A week ago Saturday, the East Coast of the United Stateswas hit with a freak October Nor’Easter. It would have been nothing more than “stay home from church on Sunday and then let’s call it a nuisance” sort of storm except for one thing. There were still leaves on all of our trees. Connecticut is really dense with trees. We have some of the highest density of tree population below New Hampshire, but even worse is that much of our power linesare still above ground on poles. Near trees. Near our many trees.
Over 700,000 Connecticut residents lost power due to storm damage, much of it due to downed trees. It’s now over a week later and there’s still a significant number of people out of power. My town is still 11% out of power, but the majority of the week it was 100% out. It was only in the past couple of days that there were crews clearing roads and downed wires and making repairs. My street only just got power back yesterday afternoon (Saturday) a full week after the storm.
The first two nights in the dark, I think we expected the power to come back on shortly. Monday was sunny, The Mister went to work, the kids played and listened to the radio… but the house was cold enough to be able to see our breath. It was 54*F. We were already tired of not having power. We could see out our front window that there were trees down all over the place, including our own front yard. I lost my beloved cherry tree.
Some people couldn’t get out of their homes. Some people couldn’t get out of their neighborhoods. Emergency crews had their hands full and a week later there are still some dangerous situations out there with blocked roads.
Monday night, the girls and I were lucky enough to go to my younger brother’s house. They had power and heat. We thought it would be only a night or two, but it ended up stretching out to five nights. The girls saw it as an adventure. We brought down some food that would have spoiled to help out, and camped out on the couch, a spare mattress, and an air mattress. I’m really proud of the girls, especially Gracie… such a stressful situation for her all around but she handled things really well. We created a new routine and tried to stick with it and that helped a lot. She got sick and we picked up an antibiotic, and she handled that as well as she could. I felt sad that while she had a mini-meltdown, she couldn’t have her release the way she needed but she still did wonderfully. I know it wasn’t easy.
It’s tough when you’re a guest in someone’s home and you know that you’re probably stepping on their toes, not doing things their way or putting things away exactly the right way. Or that your kids are a little too noisy or waking up a little too early, or they’re leaving towels just a bit too soggy in the bathroom, but they’re kids and you just can’t control every single thing they say and do. It’s tough when you’re uncomfortable on the couch, but you can’t and shouldn’t complain because it’s a kindness that you’re there, even if you’re not sleeping well and the less you sleep the higher your anxiety gets.
Then the Fibromyalgia flares up due to the anxiety and exhaustion, and allergy flare-up from your brother’s amazing, smart, hysterical, sweet dog that the kids are in love with. Prayer. Prayer helped a lot to ease anxieties. So did reading, and I’m so thankful that I thought ahead before leaving to bring a couple of books with me. And you just remember that you try to help as much you can, encourage the kids to do the same, and not to leave a bigger mess than when was there when you arrived. 🙂 You may not always be successful, and you make apologies when you need to, and then rectify the situation. Then you remember that it’s not forever.
Yesterday, The Mister came to get us so we could get things packed up and then visit with his mom. It was nice to get out and get a change of scenery even though we didn’t know for sure yet if or when power would be back. It did come back on in the afternoon. After our visit we came home to power and heat, and we watched a movie while the girls settled in and snuggled with the cats. Of course, although The Mister stayed home so that he could work this past week, he didn’t use Daisy’s name with her. She’s the, uh, less smart cat. She forgot her name. ::sigh:: Luna was so happy to see me when we got home and she’s been my shadow since I walked in the door. She keeps checking on me to make sure I’m really there, I think. Daisy wouldn’t come near me until I gave her some treats. Of course she remembers the treats, but I think she was also a bit angry because she thinks I just… just left her. It took her a while to warm up to me, and she’s my cat. I’m the only one that she’s completely friendly and attached to at all times. She forgave me, but she still doesn’t know her name and we’ve been home since last night. She’s not even answering to Luna’s name. Silly cat, lost her memory. At least she still knows how to use the litter box.
So my brother and his wife were amazing, and we’re extremely grateful that they let us stay there for five nights. My mom was amazing too, bringing us some food and money to help with the food. It’s good to know that there’s family that would do for us the exact same way we would do for anyone.
There’s nothing like my own couch, my own blankets, my own bed, my own toilet, and getting to see my husband. I’m more grateful than I can say for my brother and sister-in-law, especially since I got the chance to get to know my SIL in a way that I never could have otherwise. They’re incredibly generous and kind, and funny and great with my girls. I’m also grateful that I’m back in my own home.
I feel a gratitude journal coming on within the next day or two.
- Thousands Still Without Power in Connecticut (nytimes.com)