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Finding Your Inner Strength

Sweet & Weak

Roughing it

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to dig deep inside to muster the strength to go on and overcome sudden hardship.  It is in those times, when situations look hopeless, that families can find a way to come together and triumph.  With gritty determination, teamwork, and good old fashion gumption, my family came out on top this morning smelling like vanilla.  That’s right, vanilla.  That is because this morning’s metaphorical Everest was a 5:55 power outage and we held on tight and reached the summit together by 6:30 thanks to flashlight apps on our phones and a cabinet filled with half burned scented candles.

I will not make light of it (horrible pun), it is a difficult thing to look into your child’s eyes and explain to her that “No sweetie, I can’t turn on a kid show while we finish getting ready.”  With holiday scents released from our flickering light sources wafting through our humble abode, my brave little girl found the strength to occupy her time by sitting in the dark playing Angry Birds on the iPad.  She was scared and didn’t understand why the sink would work but the lights were dead.  It is in moments like this that a parent can take advantage of a real learning opportunity and share a pint of ice cream with his little ones for breakfast, explaining what life was like for people long ago.

I was truly proud of the resourcefulness  exhibited this morning as we made the best of things.  Make-up was applied by candle light and moose and hairspray saved the day as the flat-iron lied impotent on the counter.  Lunches were packed and coffee was replaced with caffeinated soda (even if it was a hard pill to swallow realizing the refrigerator wouldn’t drop the ice directly into our cups and we had to scoop it out with our bare hands).  Our problem solving was at its zenith as we continued to find a way where there seemed to be no way.  Garage door openers were pushed out of habit and the fear of our cars being stuck was quickly washed away as we remembered to pull down on the red hangy down thing to open the garage manually.  In a stroke of luck we even knew where a key was to our house so we were able to lock up behind ourselves to hopefully protect our possessions once the inevitable looting began.

As we drove down the streets of our dark subdivision you couldn’t help but feel a sense of community as parents escorted their kids to the bus stops flashlights in hand.  Somehow we all managed to make it out alive.  It may have taken longer to update our statuses relying solely on 3G instead of wi-fi, but we did it and we learned a few things along the way.  I like to think that our forefathers would have been proud of us this morning for pulling up our bootstraps and exhibiting the kind of determination this great country was founded upon.  In fact, I could hardly wait to share our story of overcoming hardship and roughing it like a real pioneer as soon as I got to Starbucks.

Sometimes a morning that starts off pretty weak has a way of turning out sweet after all.

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About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

25 responses to “Finding Your Inner Strength

  • metan

    I can’t tell you how much I want to read a post from you about a camping trip. No, hotels without room service don’t count 🙂

  • Annie

    Part 1. I already read your blog and I love it. (I may have told you that… have I? Can’t remember. We’re old now and memories fail.) 🙂

    Part 2. This is a great post.

    Hugs to you and Tiff.

  • Simon

    I once would have shyed away from such a wonderful compliment but since discovering the peanut butter and sprinkle sandwich, the title genius kinda fits. Ha Ha, thanks so much.

  • MrsFatass

    I swear you’re a genius. Have I mentioned how much I love this blog?

  • nmaha

    I didn’t know whether to applaud or laugh. It is really tough managing in the dark with kids, thank God for chargeable Apple gadgets (true Steve Jobs groupie here). We have a two hour power cut every morning here and though we are lucky the the sun comes up by 5.45 am, it’s tough starting your work day soaked through with sweat. (We also have 10 hour cuts about twice or thrice a month!)

  • Appetite 4 Life

    Loving the irony! Electricity addicts we have all become.

    Power shortage happened to my office last week – nothing worked! Could not flush toilets, could not get drinking water..made me laugh but actually a bit scary how everything is automated.

    Great blog.

  • themiddlegeneration

    What a great story! We do forget how dependent we are on electricity and as parents power outages are a perfect time to bring our kids into the dark ages- what life was like before Thomas Edison’s invention. Board games make a wonderful replacement for ipads, wouldn’t you say?

    • Simon

      yeah, once the panic subsides and you stop trying to update your status by arranging scrabble tiles, it can be really cool. In all honesty, my daughter was bummed it was back on when she got home, it was a good opportunity to drop some knowledge on her.

  • The Hook

    You have the knack for blogging – and life in general – my friend!

    • Simon

      Why thank you good sir, that is definitely a compliment from someone who possesses a knack of his own (really trying hard to avoid some lame knacksack pun)

  • Maggie O'C

    LOVE it.

    I shared on my Facebook.

    I honestly think power outages are the worst things in life. Well not the worst but really bad, REALLY bad. I can even go without cable as long as I have electricity.

    If I had been in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail, I would have lasted a couple of hours and then returned weeping to Boston or wherever I originated.

  • Wayne Holland

    Well done Simon. Wit and sarcasm reminds me more than a little of Twain. Keep it up!

  • mahervolous

    Once upon a time we had the power go off on Christmas Eve, and it still hadn’t been restored by Christmas morning. We were snowed in, but had managed to have the ‘gumption’ to put all the food outside. Real pioneers, we were, huddled under our blankets and cursing the hydro company.

  • Carol

    It’s during trying times like these when our inner resourcefulness comes to the fore. Power failures have a way of exposing how spoiled we really are. Loved your take on it!

  • skippingstones

    Love this! It does feel like the earth has dropped out from beneath your feet when the electricity goes out, doesn’t it? You turn this way and that, flipping switches and pushing buttons that will not work, somehow forgetting between each one that “oh, yeah, this is an electrical item too”.

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