I love winter with its crisp, cold days filled with the aroma of wood burning fireplaces. The beauty of falling snow always fills me with the same wonder and excitement as when I was a child. However, the past several days have somewhat diminished my zeal for this season, hopefully only temporarily though.

In the early morning hours on Wednesday, a storm covered my town and surrounding areas with a thick coating of ice, bringing trees and power lines down. Over 700,000 homes and businesses lost electricity, and to date, some are still without power. Power was out at my house for 55 long hours; I was very lucky. But during those 55 hours, I wasn’t feeling so fortunate. The temperature in my house was into the 30s by Friday morning and I was about to go looking for a shelter, hoping to find one that would accept me with two large dogs. Throughout the entire 55 hours, I kept holding out hope that the power would come back “any minute now.” That’s why I stayed in the house.

Maybe my brain was suffering from hypothermia but the things that go through your head during times of crisis such as these can be like you’ve never experienced. The regular concerns of everyday life – paying the bills, sticking to my writing schedule, and the usual to-do list – fall by the wayside. All I could think about was survival. I was so, so cold and wanted nothing more than to get warm. The dogs and I sat huddled together on the sofa, covered in several layers of blankets. We actually went outside for walks in order to get warmer! Once the roads were cleared of ice and unblocked from downed trees, we took rides in the car. A hot cup of tea tasted better than a gourmet meal. At night, I slept under four blankets and comforters, me dressed in hat and gloves and the dogs donned my long sweaters. We would have been a comical sight if the circumstances hadn’t been so dire.

The experience made me realize that so many worries that have been plaguing me lately no longer mattered. It was good to be alive, safe and warm again. I was grateful to have my neighbors and friends who looked after me and each other, and for my dogs who kept me company and seemed to enjoy the adventure.

Oh no, it’s snowing again. Yes, I still think it’s beautiful.

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