Well, 5 days without electricity makes for an interesting time. Fortunately, Andy's "Canada gear" came in handy, as he's well-stocked for "roughing it." Some things we learned through the process:
1. Our neighbors are fabulous. We were invited to run extension cords across the street, to plug our fridge in to a generator. Although the invitation did not come from the neighbors who own the truck our pear trees fell on, those neighbors were not upset and they, too, checked in on us and came by with hot coffee and updates and offers of help.
2. We should sit on the front porch more often. Candlelight and quiet conversation and good reading material make for a pleasant evening outside.
3. And, we should make S'mores more often. Seriously.
4. Celia doesn't mind being worn in a backpack for an extended period of time, in order to help rake debris from the yard. In fact, she didn't seem to mind much about changes in our routine. And, it's reassuring to know that she can sleep without the fan, the CD playing lullabies, and the white noise machine all on in her bedroom. Actually, she slept better - and more - than ever. Perhaps it had something to do with how hard she worked helping Daddy do yard work...
5. Not being able to watch TV or use the computer wasn't such a big deal. Not being able to vacuum, that was a little harder for some of us...
6. Perhaps some of us need to buy more socks and underwear. (When Andy suggested he hang a clothesline outside so I could hand wash and hang dry, I wasn't especially receptive. Under normal circumstances, the idea does carry a bit of intrigue and romanticism. However, in the midst of entertaining a toddler and experimenting with methods of maintaining cold and/or warming food, in addition to keeping track of when (and how) to restart the generator, not to mention figuring out how to shave my legs in the dark, etc. the idea of becoming a laundress lost any appeal it may have once held. I promise to reconsider the "green-ness" of the idea once the shadow of the past week recedes...)
7. Even when the Giant Eagle sign says "open" they may not have electricity, which means they may not have any refrigerated foods, which means you may be forced to find milk elsewhere, which is, as many parents well know, an essential part of the bedtime routine and therefore necessitates a scavenger hunt.
8. Our local candle store (The Candle Lab) has super sales when the power goes out. Walking to said candle store (located on Grandview Avenue, so mere blocks from home) becomes quite the adventure with two moms and three children - recollecting toddler strewn toys and delivering them to tiny hands, backtracking home for one, or even two, potty breaks, maneuvering around fallen trees and sidewalk cement repairs - all of this - may allow two moms only a few minutes to shop at the candle store before it closes. Be prepared to choose from 114 scents quickly.
So, the back deck is repaired, the yard is cleaned up (and the city of Grandview will soon replace both trees we lost), we kept comfortable and well-fed and very busy - busy in different, but good ways. And company arrives tomorrow - those boys will appreciate clean towels and cold Dew. And, I bet they like our new S'more tradition, too.