I’m in the process of writing an article regarding how to move forward from the I’ve-done-nothing-that-I-originally-planned-to-do-and-winter-is-making-me-miserable blues, and I’ve had a chance to live this article over the last few days. We don’t see much winter here, but when it does come, we learn how unprepared we are for it. (Interestingly enough, I read where a newspaper writer from Rochester, NY criticized our exaggeration and over-preparation for winter weather. Let’s see her survive ~90 days where it’s already 90 degrees and 100% humidity at 8 a.m., with no chance of a cool breeze.) The mere warning of winter has, for all practical purposes, shut the city down for the next 4-5 days. Personally, I’ve laughed at myself as I, the notorious introvert, had finally worked myself up to get out of the house and take the kids out on a group field trip this Friday. Cancelled. The cheerleading practice for Saturday’s Upward games? Cancelled. All I await is the text from the dance instructors saying that tonight’s practices are a wash.
Because of the extended cold temperatures and high usage rates, the electric company has shut off the power intermittently throughout the city—45 minutes here, 45 minutes there, with no warning. Yesterday, we woke up with no clocks, no heat, no nothing. Then, just as everything clicked back on and we started about our day, there came another click, and everything was off again. By the afternoon, life was far more normal, but the morning’s interruptions had taken a definite toll on a crew that doesn’t need much to get off track, anyway. By this morning, I was just thankful to have consistent power while I baked oatmeal.
Filling the days without electricity has been enlightening. The computer wasn’t always available, and neither was the television. The oldest spent her day no differently than she always does, but our younger two were forced into some creativity with their normal outlets unavailable. And though I missed television, I have to confess that I didn’t need to see one more angle regarding how the Packers might take down Ben Roethlisberger this Sunday. Incidentally, playing in Green Bay, WI and Pittsburgh, PA, respectively, both NFL teams have requested to keep the “palace that Jerry (Jones) built” open for Superbowl Sunday. For the Texas natives who control the Dome’s operation and the Superbowl-related revenues? Not a chance.
What did I do with my unplugged time? I rushed to secure clean clothes before we lost the washing machine and dryer. I got dinner prepared early—oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans, and for once, every family member could eat some portion of the same meal without me having to cook anything extra. I washed and braided the youngest’s hair. I had my own praise and worship via my cell phone (okay, so maybe I’m not so unplugged in after all). When our son complained that he wouldn’t get to watch “Live to Dance,” I had another praise and worship session. Kids in traditional schools today had no power and no hot lunch, and most had to brave the elements to get back and forth to home. How dare any one of us stand with a full belly and a heated blanket and complain. I think he, too, saw the light when he later came and sat and enjoyed his sister’s reading of Mark Twain’s Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.
I even worked out, blowing the dust off my 8-lb weights and adding in some sit-ups.
Besides the power outages and the cancelled school days, the city has yet to actually see any of the snow and hazardous weather that anyone predicted. Yet, though I’ll be the first to say that I enjoy my modern conveniences, I can admit that a day or two with nothing to plug into, type, or watch passively probably did us a world of good.
P.S. Just got a text. Dances classes cancelled. Wonder what our (potentially) unplugged time might look like tonight?