids were grateful that we lost power so that we could have the best family sleep-over ever and haven’t stopped asking for another one.
Please consider donating to the Red Cross to help all those still suffering!