Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Snowy Day-Today and Five Years Ago

Today was a snow day.  School was cancelled, the kids and I played CandyLand and watched way too many episodes of "Power Rangers" on Netflix. I caught up on Words with Friends and uploading pictures during naptime.  Laundry isn't done, but it's going.  The house is clean(er) and the dishwasher did my duty for me.  Pretty good day!

However, five years ago today the infamous "Ice Storm of '07" made her appearance.  Jeremy and I lived in Bolivar in our tiny apartment, where many of our close friends lived also.  I taught 4th grade at Fair Play Elementary and Jeremy worked at Radio Shack.  We were kid-less.  Young.  Adventurous.  We survived five days together, without electricity, heat, and showers (well...I took an ice cold one after eating breakfast in a smoky diner on day three.  I thought I would catch pneumonia and die but it was better than smelly like an ashtray.).  Our food was put in a cooler outside our door. 

We had one of our biggest disagreements when I went against my husband's wishes and stood in line for half a day to buy a $100 kerosene heater.  I still bear a scar on my left thumb where a sheet of ice slid off my back window while unloading that thing.  It was our battle that we never spoke of during that time, but was the big white elephant in the room.  Part of me wanted him not to enjoy any of the heat, while I knew part of him would rather freeze than warm his toes by the orange flame. Funny!

We had friends over to sit around a candle laiden room to eat sandwich meat and crackers.  I read oodles of books by sunlight and flashlight.  I used the excuse of "maybe we'll have school tomorrow so I don't want to leave", just to see how long we could make it on our own without freezing to death.

I saw God's handiwork in nature so heavy with clear ice that whole trees were uprooted and laying across roads, yards, houses.  We took pictures of little Charlie Brown trees on SBU's little campus.  We had that eery feeling of being totally alone because at night every light in the town, even Walmart's, was silenced.

Jeremy and I got to spend five days together since neither of our workplaces had electricity.  I learned to be thankful for enough money in our bank account so we could eat out for almost every meal and enjoy a little warmth once a few parts of town regained power.  I felt bad for those who had kids to feed and keep warm.

I really "met" one of my now dearest friends when I went to take a shower at their place and ended up talking for hours at her kitchen table.  We eventually moved right next door to them.  Although we've moved away from each other, we can still sit and talk for hours.

So many things have changed in five years-the loss of our first little one we learned was on it's way shortly after this ice storm.  The birth of our two beautiful babies that make me immediately start packing my bags to go someplace warm when the lights even flicker!  Houses, friends, jobs...the list of changes could go on and on. 

Many things have not changed though.  Mine and Jeremy's stubborn streak, for instance.  (Yep...I admit it and gladly admit Jeremy's as well!)  I will say we are more likely to talk things out and see each other's side now than we did then.  I still marvel at the beauty of snow and ice.  I also remember the power of a whole bunch of tiny rain drops and snow flakes mixed with below freezing temperatures. 

Those few days were long, fun, almost unbearable at times and memorable.  I am constantly amazed lately how I can see God using even these things for His good.  Even in the ice storm of 2007 He was teaching us to be thankful, dependent, and weaving friendships to last a lifetime. I am thankful for snowy days and all the memories...or lessons...they hold.