Loving the little notes when powered down

So in the last few minutes before I return home to my now powerless, sunlight and childhood energy-driven household, I just want to take a little time and be thankful for everything around me and all the things that losing a few days worth of electricity makes  me think about.

First, the bigger issues – like the fact that we are so fortunate to have loving communities around us and people who care for us and want to help out, and that we can extend this help to other people, that we have our health and well being and ability to help give this to others, that we have a Supreme Court that knows how to make the right decisions that support human rights. . . I could go on.  But this post will continue to be a stream of consciousness.

After a rather short but fierce thunderstorm on Tuesday night, we lost power for now what is going on three days.  Not quite sure why I picked Tuesday night to go grocery shopping, but as I stared out of the local Whole Foods, rapidly trying to pay my bill at the cash registered, I saw the sky go black and the winds pick up and what seemed like a river flow through the parking lot.  I paused for about 15 minutes and waited till the storm passed – to be interrupted by phone calls from my parents ordering me NOT to go outside and notifying me that my dad had picked up little L and they were waiting outside the house for the storm to die down. Of course, I immediately began to hear my son (terrified of the storm) screaming in the background,  that he had to go bathroom and hearing my dad rush him out of the car and into the house.

By the time I got home L was already changed into pajamas (having been drenched through his path outside) and I got to hear my mom tell the tale of her sitting on the porch with my daughter little R. They were prepared to watch the storm from there until they felt the winds picked up, so very quickly they rushed inside and slammed the door!  Exiting my car, I noticed that my already jungle-like mass of tomato plants was completely awry, though it mostly survived, and while we hadn’t lost any trees debris from large trees was everywhere, and I came to find that a large 2-foot thick diamter tree had fallen across one of the roads outside our development.

Major roads have been closed, no power many places, and lots of notifications from the power company that they’re working on the problem – but it was pretty big, I don’t begrudge them the delays! In the midst of it all we pretty much held it together. And I learned a few things – here are 10 of them.

1) It can be fun to live life without electricity: The kids enjoyed reading time and me entertaining them by plunking a Chopin Mazurka on the piano – about 1/10th of the speed and accuracy with which it probably should be played. And they loved playing outside and eating an endless supply of boiled hot dogs and rice this week.

2) Ice works: I stopped at the ice store Wednesday and picked up two enormous bags of ice and used my chemistry class memories to create an ice bath in the coolers, and ended up partially freezing some of my normally refrigerated items, my concoction worked so well.

3) Who needs electric lights when you’ve got the sun and candles? We slept and awoke with the cues of natural light, and opened the windows.  Hot nights since the wind wasn’t blowing but otherwise a very refreshing wakeup!  And I realized I don’t need the lights I turn on in the house nearly as much as I use them.

4) People really care: My parents and our au pair pitched in so much – helping with picking up the kids, washing dishes, dropoffs, etc.  And then yesterday, still lacking power, we were fortunate to have a former teacher of mine who is now a friend lend me a generator so that we could hook up the fridge and freezer again.  Lucky people we are – as a family together, all taking care of one another, and with loving people who helped us.

5) Coconut butter is awesome: For the past 4 days we’ve been breakfasting on bagels toasted over the stove in coconut butter. Totally yummy. You should try it.

6) Very thankful for indoor plumbing. Life would be very difficult without this!  Cold showers I don’t mind at all, so heat is not a necessity, but plumbing . . .

It’s all part of loving the little notes in life – something I remember from my time singing with the Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Musicum – my college choir. Our director Jim always told us to “love the little notes” and not let them get lost in the midst of the pieces we were singing.  Good advice which I continue to take, especially when I think of these trials that hopefully will not become more significant matters, nuzzle my kids and reach to grab their heads as I contemplate the joy of the moment, and get up each day to experience the magic again!