|Our home after the ice storm.|
This winter, one of the many winter storms that passed through Pennsylvania hit us very hard. There were hundreds of thousands of people without power. I was one of those people. I woke up Wednesday morning to a very silent, dark, and cold house. I just wanted to crawl back into bed, but I knew I had little ones that had probably kicked their blankets off in the middle of the night. Both my toddler and seven-year-old jumped right into bed with me. We cuddled and stayed warm until the sun started shining through the window. As I lay there in bed, I smiled and thought, boy, is this going to be an adventure.
I don’t know why I was so happy, but I was. I could have been miserable. I could have thought about how without electricity, we had no water (because we have a well and rely on the pump), we had no heat, and we had no access to our septic tank. I could have focused on how this all happened on the week that my husband was out of town and I was alone with the two girls. I could have been mad at myself for not buying that generator we have been talking about for so long. I could have been miserable. I could have even broken down and cried.
The reality is that there was a lot to smile about. I had my two pride and joys right there with me holding me tight with their big bright smiles. I had a car with all wheel drive that I knew would get me through the bad roads. I had plenty of bottles/jugs of water and a collection of MREs in case we needed to go into survival mode. I had family within a three-hour drive who still had electricity and would welcome a visit. I had neighbors who would try to help me anyway they could and with an old fashioned fireplace if we needed warmth. Most importantly, I had a God who I knew would not let me down.
As soon as the sun was up, I got the girls dressed and we proceeded to do some recon to assess the roads and plan our exit strategy if need be (sorry, I spent too much time working for the military). The first thing I did was stop at the nearest gas station to fill up on gas. The roads were bad, half the lights were out, and trees were down left and right, but thankfully I was raised in Chicago and I am pretty good driver on snow and ice. I knew I could make it to VA where my family was if I needed to. I took my princesses somewhere where we could get a hot bite to eat. Wegman’s was opened and hot coffee and hot chocolate were available. We had a blast. The girls were happy because they were eating sweets, something I do not allow on a regular basis, and I too was happily enjoying my favorite pumpkin muffin.
When we got back home, we stopped at our neighbors to see how they were fairing. We stayed there for awhile, enjoyed the good company, and a warm fire. I got the strong feeling that power was going to be out for a few days. When we got home, I packed up the car and drained all the pipes to avoid burst pipes. With our two dogs and all, we headed down to my brother’s in VA.
Amazingly, even though we left at 4 PM and hit DC at 6:30 PM, we hit no traffic and this is after an ice storm! The other amazing part is that no one needed a potty break! Those were two miracles in and of themselves. We spent the first part of our trip with my brother and the last part with my sister. It was such a sweet few days and just what we needed.
My husband had been gone for six months and had gotten back in December. When I received the news prior to the storm that he needed to go for 10 days on an emergency trip after barely being back two months, I was pretty bummed. The girls and I missed him terribly for those first three days he was gone so to now be in VA surrounded by family was such a special treat. Since schools were closed due to the severity of the power outages, we did not have to worry about coming back to PA any time soon. We finally made it back home the day my husband returned from his trip and by that time the power was back.
The experience reminded me of Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
The lesson here: You can sit there and mope and wonder why things happen or you can get up and let God lead you. Thankfully, this time around, I chose the latter and the girls and I ended up being very blessed. Yes, blessings can be found even in a powerful winter storm.
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