Monday, August 29, 2011

Weathering the Storm

The would-be hurricane-turned-tropical-storm that hit the East coast this weekend blew by me without too much notice. Windowpane-rattling gusts, a bit of water leaking around my window frames, and the mild anxiety of what-if-it-all-gets-worse was the worst of it for me. I'm lucky.

Actually I'm extremely lucky that my "natural disaster" experiences in life have largely skewed toward fun as opposed to devastating. Growing up in the Midwest, we faced tornado warnings in the basement for a few nights every summer, which always felt like a fun adventure sleepover to me. I've survived a bunch of snowstorms in various parts of the country, tremored in two different earthquakes, and now I have a hurricane under my belt to top it off. I'm a believer in prepare-for-the-worst-but-hope-for-the-best, and this attitude has worked out very well for me over time. I like having stories to tell about unusual occurrences, but I'm not the type to go out looking for trouble when reason dictates that it's best to stay home.

This weekend I stocked up on water, canned goods, and more food than I can reliably eat in a three-day period, hunkered down with my favorite DVDs and hoped the power wouldn't go out. It didn't. I watched news coverage with my hurricane buddy (a.k.a. my brother, who evacuated to me from a low-lying part of the city) feeling nervous that we'd hear reports that his neighborhood flooded. It didn't.

I feel grateful that the worst of the storm didn't reach us, even while I feel deep sympathy for those who were most affected. I feel grateful that I got to spend some uninterrupted, no-real-choice-about-it time with someone who I don't get to see as often as I'd like. I'm grateful for the roof over my head and all the little comforts of home that I enjoy, even though I often find myself grumbling about what else I need, or how things could be better. All I know is, I successfully weathered Irene, like all the storms before her. I have no idea if my luck with such things will continue, because the future is unknowable, but for now I'm content to feel grateful for what I have: a home, a family, a well-stocked fridge and a world of blessings at my fingertips...because many are without these things today, and if that isn't enough to remind us what's important, maybe we will never really learn.

What are you grateful for, in the wake of your dance with Irene?

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