So, two days ago it was raining, as it has been mostly for two months now. This is, after all, Oregon, and I’m learning that what makes the beautiful summers are the very rainy winters. And I’m a little surprised to find that so far I don’t mind the rain. But this time was different. The temperature was right around freezing, but instead of changing the rain to snow, it just froze what landed on the street, trees, and grass. It was pretty cool for a while, seeing the way the ice was encasing the foliage and making things look all magical and stuff - until that evening when it became so thick and heavy on the trees that whole huge limbs started breaking off and falling on our roof, front lawn, and driveway. Thank goodness my husband had moved the cars off the driveway and onto the street when he had first seen the ice forming, or that would have been a mess... But it wasn’t just our tree that was breaking. We could hear cracks like artillery all over the neighborhood as other trees were shedding too-heavy limbs as well. And then, the power went out.
I’ve been in power outages before, and usually they’re a little bit annoying at first but then we do what we can to bring some fun into it - turning on flashlights, playing games and reading to the kids by candlelight, and by the time we’re finally running out of things to do, the power comes back on. But this was different than what we’ve been used to. We’re in a house that’s heated by a pellet stove, which is very cozy, but when there’s no electricity, there’s no fire, thus no heat. And being surrounded by large icy things that are falling when you’re in the cold dark is.....well, a little disconcerting. When we woke up early the next morning to news of school being cancelled because of conditions, and realized that 17,000 other people in the city were also without power, we knew we were in for the long haul. Two days later, we’re still in subfreezing temperatures, the beautiful ice is still encasing the trees, and we still have no power and have been told it could be several days before we do.
BUT, in the middle of the rather relentless cold the last few days, there’s been some pretty cool things that have happened. Little things. Like yesterday on our Drive To Keep Warm, we dicovered a new tasty breakfast place. Friends kindly opened their homes as a place for us to stay if needed. Last night my sweet, resourceful husband grilled water (secret recipe, of course!) to make me a cup of tea. It’s funny what a candle and a simple cup of hot something will do for my spirits when I’m cold, and it’s dark, with no electricity... Then this morning I woke up to our neighbor, who is also without power, bringing over hot coffee from a thermos for us to drink, God bless him. Then, at the point where we were seeing our breath because it was so cold in the house (and, by the way, it’s not the funnest thing to have to take a cold shower when the house is so cold you can see your breath), my husband went around to three different stores until he found a generator, which he got set up and connected the pellet stove to, and now - Oh, beautiful sight! - we have a roaring fire going in our living room. Also, this year we decided to do a special Christmas Advent devotional every night of the season in anticipation of celebrating Christ’s birth, and the last couple nights it’s been lovely to see my two Tuckerlings’ faces in the glow of the candlelight as they listen intently to the reading, wrapped up in cozy blankets.
Sometimes, it truly is the Little Things that bring so much joy. A cup of hot coffee. Neighborliness. Warm fires. Family. Warm drives to hot breakfast.
I was going to talk a little about the new album, but that will be for another post, on another day.
Probably tomorrow. When I’m hopefully a little warmer.
Until then, may your hearts (and houses!) be warm and joyful.