From where? You ask?
From an amazing 6 days.
Really? Were you on vacation?
Haaaaaaaaa! Ummmm - not egggzactly...
Ok, maybe I shall.
7 days ago, Miss Hurricane Irene crashed through our world leaving a path of destruction in it's wake like no one in our small town has ever experienced. It wasn't the kind of horrors seen in say - Hurricane Katrina or Andrew or Ike. Although our shoreline towns took an incredible beating and one in particular had houses just blown up.
Just before we were married, my husband and I actually lived on the beach, about 2 houses down from the below homes. Just horrible. My heart goes out to those who lost so much. But luckily, few lives were lost and that is important. And amazing.
In our town, the destruction took form in the way of downed trees and power lines.
This is a pic of my friend Lynn's property. You get the idea...
Our property was relatively unscathed. Amazing! But...
we lost power for SIX days. SIX DAYS! Have you ever been without power? For a day? 2 days? SIX DAYS??????
It was an interesting time. The first day was novel. The 2nd day, a nuisance. The 3rd day, wow this isn't ending. Day 4, ummmm WTF? Day 5 - I gotta get a pedicure!
And day 6 - this is kinda relaxing! WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????
I don't know how to explain it. Of course, I did my share of whining, commiserating, BOILING POOL WATER...but all in all - this experience held quite a bit of JOY. Amazing!
We were one of the lucky people who had a pool and a hot tub as a water source. Obviously, you don't drink or cook with that water but it was an endless supply of water for toilets and washing dishes. We also had a gas cooktop (and a grill of course) so we were able to cook a variety of meals. Although the dish washing got REALLLLLLY old, so the cooking went by the wayside on about Day 3.
Anyway - do you realize there's not much to do when you don't have power? I personally was paralyzed. While some of my unlucky friends were cleaning closets and tending to their littered and beaten yards, I was sitting on my front porch, monitoring facebook, texting with friends and reading. Yup - essentially doing NOTHING.
WHAT a concept! I mean - it sounds like I am such a slug
and I am, as much as possible! but with 3 kids under the age of 12, all I could think of was surviving - the next meal, swabbing the decks with anti-bacterial wipes, filling the fresh water containers...
We DID borrow a coveted generator on Day 3 which powered our fridg and some lights etc but not water. By that time, everything in the fridge and freezer had gone bad, but the generator made life much easier - ESPECIALLY because I didn't have to sit in my car to charge my precious IPhone!!!! My lifeline to...well...MY LIFE!
That's how I stayed in complete touch with
the Yankee/Red Sox 3 game series - Yankees RULE! all my friends and relatives. Through facebook and texting. Amazing!
I think what I found interesting - perhaps even from an anthropology point of view - with no power, people's lives slooooowwwed down and we actually visited with each other. I had coffee with friends in the morning either on my front porch or theirs. We were invited to evening barbecues by people who had generators that fully powered their homes where we ate and
drank talked and laughed for hours. We spent some wonderful candle lit nights with friends who weren't lucky enough to have generators. Just amazing!
We were offered showers, laundry use, water, ice, power availability to charge phones - it was simply JOYful to live so simply in this way. Obviously - for me - this experience was different simply because I had a planned 4 weeks off from the gym. So I wasn't consumed with working. And as I said - I had more resources then many.
But my kids never whined once. They made the best of it and spent their days being kids. It was positively delightful to watch them ride bikes and play wiffle ball and climb trees and essentially be KIDS! No stupid computer games, tv, Wii, etc. I honestly am so proud of them. So many of my friends complained about their kids whining and fighting and boredom. Not mine. Amazing!
Late yesterday afternoon, we were hosting a cookout because - well - we might as well! SO we are all sitting on the front porch, beers
tanq and tonic for me in hand when I looked up at our porch light and just started screaming. My husband JUMPED up, "What?! What!? Is it a bat! A spider????" looking at the light the whole time - NOT REGISTERING THE GLOWING BEACON!!!!!!!
So our time in a bubble came to an end. And in it's twisted way, I am a bit sad. The rhythm of this lifestyle was starting to take hold. The thought of getting back to real life is kind of bumming me out. Back to rushing around, computers and tv, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, getting kids ready for school, re-designing my kitchen, closing the pool, opening the gym, laundry, vet visits - you get the picture.
My friends will razz me endlessly when they read this post. Especially those STILL without power. But I know that something a bit on the magical side occurred in my world and quite frankly, I caught JOY!
(On day 6, I found this little gem blooming all by itself - total beauty JOY)