I'm not complaining -
We had a completely lovely candlelit dinner tonight, and it wasn't even anyone's birthday or anniversary and we weren't trying to be all romantic or old-fashioned or anything.
No, it was because we didn't have power for 3.5 hours. "The Electricicle!! It went out again!!" Name that episode. Ours only went out once, and it was a doozy. But I'm not complaining!
I'm happy to be alive. I really really am. Not only that, I'm happy for the Electricicle (I refuse to call it anything now that I remember how adorable it is in that movie) that is now working because of said "Wondermen of the FPL". Good old Wondermen - I thank you.
and I'm not complaining that I spent half an hour washing down the west side of our house to remove all the pasted leaves off of it, and also my un-dented car, nor am I complaining that I also spent that time dragging branches to the street and picking up many branches and moss bundles and pinecones and throwing them with my MBL arm into the trashcan.
I think that the reason why I'm not complaining is also the story here. Because today I was home alone, huddled in my parents closet with: my cellphone, 1 headset radio, 1 flashlight, 1 pillow, 1 blanket, 1 worried puppy and a very very dark and quiet house. No, I wasn't complaining then either .... I was too busy praying, and comforting my puppy, telling her we were fine and trying to make my hands stop shaking so hard.
The world outside our very very dark house was not quiet. Why? Well, we were under a tornado watch, and just as I was reading on Weather.com (excellent resource, btw, I mean, if you have power) about our tornado watch, I read about the severe thunderstorm warning and about "high winds".... zzzzzt. The power went out completely. From light and power and internet to dark and nothing and alarms going off everywhere. I looked out the window from where I was sitting and watched as the trees bent sideways "oh not good." The storm hit out of nowhere, and I ran around the house getting things while the dog panicked and I hit hyperventilate mode. I turned on the radio just as it went static "get on a secure location on the bottom floor of your buildi.....sssshhht." and then my mind went into "Closet Mode".
You may not be aware that your brain can make up this mode and your brain may not use or even need this function, but mine most certainly does. It comes from surviving Cat. 3 hurricanes in this mode, and it is very useful. I could say I didn't want this mode at all, which would be partly true, but remember - I'm not complaining.
After piling everything into the closet and calling for the dog, who so happened to be cowering right behind me, things started hitting the house. And I thought "wow. no time for putting up plyboard", I shut the door and sat down and the the hail hit. I called my mom and sister who were on the interstate and told them to get off, and then prayed for their safety. In what seemed like not very long at all, everything suddenly fell silent. Aaaand I went back into panic mode. "this is it" I thought. "Everyone knows that it goes silent right before the tornado hits." But it didnt. Thankfully, no tornado for us!
But between the tornado watch, the hurricane force winds (yes, you read that right), hail 4 times (the size of quarters reported in our area), 3.5 hours without power, and my family spread out in various locations .... it was more excitement than I thought I'd have in one afternoon. But I'm not complaining, because we are all safe, and alive.
As I trembled in the closet and my doggie trotted around the 3 feet of space in circles ... I whispered "though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea ... though the earth be moved ... yet God is my Rock and my salvation ... of whom shall I be afraid" my memory jumbled verses together, and the peace of God stilled my hands and my heart in peace. :)
So you can see why I would not be complaining about little things like power and internet and The Electricicle when my family and those I love are safe and together. And as we sat around our kitchen table, and talked about a repeat of today in tomorrow's weather (prayers would be appreciated), and about our "Wondermen of FPL" "patching" the downed line, or "fixing" it, the half of a pig in our freezer, the lovely cool breeze blowing outside and other topics, we ate our dinner.
And then we had dessert, and I roasted marshmallows over the candles and had s'mores. Sad thing was, as I sang "Kumbaya" and my marshmallows burst into flames for the 12th time, Kimberly pointed at the clock which had begun to flicker, and then the AC came on, and then we all groaned, and cheered, and I yelled "ITS ALIIIIIIIIIVE!!!" For our Electricicle was restored to its prior state. Then Dad says "ahh, and just when I was looking forward to a quiet night of no noise or computers", and in a pitiful disappointed reply, I say "and I still had 10 more verses of Kumbaya to go!". And then silence fell around our small circle of candles and wafting s'more smoke until we started eating again, and then we all sat there in the dark eating our dessert, until finally we got up to wash the dishes, and the lights had to come on.
and that was our eventful afternoon .... :) try and top THAT.
One more note of depravity to interject here - marshmallows that are toasted over ye open flame on yonder candle do not end up tasting like an open campfire on a starry night. No, they end up tasting like - candle.
But as I said before .... I'm not complaining. ;)
With love from the Tornado Trenches ...
~ Jean Marie ~