Well, Augusta, we survived another one. As I write, I think some of you are without power. We have a huge tree down, spanning the width of the street, causing anyone who comes along to turn around. That’s it, though. There are a few small branches spread about, and sad, lost green leaves are everywhere, but we got lucky. In fact, our power didn’t even go out. It flickered a couple of times, but we kept our lights and internet.
Before you freak out and start calling me names, let us take a trip down memory lane.
When I was pregnant with The Boy, we had the first of two major Augusta ice storms that happened since I moved here. We didn’t experience a lot of destruction. The house was fine. I think we only lost a few small trees. However, per doctor’s orders, I had to stay in bed. While we didn’t lose any trees, we lost power for a couple of days. Not willing to disobey doctor’s orders, I lay in bed, listening to the popping and slamming of huge branches, frozen and falling. I could see my breath. I was in my bedroom. It got cold. I finally moved to my in-laws’ house, but I survived.
I’ve told this story before, but years later, we had a massive tree fall on our house. It was about 10 feet in diameter. We knew the tree might need to come down, but it was because we couldn’t grow grass in the backyard. There was a tree man appointment on Thursday morning. On Tuesday night, around 8 p.m., a powerful gust brought the tree right into my den and master bedroom. I called The Man to tell him, mentioning that the tree with the appointment was now in our den. He got home about 30 minutes later and said, “Well, you didn’t say it was in the den.” Actually, I said exactly that.
“We live in a treehouse now,” exclaimed The (then 7-year-old) Boy. Not funny, kiddo. We moved out for eight weeks while reconstruction was completed, but we were spared any injuries. We survived.
We all remember the 2014 ice storm. No major damage for our family. Days without power and eating canned goods and whatever meat survived the snow drift coolers in the yard. Snow drifts are also excellent beer coolers. We moved in with friends and made the most of it. We may have used our generator to watch the Winter Olympics, but hey, we were fine watching in the dark. We survived that, too.
Impending power outages are nerve-racking. School closures are, too. I can imagine that working parents who can’t take time off are especially stressed when schools shut down unexpectedly. I’d also imagine packing everything that fits in the family car and loading up kids and pets, moving to someone else’s school in a different city to sleep on cots in the gym, and worrying about whether your house will still be standing when you get home would be stressful, too.
We made it. We survived. It was a little inconvenient, what with all the extra people in town and stuff, but gosh, y’all, aren’t you glad we could help? Yeah, it might’ve gotten a little hot in our house, and your phone might’ve died, but did you have to toss out your kids’ entire wardrobe? Did everything you worked hard for wash away into the ocean, because of an unexpected storm surge? If it did, I’m really sorry. That’s truly tragic. I hope the people of our fine city showed you hospitality and compassion.
And no, three hours without power is not a long time. Even 24 hours is doable. It wasn’t even hot outside. If you missed your morning coffee because Georgia Power workers, away from their families and working through the night, haven’t made it to your street quite yet, have two cups tomorrow. Because you can. If you do have a tree through your roof, just know I do understand. I’m not minimizing the inconvenience. For the rest of you, Starbucks will rebuild, y’all. You’ll be fine.