Things I've learned while the winds raged and the power failed ...
* Charging my cell phone each night would not be a bad idea.
* Keeping my mp3 player charged is important as well. While we have a hand crank radio, it was nice not to have to pull it out.
* I like being able to hunker down in our own home comfortably, knowing that we have what we need to be safe, healthy, and happy. Having faith that there's a God who loves us and is watching over us doesn't hurt either.
* The prospect of being without power long term (they thought it would be forty-eight hours or more) does not feel like a real emergency when we have what we need.
* Candlelight is still charming.
* I'm thankful that my parents taught me to use candles, etc. with common sense as a child.
* Christmas carolling by candlelight with my daughters is one of the most magical experiences that I've had.
* I've got a lot to be thankful for. There is beauty -- even in the hardships.
* I'd infinitely rather be without power than hot water and functional sewers.
* One of my random talents that I've acquired over the years is a knowledge of how to layer blankets to maximize or minimize warmth. Strange, but infinitely helpful in this situation.
* Cold isn't so bad, and I've been colder.
* I need to invest in a charcoal bricket camp stove and a bag of brickets. While I've got an emergency burner and fuel, you can cook almost anything on a grill with relative ease, and being able to roast marshmallows and hot dogs might be a fun distraction for some stir-crazy and slightly worried children.
* Kids take their cues from their parents. If I make it a big deal, my kids will too. If I stay calm and remind them of all the things we have to help us make it through, they tend to look at it as a fun and exciting experience.
* Sometimes having very little in the fridge is not a bad thing. We were able to eat a lot of it yesterday before it went bad, and very little actually went to waste.
* I'm immensely thankful for those who are willing to take a job that requires them to sacrifice their own safety, sleep, and warmth to ensure mine. The power company has been truly amazing with how quickly they have dealt with massive amounts of damage.
* It's lovely being able to do laundry anytime and with relative ease.
* Washing dishes by candlelight is rather fun -- when the water is already heated, I don't have to fetch and carry it, or haul it out either.