Remember the ice storm that hit the Northeast last year?
Our friend and business asssociate Stephen had stayed with TK and I the night before. The three of us listened to the wind howl outside and the ice come down as we sipped wine and talked about everything and nothing.
As we said our goodnights and Stephen headed to the guest room I can only imagine he spent the night in much the same way as TK and I, and many others in the area, did - listening to the trees coming down around us.
We woke in the morning to no power and Stephen standing in the middle of our family room with a big grin on his face. He had just returned from a walk down our driveway where he snapped the pictures below.
Close to 20 trees came down on our property that night, the most significant ones being the four or five laying across our driveway and blocking our path.
Our neighbor came right over with a chain saw and cut away enough to get us out of our own driveway. Schools were closed, most of the town didn't have power and friends began calling to find out who was staying where for the night.
The atmosphere at the Hilton that night was festive - the kids all swam in the pool and some thoughtful architect put a half wall of glass between the lounge and the pool area so that we could watch the kids while socializing. Our friend Lisa was staying there as well, along with her daughter and several hundred other people. TK, Ziggy and I shared a room and stayed up half the night giggling. Well, Ziggy and I giggled. TK shook his head and probably told us to go to sleep. Moose met us for dinner and then went to a friend's house to sleep and shower, avoiding the chaos of the hotel.
Everywhere we went people were friendly, playing the "How long have you been without power?" game, comparing stories on house and car damage as little people in footie pajamas padded down the hallway, shrieking with laughter as they passed.
We were without power two or three days, I can't remember now. What I do remember was how something that could have pushed us apart as we argued over what to do and grumbled about the inefficiencies of our town to resolve the power failure instead actually brought us closer together.
We were thankful that we had neighbors to help us, a warm and dry place to sleep, hot showers in the morning, friends and family to spend time with and a home to return to.
When I found these pictures on my laptop it reminded me that it shouldn't take an act of God to thank God for what you have.
As much fun as we had last year, I'm thankful that when I woke up this morning my family was there. I'm thankful that the power was on and my shower was hot. And as much as I'd like to see Stephen smiling at me from the middle of the familiy room, I'm thankful that instead of listening to trees come down last night as I lay in bed the only thing I heard was Moose looking for a midnight snack in the kitchen.