Monday, February 24, 2014

20 Life Lessons I Discovered in the Dark

So, for those of you who may have missed it, Georgia has had two snow and ice storms this winter (that groundhog knew his stuff this year!). Atlanta seemed to have the worst time of it during the first go-around but Augusta was hit pretty badly with the second storm. The second storm was mostly ice and was much worse than the first for us in the eastern part of the state because of the damage it caused.  There were tens of thousands of people without power for days. Trees littered the streets (and still are piled high in yards waiting for the county's promised free disposal). Ice and snow pretty much never happen down here in Augusta, especially not to the extent it did this time.  In fact, the closest thing we get to something resembling a natural disaster are bad thunderstorms (not impressed? you shouldn't be...).  As a result, our trees are never pruned by Mother Nature. So the ice surprised them as much as it did us humans. Here's some images of the chaos that ensued.
Down Town Augusta even had trees uprooted
Walton Way in Augusta, GA

My little family was without power for 48 hours before we decided to give up the pioneer life of chopping firewood and boiling water in the fireplace and turn tail and run (to my parents of course and just in time to miss the next thing thrown at earthquake!). But not before I learned some great life lessons.  I thought I'd share them here with you:

1. Your hand goes instinctively to the light switch when you enter a dark room, even on your second day into knowing that nothing is going to happen when you flip the switch.
2.  You think that it's hard to find the random things your toddler hides from you when you have power?  I'm here to tell you, it is impossible to find something like a bath tub stopper that your child crawled away with when all you have is a flashlight (even if it is an industrial one).  You might as well get creative and use something else to plug the tub!
3. My husband can actually get tired of splitting wood and starting fires! (I never thought this would happen! Not until pigs fly and the moon turns blue.)
4.  You still have hot water if your boiler runs on natural gas.  This seems like an obvious fact, but it felt like an amazing gift when I was soaking in a tub of hot water after shivering all day!
5.  Mens' socks work as DIY babylegs.  Just cut the end off for little feet to slide through and voila! another layer to keep your baby from freezing. (You may want consent before you cut....oops!)
6.  People always talk about disposables having the drawback that you can run out and have to run to the store...well, with no power, the cloth diaper stash started running low.  Forget the milk and bread and buy some disposable diapers when a storm is headed your way!
7. When there is no power, the warmest place in the house is by the fire.  So, this naturally becomes your living room, kitchen, baby room, etc.  And the changing pad belongs on the coffee table right in front of the fire, of course.  Coziest changing table on earth!
8.  My son refuses lukewarm formula (he spews it from his mouth! Well, that may be a little dramatic but he wouldn't drink much).  Even boiler warm water is not adequate.  He likes his milk hot!
9.  On that vein, you can actually boil water by placing a pot near the fire in the fireplace.  We have a metal ledge around the edge so this may have helped by heating the pot from below too. (And the plastic lid handle never melted, thankfully!)
10. Chinese restaurants are always open.  Always.  They will find a way to have power and open even when nothing else is open.
11.  Nothing tastes better when you are cold and it is dark, than hot anything.  Hot chocolate, Chinese take-out, soup, s'mores... we tried it all and loved it all.  Every single bite and sip. (See #9 and 10 for how to obtain these wonderful things.)
12.  USPS actually does deliver in rain, snow, sleet, and ice.  These four situations are ones I have personally witnessed.  Liam's Valentines Day diaper's arrival was even more exciting in the midst of nothing else to be too excited about.
13. Duck down blankets are a must for survival planning for a home.  It actually feels like you have the heater on full blast when you're under that thing and you fall asleep so easily after shivering all day because you just feel warmth hugging you all over.
14.  My cats fear my son more than cold.  They chose to spend the majority of his waking hours in the coldest room in the house (safely on the other side of the baby gate) to avoid him, far away from the warmth of the fire.
15.  Back-up power supplies are not meant to run space heaters, even for a minute. They make a horrific noise because the circuit is instantaneously overloaded.  Honestly, they are useless in a power outage that lasts more than a few seconds.
16.  More of your neighbors have generators than you may think.  (Really.  Mine do and this is hardly a rich neighborhood.)
17. When all else fails, run home to your parents.  (This is a great life lesson in general!)
18.  Georgia weather is like a pregnant woman's mood can actually be in the 80s the week after a crazy ice storm. (It really was.)
19. Sago palms do not like ice storms.
20. Baby gear for really cold weather is adorable!


  1. I NEVER thought Dustin would get tired of chopping wood. I was going to ask if he was the county's free tree removal service... but I guess if he is tired of chopping wood he doesn't care that there is a lot of free wood for him to bring home.

    1. Ha ha. He's been drooling over the stacks of wood piled everywhere but since we're trying to tmove soon, it wouldn't be a great time to become the free tree removal service unfortunately.