Aaahhhh....to have power, running water, high-speed Internet and cable back again.
My morning plan last Monday seemed simple enough. Get out of bed. Start the coffee. Get in a run before the kids wake up. Head back home, get myself and the little ones ready for the day and off to work. I knew there was a storm approaching, but the birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and I thought it wouldn't arrive until late morning. I was wrong.
My running route takes me up through a heavily wooded valley out to the main roadways of the village. The run began peacefully enough, but once I reached the crest of the hill and looked to the west, I knew we were in for a bad storm. Unfortunately, I could not run fast enough before the sky seemed to be falling around me. Tree branches and limbs were snapping from the intense wind. Luckily for me, a good Samaritan who was in the midst of her morning swim when the storm hit, drove by and offered me a ride. Together, we maneuvered through the streets trying to find an unobstructed route back to my home. If we weren't met with a downed power line attempting to start a fire, then it was a large tree obstructing the entire road. She eventually dropped me at a local coffee shop, where I could wait out the storm until the roads were cleared.
We were one of the over 800,ooo Chicagoans without power last week due to the vicious derecho storm that rolled through our area. McHenry and Lake counties were particularly hard hit and declared disaster areas by the end of last week. Yes, we were all hot in a house without air conditioning. Yes, we were all frustrated that we couldn't use our TVs, our ovens, our whatevers that require plugging in to use. Yes, we were tired from waking up every few hours to re-fuel the generator, so our food (and all that expensive gluten free food!) wouldn't go to waste. We waited with bated breath for any updates from ComEd and Comcast.
Despite all the frustration, last week's storm did force us to take time to enjoy a simple meal cooked on the Weber grill, sit by a campfire and talk, read bedtime stories by flashlight, sing songs, and just look up at the stars. It actually felt liberating to not have to check X, Y, and Z for emails, voicemails, and texts because there was no communication to be had.
It amazes me how dependent our society has become on technology to function. I felt it first-hand last week and still do as I type this post on my lap-top, while listening my IPod and eating some microwave popcorn........you get the idea.