Well, I just wrote 92 percent of my post, and just like that, it was gone. ARGH! And no, I am not saying that as a clever illustration to segue into my post-hurricane post. I honestly lost about nine paragraphs. Why can't I lose nine pounds by simply hitting "delete"?
Guess I'm supposed to do a Reader's Digest condensed version of an update. Okay, so I will.
No pictures, sorry. (Of all the batteries I charged, the Nikon battery was not one of them. And my little pocket camera goes through AA's like kids go through shoes.) The only thing different on our personal landscape is that the deck and yard are entirely covered in wet leaves. But thankfully there are still plenty of leaves left on the trees to make for an extended fall kaleidoscope outside my windows.
This is my recap of the "superstorm Sandy" in our corner of the East Coast. Thank you all very much for your prayers. We felt them. Thank you, Rachel, my dear bloggy buddy in Texas, for the shout-out on your blog today. (Yes, I cooked food in anticipation of my "power-less" friends to come eat it it in a warm, bright kitchen, but the friend didn't see my invite on Facebook and besides, is prego-sick and wouldn't have felt up to venturing out to be social. I know she would've made the same offer to me, as so many folks who had electricty were extending hospitality. It just feels good to know we all care about each other, and to reflect on how good it feels to turn on a light switch or stove knob and see the positive results!)
1. We live an hour from Baltimore, a half hour from the Chesapeake Bay, and in our neighborhood there was no loss of electricity.
2. Our property sits halfway down a steep hill and so all the rain kept running right on down to our stream. The sump pump did a good job keeping any potential standing water from collecting in our basement.
3. My parents also didn't lose power. I was concerned they'd get really cold if so.
4. The state of Maryland was declared a state of emergency and was shut down for a couple days.
That meant that Paul was off work and the kids were home from school. Nice family bonding time.
5. My younger sister and her husband DID, however, lose power. But their kind friends lent them
a humongous generator, so they could run the fridge, freezer, laptop, and other thngs. Jill enjoyed the camping on the living room floor, in front of the woodburning fireplace, with her dog, cats, and books. Jay is not a reader, and was going stir crazy. He's an outdoorsman.
6. We were much better prepared for this storm than previous ones, logistically. The Hard Knocks School charges quite a high tuition for its learners, but it does help get students ready for "higher education."
7. I got to cross off another item from my 101 in 1001 list. Face one of my fears. I've alwoays been afraid to be homeless, or to have to take refuge in a public shelter. So my way of dealing with that fear in the past was to never think about how I'd prepare for that scenario in an emergency. I really believe God gave me the grace to pack a garment bag for us to live out of for three days. Without announcing what I was doing, I simply went to everyone's dresser drawers and found comfy outfits, long and short sleeved, that could do double duty for sleeping or surviving.
8. The hardest part for me personally, which is an ongoing thing at the moment, not hurricane-specific, is that I am between churches so don't have a pastor to call. Just writing that sentence brings me to the verge of tears. Yes, there are pastors I could call, but it feels really awkward, as if I'm taking without giving. How do people live without a church family? I don't get it. I feel like a sheep without a shepherd. At any moment one could have a crisis of faith, a family emergency, a loss to deal with. All of that are things I've always said, "Should that occur, I'll just call my pastor." But I don't have a pastor right now, and it's one reason I am desperate to find a new church home. For me, it's scarier to think of continuing life like this than it was to listen to the howling winds and rain threatening to topple tears on our house.
But I know that even without a human shepherd I feel near to, I have Jesus, my Good Shepherd who will never leave me nor forsake me. Had the hurricane devasted our house, cars, or life as we know it, I am sure that I am safe in His hands. There's never a safer place than that.