Monday, May 2, 2011

We Laughed

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. 


  1. Thats for sure. According to Mark Twain, laughter is man's best weapon, though seldom used.

  2. Glad to hear that everything's up and running again :)

  3. We have papers littering our yard from Alabama and who-knows-where, and little bits of insulation are covering most of the roofs around here. Slowly and surely, we'll clean everything up.

    @Grace Duke :: Neat quote!! I have to be sure to remember that one.

  4. Laughter is so important...especially when you're in day three of an ice storm outage and are melting snow over a fire for washwater. Yep, been there :)

  5. It's hard to feel down when you are laughing. Good post

  6. Glad to hear that things are improving. Also a big thank you for taking care of the Covenant students and making sure they had a place to evacuate to in spite of all of your own problems. We are looking forward to meeting you this coming weekend.

  7. So glad things are getting back to normal for you again. Gonna be a long time before the people in Ringgold are back to anywhere near normal, though, I'm afraid. Even so, I'd be willing to bet that they, too, are using humor to see them through.

  8. So glad you weren't hurt and things are getting back to normal. Humor really is a wickedly good weapon in bad times, I agree.

  9. I'm glad you have power back!

    I think it's important to remember to laugh and to appreciate what you do have.