Because there was a fast-approach­ing ice storm, we got to come home ear­ly from work on Fri­day. It was sleet­ing on on the way home, and by the after­noon, every­thing was fair­ly well crystallized.

Before din­ner, we put all the boys in the show­er. Just as they were fin­ish­ing up, the lights flick­ered a few times, then went off. We were out of power.

Hey! Who turned the lights out!?” The boys clam­ored from the still-run­ning shower.

We lit a cou­ple of can­dles and res­cued them.

Luna, Jerusha’s 4 year old, came run­ning down the hall, look­ing worried.

All the lights went out in my mom’s bathroom!”

We point­ed out that the lights were out everywhere.

But they went out in the bath­room!” She repeated.

We fin­ished light­ing can­dles through­out the house, and built a fire in the fire­place. That’s pret­ty dif­fi­cult when you’ve got six excit­ed chil­dren want­i­ng to help. I was almost pitched in in place of the fire­wood a few times. Most of the fire­wood Dave and I went and scrounged the day before and put under the house to be pro­tect­ed from the rain and ice got soaked any­way, as the wind blew the sleet right under the house.

How­ev­er, soon we get a text mes­sage from Ray which says, “Any­body who has a fire­place and needs fire­wood meet over at Ray’s house in ten minutes.”

Great! Dave and I load up in the van, and go over to pick up fire­wood. Except there’s no fire­wood to pick up. Ray is gath­er­ing some guys togeth­er to go out in the woods and cut fire­wood from fall­en trees. Right as we’re about to set out, the pow­er comes back on to the Vil­lage. Ah well, we’ll need it any­way should it cut out again.

So we find our­selves tramp­ing around in the icy mud, haul­ing logs out of the woods, and chop­ping them up into fire­wood on the grav­el road. Cold, mis­er­able, and fun! After fill­ing up the trac­tor’s buck­et and the trail­er with chopped wood, we drove around deliv­er­ing it to the hous­es, and got dropped off at our own.

The fire gets stoked, our bel­lies get filled, and we fin­ish the night out. Right as we’re about to shut the lights off, the pow­er cuts out again. It’s off all night.

The house is between 45–50 degrees when we get up Sat­ur­day morn­ing. That does­n’t faze the kids at all—this is an adven­ture! We spend all morn­ing until almost noon hud­dled togeth­er in the liv­ing room around the fire­place, read­ing and play­ing. Once the pow­er comes back on, we’re off doing the ‘nor­mals’; chores that had­n’t been done yet, fin­ish­ing lunch, etc.

It’s pos­i­tive­ly love­ly out­side. I was born here in Ten­nessee, but raised most of my life in Flori­da, so snow is still a nov­el­ty to me. This ice is almost bet­ter, though more incon­ve­nient. Every­thing looks like an ice sculp­ture. The trees are made of crystal.

Lat­er that after­noon, I take the kids out sled­ding for a cou­ple of hours. It’s the first time I’ve gone this win­ter. I hope we have some more sled­ding weather!

Yes­ter­day, Sun­day, it’s clear and sun­ny. Every­thing is already begin­ning to thaw. I’m glad I took the kids sled­ding the day before, or we would’ve missed it.

At break­fast, we go around and ask every­body what they’re grate­ful for. Luna pipes up,

I’m grate­ful that the pow­er went out!”

Yeah!” All the kids agree.

Sit­u­a­tions such as a pow­er fail­ure in the mid­dle of win­ter can be scary. For all we knew, it could be days until it get turned back on. And at least in some mea­sure, we were forced to go from life-as-we-know-it to work­ing to keep each oth­er warm and safe.

But as Jerusha points out, Luna and the oth­er kids are grate­ful for a event big enough to derail all of us adults’ days so we spend the day togeth­er, with them.

And it was a blessing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *