Well, after the storms were over we were not only left with a path of destruction in the community but with no power-in our case for about 6 days. We were very lucky that right after the storms Dave was able to locate and purchase a generator. One of the best investments we have ever made! It kept our fridge cold and our sanity intact. Short of not having hot water, we felt somewhat normal. We were also blessed with several days of beautiful weather so we were able to just relax outside in the yard. We used this downtime as "urban camping". So, we pulled out the fire pit and roasted over the fire and used candle light at night. The stars where so beautiful! The chaos was another story for the first few days though. The day after the storms hit we thought we would pack up and stay in Tennessee until we heard it was bumper to bumper for hours to get out of town. (This is when we got the generator) Then, we had to locate gas....with racing to the border with hundreds of others it was hours of waiting and disappointment as stations ran out. After a long afternoon we were able to fill our cans and return home to ride it out.
I want to say that although there was so much devastation and hundreds of people lost their lives, there was some good that came out of this. Good that I think only can come from bringing people together through a disaster and softening of so many hearts. Here is what I have seen out of it:
-Communities pulling together to get the work done
-Neighbors taking the time to greet and meet each other without the distractions of the world
-People ready to give you the shirt off their back
-Less tempers--more eye contact and understanding
-Prayer and thanksgiving
-A feeling of calm and peace...there was nothing to do but relax and help your neighbors. No Internet, phone, bills, work, shopping, soccer games....just peace and quiet
Finally, I just hope that as the power is starting to light our community again, it will not take these things away. I pray that we all remember these days and let the impact sink in moving forward. When the day to day to do lists start calling us, I hope that we are able to stop and take a breath and realize that each day is a blessing and there is much to enjoy about them. Our family has vowed to start a family tradition in honor of this storm outbreak. Every year on this date we will shut our breakers down and urban camp for the night to remind us of all that we have.
"Thank you Lord for protecting so many of us and letting us see the good through it all." Amen.