It has been a few weeks since the snowstorm 2021 has blown through Central Texas. It was pretty incredible, and just like 2020 there were devastating, alarming and scary moments. But after cancer, I always choose to view adverse situations in a grateful light. Here are a few things I learned in the 5 degree frozen week:
1. I love our neighbors. We see them from time to time, we wave, we drop off banana bread, but we don’t always get together. When the power went out on the other side of our street, we opened our warm (thank you Jesus) home to anyone who would come find some comfort. I made Hot Toddy’s and was ready to hug any neighbor who walked through my door. Thankfully the neighbors finally took us up on our offer, we baked croissants, we had mimosas, we talked, cozied up on our couch and spent the whole day together. We lost our internet most of the time, so we just go to push pause. Our Italian neighbor walked across the frozen tundra (aka our street) to get his liquor cabinet for more cocktails. We figured we might as well make the best of it! This was peace amongst the chaos.
2. I actually liked having to work for the basics. When we lost our water, we had to take trips out into the snow to fill up every bucket, bowl, sauce pan, pot we could find. And instead of dreading it, I actually thought it was pretty cool. We were able to teach our daughters that, yes we lost our water, but God provided snow that we could melt and use for dishes and flushing the toilet. I don't think I'd mind working a farm one day 🙃
3. How much I love the phase of life we are in. Our daughter are four and six, they make everything fun. So despite this crazy snowstorm, we were playing uno, telling stories, reading, laughing, cooking and just being a family. God is so good to help us focus on that.
4. We are so blessed. During a time when homes were stripped of basic necessities, that we count on every day, it is easy to get upset about what we don't have. I tried to focus on what we do have. We had power, we had our family together under one roof, we had warm clothes, we had a big couch to fill up with neighbors, we had plenty of food to share, we had plenty of drinking water to share, we had a chainsaw my husband used to help neighbors with trees, we could charge people's devices, we had a lot of blankets to share, we had extra bedrooms to open up to those that needed somewhere to go.
5. Our prepping mindset paid off. Ever since 2020 we decided we better prepare for the unexpected. So every grocery trip we would add a few things to stock up on… packets of tuna, packets of honey, peanut butter, oatmeal, rice, spam, nuts, granola, water, toilet paper (learned that lesson!), and so much more (find our prepper list here). We never felt like we didn't have enough food to go around. Thank God.
All in all, the snowstorm was a flurry of emotions, going 5 days without water with two little girls…one of whom decided to go #2 in the main bathroom in the house is not fun. But once, I stepped away from the stress of it all, gratitude just overwhelmed me. I hope that more than anything Austin learned about how important relationships are and when it comes down to it… Just a little love goes a long way.