Saying Thanks Sunday (day 1)

Power was restored to our home late yesterday afternoon after 7 days and 2 hours without electricity.  There are folks in our town (13% of the households) that still don’t have power tonight, so we are considering ourselves to be quite lucky and are thankful that life is returning to normal for us.  Some of the people that I’m seeing at the town emergency shelter where I’m volunteering are totally at the end of their patience with the situation and are mad and getting tough to deal with.

Sitting in church listening to the sermon and music today was good for my mental state, and of course for my soul.  So, thus begins the counting of the blessings each day (just as I counted the days without power and logged this in my journal).

Today, November 6th, is Day 1 of restored electricity (not counting, of course the fact that it went off again for a bit this morning).  I’m thankful for, . . . . . . . , let me think . . . . . . . OK . . . electricity!!!!!

I’m thankful for electricity,

the house is warm,

the TV is tuned to one of my favorite shows,

hubby is sleeping on the sofa next to me,

tomorrow will be quite busy, but life is really good.

Saying thanks on Sunday.

And the Christmas cactus is getting ready to bloom — before Christmas as usual — here is a photo of what’s to come.

"Thanksgiving" cactus blooming in its new location in 2010

Sunrise over Devastation – Day 5

Oh my.  I’ve been busy and haven’t posted anything in this blog since the day that power was restored from Hurricane Irene after 5 days out.

And GUESS WHAT?  It’s Day 5 of our power outage from the freak snowstorm that happened on October 29th — almost exactly two months since Hurricane Irene.   And WHY does everything have to have a cute name?

Nor’easter Alfred — okay, well the meteorologists feel they have to name major storms.  But, Snowtober?  Really?  Trust me, it’s not funny and there is nothing cute about what I see outside my windows and as I drive around my town.

Feeling that a picture is worth a thousand (or more) words and having nothing to do until my volunteer shift starts at the Ridgefield Emergency Shelter (might as well volunteer there — they have power, light and heat), I’m posting a few.  Borrowing power and a table (for the price of a slice of quiche and a glass of iced tea) from Tazza Cafe.

The west side of our house is like a botanical garden in the spring with mature, 30-year old ornamental trees that still all had their leaves on when 20 inches of heavy wet snow (yes I said 20 inches) fell on Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning

Kousa dogwood bows down

So we are not sure that the kousa dogwood will recover.  The snow is off it now, but it is still quite bowed and may not straighten up.  The Jenny Wrens have a house in there and raise a family there every year!  Crying a lot of tears over this bird habitat.

The kwanza cherry needed a little pruning, but this wasn’t what we had in mind.  One big branch (not shown here) off to the right broke off completely.  This branch is now free of snow and much higher, but the tree’s eventual fate is unknown at this time.  Spring will be the telling factor if it lives through the winter.

Kwanza cherry blocks the front door

And the following photo — well it really says it all.  This WAS a weeping cherry right outside the front door.  All its branches are in a pile in the driveway by the garage.  It was waaaay to sad to take that picture.

Former weeping cherry -- now we are the ones weeping

So, the power is off here and the latest “robo-call” from town hall says that CL&P (our power company) is committing to 99% of the town being restored by Sunday at 11 pm.  The bad news here is that this morning, the prediction was for the same level by Saturday night.  The good news is that weather is quite good – perhaps a little cool for November, but there is all that snow on the ground making things quite chilly at night.  It is slowly melting.  Good thing – we have a lot of weekend work to do.  The giant oak tree that fell straight down the driveway was cut up (by Hubby and a helper) with a couple of chainsaws (ours and the neighbors) and a lot of manual labor.  The neighbor and I lined the driveway with the branches that Hubby cut off  and the trunk sections were rolled just to the edge.  Lots of wood splitting to do.  And lots of firewood for next year.

So, I’m babysitting the generator and we’re enjoying quiet evenings (well, if you can tune out the roar of that generator motor) reading and watching candles flicker.  This big blown glass item is from Newport, RI.  We have two matching ones with small oil lamps in them.  Nice and restful.

I call this photo – might as well enjoy the candlelight

Might as well enjoy the candlelight

(Note that the funny black line on the candle globe is not really there.  Some artifact appeared when I edited the picture and I’m too lazy to go fix it at this time).

And this morning, Hubby took the 6 am wake-up call and fired up the generator.  Wonderful guy let me sleep for a while before he woke me back up to come downstairs and begin my day of generator supervision.  It happened to be before sunrise and I happened to look out and see a beautiful pre-dawn sight to the east.  The camera didn’t quite capture the vividness of the red color, and I was in a sleepy, grumpy mood as I began day 5 without power, phone, or cell phone, so I named this one “Sunrise over devastation”

Sunrise over devastation

As I was taking the photos and watching the sunrise and watching Hubby drive down the driveway to the land of light and power and heat (also known as his office),  I was reminded that God is always with us and when we aren’t paying attention he is sending us messages.

So the beautiful pre-dawn light is reminding me that —

– I should be thankful for each and every day.

– That if we are lucky, there is always tomorrow.

– There is very little that can’t be fixed or overcome if we look at it the right way.

– And that everything that we have actually belongs to God — and he just really made a mess of his yard!  But we’ll ask for his help while we clean it up and wait for spring to see what things look like, and replant, and start over, and be thankful for all that we have!

And, I’m reminded of the words I heard after Hurricane Irene —

Of course I have POWER – the power of compassion, community, love, — and I could go on and on.

It’s electricity I don’t have (and phone and cell), but you get the point!