Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Don't take it for granted!

I have learned so many valuable lessons in the last few days due as a result of Hurricane Ike. All these little extras we take for granted, (that truly ARE extras because there are many people in other countries who do without these things) what happens when they aren't readily available? Living in the land of excess, we aren't accustomed to going without. We want whatever we want, when we want it. That's become very obvious as we watch people fight over the last jug of milk or wait in line for gasoline (and then filled up 10 containers in the back of their truck... I hope they were going to share that with those who weren't able to get out to get gas!). You don't ever think about milk and bread being the latest craze. You don't realize how cushy your life is until you think about toilets that won't flush, boiling water every time you want to drink it, sewage backed up in people's yards, and not being able to flip a switch and have instant light.

And to think, there once was a time when people didn't have running water, electricity, and food stocked in their fridges (because there were no fridges).

You know, I wasn't so much worried about being uncomfortable if our power went out (and yes, it was hot, muggy, and sticky.. so it was uncomfortable when we were at home, hoping the electricity would return). What I was really concerned about was losing all that food we just bought!

We were very fortunate to have running water.. and a gas heater to heat that water so we could take warm baths!

This was actually a great experience for me. I really had a good time bonding with my friends and family while we "huddled" together in my parents' small two-bedroom condo (the first place to have power back!). We put together puzzles, played games, had wonderful chats..... and I wondered, "Why is it that we rarely do stuff like this..... only when it's a holiday or a horrible event!"

Y'know, my children didn't even want to come back home because they were having SO MUCH FUN!

There is a lot of damage around our towns, but I think it's worth the damage, if it unites us in working together, just as three families worked together in that small condo. Surprisingly, it never felt crowded!

I want to thank those of you who have donated. Brandon and I are praying about who, what, and where to spend the money on. If you would like to donate to give a helping hand to those affected by the hurricane, you can do so through PayPal.com. I posted about it in a previous entry. It's much appreciated! (Again, this money is NOT for us, but for those who do not have the finances and need help NOW.. whether it be for things to fix their homes... or replace their groceries. Some people will have plenty of work, but others will be without jobs for a while!)


Heather said...

That is sweet (the family time thing--ours doesn't do that and instead start getting irritated at each other, glad we are with power, my husband who works and plays on the computer would go INSANE.) It is amazing what we take for granted. Most of our county is still without power from the windstorms that came through and we are so blessed to be some of the few with power.

Full of Heart said...

I think you're so right on with this, that we don't realize all that we have until we don't have some of it anymore! Then we just realize how completely TOO MUCH we have in our lives...
I'm glad you guys are safe and back home!

Gloria said...

Yes, we should be very thankful to live in a first rate country and not a third world country.

Louisiana Momma said...

I so agree with you and had a similar experience with Gustav. We had gone north to Texarkana. We had my husband with us (who is normally gone everyday to work) for over a week.. it was so nice to wake up to him being there next to me each morning.. and to spend quality time with.. we broke out the board games and reminded us how much fun they are.. I would like to revive a family game night.. like the old days when we were forced to interact with each other :-) Glad you guys are good.. the pooch doin ok?

Kristin-Homemaker@Heart said...

American's do take just about everything for granted. I know I do. It's sad, but I do.

And I often wonder the same thing. "how come my family only gets together in times of crisis?" Funerals, snow-ins... We're all too busy with life. Again, here's me...guilty as charged.

Glad all is well.
You still need to give me your new address-I don't have a pay pal, but I might be able to spare a fist full for people who need it! :)

Arlene said...

I remember living through a similar situation during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. People were suddenly friendly and helpful to each other, regardless if it was friend or stranger. I remember thinking, "Why can't we always treat each other this way?". It also put so much into perspective. We had no electricity for a week. Others went without power or water for over a month. We tend to forget what that's like, so God reminded us during Hurricane Wilma. We need to appreciate all the blessings we have (and let's be honest, we are blessed to the extreme). So glad you and your family are safe and back at home. God bless.