it is a matter of perspective

Today is a wonderful day. There is ice all over Fort Wayne. Our power has been out for 36 hours. The temperature in our kitchen was 44 degrees (F) when we got up this morning. Today is a wonderful day.

  • An electrician is working on our house, replacing the electric meter that was damaged when the weight of the ice pulled the line off our house. He needs the business.
  • A crew of guys from Kentucky is working with the local power people to attach cables to houses and cut branches and get the grid working again.
  • Landscaping crews, usually idled by winter, are busy cleaning up branches, cutting wood, helping people out.
  • With 13 degrees as a low tonight and many houses still without power, I’m guessing that some plumbers will be busy this week repairing frozen pipes.
  • Hardware stores and home improvement stores and grocery stores are having an unexpected burst of activity this weekend all across the country.
  • People who make batteries and generators and lamp oil and firewood and propane stoves and bottles for propane stoves and flashlights and thermal underwear will be dealing with inventory shortages.
  • Hospitals and emergency rooms will be very busy.
  • Neighbors are meeting each other as they talk about how soon the power will be reconnected.
  • Body shops will be working on fenders of cars that slid into other cars.

I understand that there has been significant danger in the storms we are facing. I understand the lives at risk from the cold.

I also understand the possibilities for caring, for community, for overtime, for Christmas presents for people who may not have been expecting it.

It’s not simple to determine wonderful and awful. But it isn’t based just on how I feel. Sometimes we need to zoom out, to think about interactions.

I’m heading back home from the warm library now. We’ll have power tonight, I hope.

I’ll let you know.

Stay warm. Stay helpful.

4 responses to “it is a matter of perspective

  1. Ahh. Reminds me of similar benefits of Hurricane Ike around here. Except it was hot. Hang in there.

  2. Very interesting perspective on things.

  3. So sorry about the power being out.

    Merry Christmas!

    I’ll be out of email contact for much of next week (in Texas visiting family), so I wanted to say that – early. I hope you & your family have a great celebration.

    -Paul

  4. I was living in Ottawa during the big ice storm of 1998. I was attending college at the time, but when the storm got bad they shut the school down for 10 days.

    80% of the city was without power. In the outlying areas, there was no electricity whatsoever. I was one of the lucky ones. Living in a newer area of town, where the power lines are buried underground, I was fortunate to have heat and electricity throughout the storm.

    I could have just hunkered down in my place, keeping warm and watching TV (heck I even still had cable service!). Instead, I went out to my car, spent 90 minutes chipping 3 inches of ice off it, and drove down to our local Red Cross chapter.

    I spent 6 days answering phone calls, coordinating efforts and I hoped, making a difference for people who were not so fortunate as I. It felt good to know that even though others were not faring as well as me, that I was able to help.

    I wish you safety and warmth and comfort, and I hope that you get your power back soon. Take care and Merry Christmas, Jon.