It's hard to reconcile the beauty of nature with the frustration of being in the cold and dark (when night falls anyway, which is around 4pm here). Overall, we tried to stay upbeat, we counted our many blessings, read Little House books by flickering candlelight (which is actually quite treacherous!), got all cozy with blankets and games, and when we'd just plain had enough, we loaded everyone into the van with a movie and just drove around to get warm and have a little modern-day enjoyment.
Much to my dismay and surprise and all that, I even found myself at our local mall on Thanksgiving night. Isabelle stayed in the car watching Elf (our tradition...well the movie part, not watching it in the car...) while the boys braved the crowds with me. The electricity inside was touch and go, too, so there were literally two cash registers available, and the overhead lights flickered on and off like some horrifying nightclub. Gah. But...we were warm! So truthfully, none of that bothered us terribly much.
By Saturday, though, our spirits were beginning to dip as low as our thermostat. Then the unthinkable happened. Well, I'd actually been thinking of it and had been terrified at the idea for two days at that point as the house grew colder and colder.
Caleb came to me in tears, announcing that his beloved Hulkie the Fish had died.
I had been pretty even-keeled throughout this whole ordeal, but this made me snap a little inside. Sure enough, the gills were not moving and his little fish body was arched in that awful, awkward sideways bend. Looking back, I don't even know why I did what I did because it didn't make any logical sense; but my boy was heartbroken and I had to try to do something.
I filled a plastic baggie with water, held it over all the candles I could find for a few minutes, and then had Caleb scoop the lifeless body out of the fishbowl and into the bag. My mind was going in a million directions but at the same time, I was completely focused on and devoted to the situation at hand. Strange feeling. Wouldn't you know, after twenty or so minutes of holding that baggie over candle flames and gently caressing Hulkie's body, that thing lurched forward and darted around that little bag with a new lease on life! Literally! I was shocked, really shocked, because I have seen my fair share of deceased fish, and this was one.
I looked Caleb in the eye and told him with 100% certainty and seriousness that our God, who created the entire universe and everything in it, does notice the little details in our lives, and He saw fit to give us a miracle that day. I tried to explain that even if Hulk hadn't come back, God still cares and He would be heartbroken right alongside us. But today? Today He let us have the miracle! Truthfully, I had an awful time even trying to explain this, because it felt like I might be saying that God didn't care if Hulk didn't recover, or worse, that God wasn't still good if he didn't.
So we had a Thanksgiving Blackout miracle! Or else you can call me the Fish Whisperer.
On Saturday afternoon, we bundled up again and headed to a local tree farm where they have a big fire going and lots of hot cocoa for the taking. Oh it was so wonderful! We even got our power back on that night in time to sit by the glow of the Christmas tree for a long while and just be. I don't think I could have stomached one more trip to the mall just to get warm, ha!
Oh, so on Thanksgiving morning, we went to...McDonald's. Along with the rest of our city apparently. Lines were all the way down the road! Then we headed to my parents, also without power, and had hot coffee and sausage biscuits and hash browns for Thanksgiving dinner. And pie. ;) The power did return a few hours later, so we threw that turkey in and enjoyed a nice meal around 7 that night. We were supposed to have dessert with the hub's side, but when things changed, we were sort of uninvited. That wasn't the greatest feeling, but at least we didn't have to feel bad about not running around everywhere like we usually do.
And our wonderful neighbors, who have a generator, hosted the two fish for the rest of the power outage. And they are still happy and healthy today!
We always have so much for which to be thankful, but on this day, we were reeeeaaalllly thankful for sunshine, fire, and hot cocoa!