Sitting in the dark, I listened to the trees in the nearby woods snapping as the snow grew heavier and heavier on their branches. Hmm....that could be a great opening line for a suspense novel. In reality, it HAPPENED last night!!! Y'all! We've had snow and sleet and cold in the deep south! Yuck! This has been an adventure, but not the adventures that I enjoy! Wet clothes on the floor with with wet gloves and wet shoes and wet socks and a wet stinky dog! Not the way I envisioned my Sunday evening!
By 4:00 yesterday afternoon, the rain and sleet turned into snow. The Weather Channel got it right! My boys were ecstatic! Yes!! No school tomorrow! They went flying outside to play! Airsoft guns and goggles were in place and over into the woods the tramped. Like a good Mama, I had the camera out, and the chicken soup on the stove. Yes, m'am, I was ready for this snow!! I was prepared! As dusk set in, I heard child #1 yell, "Oh, Man!" Then, I heard a terrible crash! I flew to the door and out into the snow to see what happened. Child # 1 was saying that it had fallen on the fence. I knew immediately that he was referring to one of our giant 20 year old pine trees in the back of the side yard. It had been tilting for a while--due to the electric company's sporadic trimming of branches --toward our backyard. Well, the snow had capsized the tree onto our split rail fence! The fence was down as well. All I could think of was where child #2 was!! Years ago, a runner had been killed while on a lunchtime run due to a falling tree. Panic almost set in until I heard him say, "Here I am , Mama!" Sweet relief!
About that time, there was another pop and an eerie green glow across the street. Out went all of the lights on our street! No problem, I had supper ready! Instead of the cornbread that I was going to make, we ate those cute mini saltine crackers! All by candlelight! Of course, we had NO batteries for any of the flashlights in the house! After all of the candle parties I've been to, I had enough wax that we could last a couple of weeks!! I was prepared! We found the reading clip lights and used those as well as the candles to play a couple of rounds of "Rack-O," and then it was time for bed. We had quilt upon quilt upon big 'ol sleeping bag! We were prepared!
This morning found us in the yard assessing the damage of the tree in the light. Hmm....we sorta needed a chainsaw! Our little handheld one was puny compared to the mess in front of us. We were not prepared! Our wonderful neighbors came over with a rake, chainsaw and lots of energy! Several hours later, the tree was off the fence, and the fence was rigged into place so that the backyard was again a safe place for our dog, Scarlette O'Hara Hood!
The power, thankfully, came back on this evening while we were out for supper (at a nice warm restaurant that served hot food!). Praise Him! This southern belle would be happy if she never had to deal with the snow or its side-effects again! Sorry! I can't drive in the stuff--we actually have ice under the snow! We slide all over the roads! I can't run in the stuff--my shoes aren't waterproof. I can't handle the power outages from the stuff! I am spoiled! See, I admit it! Spoiled rotten! But...it really made me think about a lot of stuff!
Stuff like...those who are homeless and have to sleep in the cold temperatures on a regular basis. Stuff like...those who don't have the luxury of a washing machine or even yet, decent clothes to wear. Stuff like...those whose homes are not up to speed in that they have drafts, or maybe the owners don't have enough money to even pay their power bill. Stuff like that. It reminded me of Brandon Heath's song, "Give Me Your Eyes." We need God's eyes--His perception-- to see things that we someimes overlook or take for granted. I also thought about the folks in Kentucky who recently were without power for so long. I thought about the folks in the really deep south who suffered and survived Katrina. I had to be a little uncomfortable for just a day--only 24 hours. I am truly blessed in so many ways! God showed me a lot in a short amount of time! "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15) I was not prepared for a winter storm. It taught me a valuable lesson in that it parallels this question...Am I prepared spiritually for the unknown? Something to devote my Quiet Time to in the morning! Good night, y'all! I pray that you all sleep warmly!