Our power came back on Saturday, our phone and internet came back Sunday, and cell phone coverage is back to normal. One of things that back-to-normal has allowed is for us to see the devastation not only of places far away, but those nearby like Ringgold, GA.
But I’m reminded of something my grandmother said. My grandparents lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and suffered loss, hunger and betrayal. And in the midst of telling me about it, my grandmother said, “Never forget, we laughed.” Not that the suffering wasn’t real or they had some kind of weird philosophy of pretending the pain didn’t exist, but that through it all they enjoyed what they could and not only survived the suffering but conquered it by God’s grace.
And even though what we’ve experienced may pale in comparison, I have some pleasant memories of the storms.
While Cal and I were feverishly putting together a generator to run the sump pump to keep the basement from flooding, the kids were bailing the basement with buckets by candlelight and singing. They sang a variation of a Zelda song to the water, “This is our house, this is our house. It’s not your house.”
Speaking of the generator, there’s nothing like two people trying to put together a mechanical thing by flashlight, especially when you have only one flashlight.
I’ll always have a mental picture of Luke and Ariel studying for finals by candlelight. They were sitting at the dining room table with every candle we own, which is a lot, and Luke was studying for Quantitative Analysis and Ariel was studying Sports Economics. (Yes, seriously, she hates sports but loves the professor.) I hope the professors take candlelight studying into account when they grade.
With the power outage, a local county lost the ability to pump water up to Lookout Mountain. So a local Christian college was told that they had 24 hours to empty campus. (Classes and finals were immediately cancelled.) One of the students came and stayed with us. When you’re missing power, telephone, cellphone coverage, internet and water, homes that have water are palaces. Plus, we had fun huddled around a charged-up laptop, watching a Netflix disk episode of Merlin.
Now that things are back-to-normal, I guess we need to remember to laugh as we tidy up and pick insulation out of the rose bushes.