Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dog Tired!

Bet you thought this was my furry friend, right? Actually, it's a photo of ME this evening!!!! Ok, so it isn't actually me---but it's actually how I feel! Anyone want to take a long winter's nap with me????
After the ice storm & no power for a week, which of course, set everyone here back that week on Christmas prep, I was informed the church would go through with the weekly dinner--just happened to also be the "Christmas Dinner" for church family. Rush, rush, rush to purchase & prepare the food for over 200 people! Then, as we had the Baptist Disaster Relief Crew here working on the trees in town, and as they were staying at our church, and as we were responsible for feeding them, I helped 3 nights with the evening meal. After working all day!! Then, Friday, my kids came home for the weekend--which I wouldn't trade for all the tea in China, and they just left. We had the big celebration at my in-laws today. That plus, it snowed again yesterday & was colder than the artic here!!! Plus, I had a killer migraine Wed through Sat. One of those where you see double, the affected side eye tears constantly, nausea sets in, and I slept for 4 hours over 72 hours!!! No, I'm not complaining--so many have worse stories, I'm just explaining why I feel like Abby right now!!!
I have learned a few life lessons over the past 2 weeks: mainly that in times of disaster, discomfort, or distress, true personality traits manifest themselves! I have learned that there are quite a number of persons I don't want to be stranded with on a desert or artic island! I have learned that complaining only serves to make us "unattractive" to those around. I have learned that there are some who are so abused in their workplace by the general public it is alarming.
Case in point--my good friend L works for a local utility company. She doesn't usually take calls, but was called in to work as the storm qualified as a disaster. L worked over 73 hours last week---missed her son's birthday completely. When I saw her, she looked like she was on the verge of a nervous collapse. She related story after story of people calling in and complaining that someone out there should "just flip that switch" to restore the 5000 homes without power. Yes friends, there is a big switch that utility companies flip off and on in dire weather for our inconvenience!!! And the "flippers" sit around playing cards, drinking hot cocoa, while the residents suffer. Mean times we live in--ha ha ha. L also told of call after call that let her know, in straight talk, that her job was on the line; they "knew" a board member who they would turn her in to for her inability to control nature, and that those who have been utility members for long periods of time expect to have their power restored PRONTO---doesn't matter where they live in relation to downed generators, power stations, etc.; their longevity of account awarded them top of the list, priority service. And, not one person, no, not one, ever thanked the men & women who worked hour after hour, day after day, missing their own meals, families, health, for keeping the phone operable, answerable, etc. No, the common thought for these persons is "well, that's their job!" Yes, I agree, that is their job, but no one signs on for the worst part of any job. And, after all, we can't all have the SAME job, right? Someone has to fill those positions. Sometime we take jobs because we have a desire to work within the confines of the convenience of the location, hours, etc. We don't all have the "choose or leave" benefit.
I digress. Anyhooo---thanks to all those who worked so diligently.
I have also learned that we are such spoiled whiny babies! In this day and age, there are still locations in America and abroad, where utilities are a luxury item-either because of location or lot in life. And I have learned that in the cold, quiet hours of darkness, families can enjoy one another, look at life's journeys with bitterness or with anticipation. I choose anticipation.
I have learned that this was a short time of discomfort, and that there are thousands upon thousands who would trade this small window of discomfort for the pain of watching a child, spouse, mother, father, etc., suffer with physical and/or mental health. Perhaps they would trade this time of ours for the unemployment that is hung around their necks like an albatross; or maybe they would trade for time given back with a lost loved one. In the big picture of life, this was just a pimple---not a tumor!
Ok, enough already!!! Good grief Charlie Brown, is life all gloom with you???? Not at all. I have had a wonderful day with family, exchanging food & small gifts; watching our children's children learn to play together ( they are 21 months, 12 months & 6 months). I have been blessed to sit and watch my kids, nieces & nephews eat, drink and be happy. And I was blessed to sit through a morning sermon reminding me that faith is a day to day life, hope is the future hope I have that God is in control, my church is a place of refuge and solice, and my heart can be warmed by the knowledge of the enormity given me at that manger so many thousands of years ago. Sometimes I just have to be reminded.
Merry Christmas to all--may God bless you as you meet the day with whatever challenges or rejoices you face. And may He bless you with his steadfast presence in the coming year.