Remember when we had lockdowns and couldn’t find toilet paper or hand sanitizer and we were frustrated about our non-essential conveniences being taken away? Then, Mother Nature said “Hold my beer…” and made me long for the at-least-we-had-electricity days of lockdown.
Now, dear readers, Poppy knows the pandemic is no joking matter but, like every meme you see on Facebook that generally enrages someone, think back to the days when satire was just supposed to make you smile as you pondered an idea. For me, as we neared the bottom of our wood pile, and I was pondering which bed frame to burn first, I couldn’t help thinking about how our “spectrum” of inconvenience changes as the universe says, again and again, “Oh, no, it can still get worse.”
But God is a great chess player and helps out in ways we wouldn’t (at the time) have imagined. Perhaps our deep freeze was Him finally throwing up His hands, saying “Now maybe you will stay home with your own family like they told you. You’ve been preparing for this with Zoom calls for months.” Perhaps He cut the power so we could huddle in with family and teach our kids how to play Crazy-8s with actual cards like we kept saying we would if we only had the time, but…we still had Netflix. Perhaps He also sent the snow first so we would all have something to melt to use in the bathroom.
Perhaps He nudged my son to forget his water bottle for KidStrong class, precipitating my aggravated purchase of a whole case of water because I didn’t want to use a debit card for a single bottle. But, then, that case of water was all we had for three days. A month ago, I’d have been aggravated just being told to boil water, but today, using a faucet at all feels like a vacation.
I also hope, on a bad day, or my deathbed, I can fully summon the supreme joy of “The power’s back on! Find all the chargers… we’ve got 60 minutes! Go, go, GO!” game, and “Quick, somebody cook something!”
I also might not have guessed how much I love my dog-that-can’t-swim until I midnight-body-slammed the icy brick around the pool and, crying, reached through a layer of razor-sharp slush up to my shoulder to pull him out of the hole he punched through. Naturally, when the pool is liquid, he gives it a knowingly-wide berth but, apparently, when frozen, it’s “Go” time. He slept the whole next day in front of the fire, like Leo DiCaprio fished him out of the North Atlantic.
Your blizzard story is surely different, but I’m hoping you might have had a providential moment or two in there somewhere. It’s just nice to know Someone is in control.
Still, on the negative side, I am now fully aware of what a lousy pioneer woman I would have made. It occurred to me, while I was pondering whether I could safely make toast over an open fire, my much hardier great-great grandmother might have been outside pounding grain on a rock to make bread. Then again, at least she knew how to do it, having always cooked everything with fire, and likely wouldn’t have been complaining about it. She’d have probably even said a little prayer of thanks that she had wheat in the first place.
Heck, even my grandmother would have had Jiffy Pop, which surely would have worked on a fire. (Note to self for future grocery trip and prepper-food box.)
One thing I did enjoy in my metaphysical connection with my ancestors… reading paper books, and the Bible by candlelight was kind of nice. I guess 21st-century living is still relatively easy, even when I think it’s not.
For now, the power is back on and this is the best microwave popcorn I’ve ever had.