Any Friends fans still out there? Get the title? Since I last posted things have felt like some crazy episode of a sitcom. Many of the basic emotions were touched upon. Happy, sad, irritated, fearful, more irritation, and then finally relief, content.
The main adjective that would sum up this whole episode is COLD.
Thursday morning, heavenly as it began (see previous post), was made even better by the fact that Dash came walking back in the door around 10 am. Yay! We went about our quiet morning, gazing outside every once in awhile as the ice storm blew into full force. I was so awed by its quick progress that I even made a mad dash outside every now and again to snap some photos of it. As the day passed and the storm raged, we were warm inside crafting paper snowflakes, watching cartoons, and napping.
Then around 5 pm it happened. The power went off.
No lights, no tv, no oven, no HEAT. We sat on the couch together looking out the window, giggling and waiting for electricity to return. The minutes passed and nothing happened. Asher and Dash decided to run to Wal-mart for some snacks (you know how the men have to get out and adventure at times like these) while Sis and I wrapped up in a big blanket and kept cuddling on the couch. As the sun set and the last of Day’s light trickled out of our window, fear began to trickle into my heart. The rain/ice/snow was still coming down and for the first time I realized that this power outage could possibly go on for hours or even days. With baby snuggled in the wrap, I made my way through the house lighting dozens of tea lights. (Besides one larger pillar candle on the kitchen table, they were all we had.) I called Dash with a request for some more larger candles (the little tea lights were too hot and burned so fast), he discovered that Wal-mart was COMPLETELY sold out of candles. Wiped. Out. Some folks in Lawton had been without power since that morning, so little did we know,while we were blissfully (and warmly) crafting and napping, they bought Wal-mart out of candles. I dug the candles from our advent wreath out of the closet and decided that they would have to do along with the tiny tea lights. Dash and Asher returned home and we sat around the living room some more, now talking stragety. Thankfully Asher’s 9 inch portable dvd player had some battery left in it, while Curious George kept him entertained Mama and Daddy brainstormed a game plan. I don’t even remember what we ate for dinner (cheetos and ferrero rocher chocolates I think?). We decided that we would all just have to sleep together that night and hope that the power would be back on soon.
That night was COLD. Sun brought the morning round, and it was still SO COLD. Mama woke up grumpy (I mean real grumpy, sorry Daddy). The snow was coming down now and we had a feeling that this state of affairs truly might last awhile. After searching the local news websites via iphone we learned that about 40,000 people in Lawton were without power now. Then, after speaking with a neighbor who finally got through to a customer service rep from our electric company, we learned that they were estimating that our power would be back on by Monday night. MONDAY. Night.
A phone call to my like-sister friend Casie (who lives outside of Fort Worth) and it was settled. We were fleeing south to Texas. I set to packing bags, Daddy loading them, and we were on the road by afternoon. We were fearful of the road conditions (there were tons of closings and memories of the trip to Texas after Christmas), but thankfully our trip went smoothly (thanks for all the prayers!).
When we arrived and unloaded, I took THE BEST hot shower of my life. We spent a warm and relaxing evening and next day (birthday!) with Casie, Joe and their sweet pup Lexi. They just finished, not long ago, building their first home on a little 3-acre plot in Weatherford, Texas. It is absolutely charming and scenic. Casie cooked us delicious soup for dinner and homemade biscuits for breakfast the next morning. (I LOVE her kitchen!) It was great to finally visit and I am so grateful for the blessing of lifelong friends who will always be there to take care of you when you are in need. Thank you so much Joe and Casie, we love you guys.
We finally got word from the survivalists back home (Uncle Holtie, also know as Asher’s entertainer/punching bag, Amelia’s godfather, or Kevin) that the power was back on. After a cold morning walk down to their little lake and an early afternoon girls trip to browse local antique shops, we ate lunch and packed up the car. Mr. Ballarta drove us home while I knit Asher a hat. (Have I mentioned before how much I love this guy?)
As we walked into our warm-again home with our babies I said a prayer of praise to God for all of our blessings. I pray that I will never take our warm home for granted again.
Since it was already 6 pm and the babes were runny-nosed and cranky, we settled on ordering a pizza for the big birthday dinner. (It was perfect.)
After all the emotions that had come and gone ’round since Thursday, I ended up again, in that place of simple joy and humble thanks to God. For my family and our life together. For a warm home and food. For lending Dash and I two angels to care for. And for always blessing our efforts to do so. For my baby girl’s sweet cheeks and my almost three year old’s affinity (and surprisingly quick ability) of snatching your pepperoni when you aren’t looking.
It was a wonderful and memorable way to mark the beginning of another year in my blessed life.
So how many times did I write the word “cold” in this post? I was born in Arizona, raised in central Texas and really am a baby when the weather dips below 40. It is still crazy cold outside…
But it looks like I’ll survive (now that my heat is back on!).
Thanks again for all the prayers and birthday wishes! I hope that today you are keeping warm and feeling joyful for life’s blessings.