Monday, September 15, 2008
My children are put to bed--Laura, Mary and Kerry. You know--Ingalls.
This is our second day without electricity, and as we said our prayers tonight, the big sister said, "I don't know whether to pray for electricity or not. I like playing 'Little House on the Prairie'...but it would be kinda'nice to have a/c."
Hurricane Ike paid us a memorable visit. But along with downed trees, a saggy, "broken" ceiling and some roof trouble, Ike packed some blessings in his bag. Blessings much bigger than any trouble that he brought to our family. Ike took out our electricity, and along with that, many of our distractions that sometimes keep us from being together even when we are together.
At no time over the past couple of days have we tried to talk to each other over the din of the evening news--or even over the background noise of "Little House on the Prairie". Mom and Dad have not been distracted by checking e-mail or blogging (gasp!). We haven't been rushing to answer phones...our land line has been completely down, and we've only had sporadic service on our cells.
We've been out in the yard today--cleaning up together. I don't think we sat on the couch once. And we even made it to church this morning where the priest and deacon led parishioners in worship in a very dim sanctuary--lit only by candles (and I suspected a flashlight).
Tonight at bedtime, the kids and I played guessing games about what the light from the flashlight looked like on the ceiling. Of course, there were shadow puppets, too. Giggles and laughter bounced off the walls in our bedroom. Little Man fell asleep holding my hand, snuggled up next to me on our bed. His sisters' giggles were his bedtime music. As I tucked the girls into "bed" (a pallet on the floor), they called me "Ma" and chided me for calling them by their real names.
Now, after the kids are asleep I sit by an open window and write by candlelight. I can't help but feel joyful. Life here on the "prairie" is good. There's a different focus here. We like it. The kids like it. My daughter is wondering whether she wants the lights to come back on and all to return to normal. We are nothing if not blessed.