Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ice and Snow and Birthdays

It's been interesting living through one of the worst ice storms to hit New England. Living in my oblivious world with no TV and tuning to the all-Christmas radio station on my commute, I was totally unaware of what was happening when our power went out Thursday night. Gracie slept perhaps a total of 2 hours all night and when she was finally sleeping, I kept waking up to bangs and crashes, not realizing what was waking me up.

The next morning, power was still off, but I thought nothing of it, until I walked out of the apartment to total chaos. Huge trees were uprooted and debranched unto sidewalks, roads, cars. Power lines were laying in the roads. Ice coated everything.

I made it to work without any problems, and, as my clinic is further south, there was much less ice to deal with there. But that night, I returned home to a completely dark New Hampshire. A kind neighbor lent me a flashlight (since candles are less than optimal for digging clean laundry out of a hamper) and I quickly gathered the basic necessities for the weekend... clothes, PJs, extra extra clothes (we've had a leaking problem lately requiring MANY pants for the culprit as well as for any unfortunate soul holding the culprit at the time!), pack n play (I will NOT put Ana in my bed at this moment as I have just gotten her to sleep "through the night"!!), birthday party materials and presents (yes, the birthday party was a go!), Gracie's pharmacy of medicines, the food from the fridge, Josh's cellphone charger (as his phone had died and I had no means of communicating with him), laptop, a laundry basket full of our swimming gear, extra towels... The car was overflowing, needless to say, with plastic bags hastily stuffed with items.

I found my family at my sisters in law's apartment - one of the few places in our area with electricity... and I found many others at their apartment as well! Their 3 bedroom apartment became home to many refugees and many more came to use their shower and get a meal and get warm before returning to their own homes. We spent a fun weekend socializing and were quite grateful for the storm, in fact!

The girls' party was a blast. Ana enjoyed running around a big room with lots of people to interact with. Gracie enjoyed throwing sprinkles on cookies and swimming. The kids had fun decorating wooden boxes and ornaments and cookies while the men gathered in a circle all to themselves to talk... I spent my time setting Gracie up at activities and then later having to discretely take her away from the many adults who adore her and help her interact with the kids at the next activity. She could easily and happily spend all her time with adults and miss out on all the fun kid times!

On Sunday, the power was still out at the church, so we headed the 1.5 hours down to my in-law's new church with several others from our church. Since school was cancled for Monday, we ended up spending the night with my in-laws, even though by that time (2 days later) our apartment had power again.

Today, Wednesday, a snow storm hit and the church still doesn't have power along with 80,000 other people! Friday, another storm is coming! We have missed two Christmas music practices at this point and are determined to practice Saturday and Sunday regardless of the presence of electricity! ;-)

I'm also so excited that I have a new niece - my sister had her baby on Ana's birthday, so now, within 2 days we have 3 birthdays! Elizabeth Shalom Horst "Ella" is adorable!

Gracie decorating cookies - expert sprinkle thrower!
Ana is thinking, "why did mama never give me this before?! This sugar stuff is amazing!" (The child ate two pieces of gingerbread cake, some chocolate cake, apple cider, countless stollen cookies.... aiy!)

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