7 Things I’ve Learned About Myself

As you all know from my last post, Michigan was hit with a major ice storm last weekend. Reports say almost 500,000 homes and businesses lost power because of it. In fact, I have at least one relative who still hasn’t gotten it back after a week.

I can’t even imagine. Roughly seventy-two hours over four days was more than enough for me. And I learned – and relearned – a few things during that long, cold, miserable experience.

Kristy K. James - Ice Storm 2 - 12-24-13~~~

1. I am a wimp. I do not like ‘roughing it.’ Never have, never will.

2. If push comes to shove, I can rough it. I might hate every second of it it, but I can do it. Instead of being stuck with cold sandwiches and chips for three days, I found I could cook fairly well on the top of a kerosene heater. Nothing elaborate, but we had a hot meal every day. I even made four small gluten-free dumplings to take to my family’s Christmas Eve party. I thought I’d just make a mess, but surprise! It worked.

3. After one day with no power, my usually calm and positive disposition begins deteriorate. By the middle of the second day, mostly due to the negativity of others, I have to fight against turning into the Wicked Witch of the West. Everyone around me needs to paste a smile on their face – no matter how much it pains them . If they can’t find anything pleasant to say, they need keep their mouths shut – unless they want to hear a few unpleasant things back. No, I’m not proud of this, but I figure if I can suck it up and try to make the best of a bad situation, so can they. And if they’re not going to try… Well, you reap what you sow.

4. I will never again say I was born a hundred years too late. I was born at exactly the right time. A hundred years ago indoor plumbing, electricity, radios, furnaces (or in my case, baseboard heating), and computers were either not common – or completely unheard of. All things I love and need in my life. I’m also freakishly fond of things that go flush in the night…without first having to pour three gallons of bottled water in the tank.

5. Reading by flashlight, no matter how bright that flashlight might be, sucks. Yes, it’s better than nothing, but I’d almost rather not read than to have to fuss with trying to prop or hold the light so I can see the words.

6. In order to sleep, my brain apparently needs to hear things like the refrigerator, freezer, water softener, and heating units in my house running. It is really quiet in the country during a power outage. Really quiet.

7. While it didn’t do what I thought it would when I bought it, which was to emit a loud, high pitched squeal in case of a tornado warning, I’m really glad I bought my solar powered weather radio a couple of years ago. Not only could I listen to weather updates on the weather frequency, there is also an FM option so I got to listen to the radio station that was playing Christmas music 24/7. So not every ‘mistake’ turns out to be a mistake.

Okay, so I suppose I learned one more thing, which would really make it eight things. This one is probably the most important thing of all, too.

When it comes right down to it, it is the simple things in life that make me the happiest.

Family. Lights that turn on when I flip the switch. The ability to cook a meal when I want – and do the dishes afterward. Being able to sit down at my computer…and not just stare at a blank screen. And being warm. I definitely appreciate being warm on a cold winter’s day.

I’ve also been reminded how much some people give up in order to help others. Sure, all of the utility workers are being well compensated in order to get the lights back on for the hundreds of thousands of people who lost it during the storm. But a nice paycheck doesn’t make up for the fact that they are working long hours, missing out on the holidays with their families, getting too little sleep, and having to endure awful weather, most of it bitterly cold.

So I just have one thing to say to all of these men and women…

Kristy K. James heart in snow

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4 Responses to 7 Things I’ve Learned About Myself

  1. My cousins in Michigan got their power back yesterday and were so grateful for it. I can’t even imagine losing power in the winter. The cold would be icky. I’d much rather lose power in the dead of summer.

    Glad you’re okay and got your power back!

    • Kristy K. James says:

      That’s just crazy isn’t it, Kitt? So glad they got theirs back on. I heard this morning that there were still about 15,000 still in the dark. And I think they meant homes, not just people.

      I have to say that much as I disliked it, I guess financially it’s better to lose it in the winter. I need to get out and shop, which I’ve been avoiding (I don’t like stores until about two weeks AFTER Christmas), to replace some of the things lost in the refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen. Fortunately everything in the chest freezer was still fine, but I know a lot of people lost even more than I did. When it’s summer, and wish I didn’t know this from experience, you tend to lose a lot more cold and frozen foods. LOL…my preference would be to have NO power outages ever again. 😀

      One more plus for me when it comes to losing power in the winter is that I have lots of sweaters and fleece blankets. I can stay sort of warm in cold weather, but in the summer, it’s not possible to be comfortable. And when the power goes out then, it’s usually because of mid-summer storm…meaning it’s super hot and super humid. So if this one had been in the summer, I’d probably ahve learned more than eight things about myself. 😀 😀 😀

  2. glad you’re safe and well, Kristy. I can’t imagine being without power for so long. we’ve had an ugly winter here – lots of snow and record cold temperatures since mid november. it warmed up over Christmas but last night a flash freezing warning. our temperature dropped 28 C degrees over 6 hours! crazy. but it’s warming up again, tomorrow. hopefully, we’re over the worst of it. stay warm Kristy. Happy New Year

    • Kristy K. James says:

      Hi, Louise…
      You know me, and I do love snow, but it’s been pretty ugly around here this month, too. I honestly don’t remember December being this cold before. It feels more like January and February weather to me. Not weather you want to lose power in, lol.

      That’s quite a temperature drop you had! Not sure what 28 C translates into, but I know it’s a lot. I know once last winter we had an unseasonably warm day and in the space of a few days, dropped over 50 degrees between. I almost would prefer to not have those warm days because it makes the really cold ones feel colder.

      Happy New Year to you, too! 🙂

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