Wednesday, August 31, 2011

48 hours without?

The hurricane blew in, bringing back memories of Hurricane Gloria when I was perhaps the age of my oldest son.  Mom took us outside to be sure everything was tied down.  We saw, on the rope that separated the deep end from the shallow in the in ground pool, a little mouse hanging on with all it's might.  Later that day, we made candied apples and all sat together in the kitchen- the center of our home.  Climbing on the downed tree in the back was great fun after the storm had passed.

Sunday we enjoyed our homemade french toast and while doing so, the power went out.  Truth be told, Dan and I had to think of what to do with ourselves with no power - at least initially.

Unable to run the vacuum, the laundry undone, no hot water and a dishwasher full of dishes, no way to cook the food that was perishing in our fridge and freezer, and in the chest freezer I had stocked with meals before starting school with the boys...
My grand plan had been for this week to be "cleaning week" in preparation for beginning our "school year" next week.  I used to be a planner.  I now hold more loosely to my plans, because my plans seem to rarely be His plans.  Cleaning week has been cut short.

Instead, 48 hours passed without power.  The kids unable to attend to most of their chores, we did some errands, we cleaned and organized the boys rooms - closets and all.  We talked, we read, we imagined what life was like before electricity.  How did those who lived before do their laundry?  How did they see at night?  How did they wash their dishes?  I am sure they were far more efficient than I, their having the knowledge and tools to get along without gadgets and machines.

Evenings brought earlier bedtimes, Dan and I reading for hours by candlelight.  We all missed the iPod - the sounds that permeate through our home as everyone sings along daily.  In it's place, the children- all three- continued to sing.  Noah asking for "lights on" to read his books as it got dark, just thought we were not cooperating with him.  The weather perfect for sleeping we didn't miss the air conditioner.  The sky so dark we could see the stars.  The house so quiet, so peaceful.

We lost nearly all of what was in our fridge and small freezer.  What was at the bottom of the chest freezer was saved, but needed to be used because it had begun to thaw.  We brought dinner to friends, and yesterday was spent making batches of meatballs and browning hamburg. The crockpot filled to the brim with chicken.  We now have many meals prepared and returned to the freezer.  The fridge and freezers thawed and fully cleaned out.  I did say I wanted this to be "cleaning week", it's just not what I had in mind!

"Cleaning week" has begun!  Instead of commencing with chaos and craziness, it began with yes, a bit of frustration, but much peace and calm.  So quiet.  Tasks I had not planned on getting to were done anyway out of necessity.  We had 48 hours filled with time to read, to converse, to begin to pick up sticks and enjoy the fresh air, the smell of pine surrounds our home.  Errands were done that would otherwise have not been.

In one sense, it was 48 hours without.  In another it was 48 hours with.  48 hours we spent as a family.  Forty eight hours with nowhere to be, little work that could be accomplished.  Forty eight hours with no phone, no computer, no television, no distractions.  Forty eight hours with no laundry to fold, no cooking to be done, no vacuuming to do.  Instead, 48 hours of peace, quiet, calm, candle light, sweet children's voices and much laughter.  Forty eight hours to give thanks, for there was much to give thanks for.

 "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil."  James 4:13-16


Jennifer @ said...


You have such a beautiful perspective -- seeking and finding the silver lining under the storm cloud. What a great disappointment to lose the food, and to be without lights and hot water. Yet what a GRAND 48 hours you made it -- even reading by candlelight! Ah ... how enchanting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lisa! How blessed we all are...even during 48 hours without power. I love your perspective here. What an encouragement!


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