November 16, 2011 The Hardest Arithmetic

Without warning, the great freak Fall snow of 2011 came.  On a lovely Saturday afternoon, we lost power around 1:00 pm.  I thought it would come back shortly; no big deal.  By the evening, David had gone to edit and still no power.  Which meant of course, no lights, no eating (since I didn’t want to open the fridge and let all the cold air out) and worst of all no heat.  But I still felt grateful. ’cause I had my Iphone and my Ipad which were both reasonably charged.  Surely, this power outage wouldn’t last long– we’d never had an outage that had lasted more than 1/2 day.

Fast forward five days.  Five days of being in the dark, five days of coming home to a cold house, five days of no food, since by then we had to throw all the food in the fridge away.  Thankfully- for both her and us– we gave our entire freezer of food to someone who was going through a bad time, and literally without food.  I thought of all the things I took for granted, a warm toilet seat, the ability to work at home, the luxury of not walking around with five layers of clothes and a blanket around me to keep warm.  I know I should be grateful every friggin’ minute of every friggin’ day– and yet instead, no doubt, I become cranky over whatever, and slip into complacency.  Live even one day, much less five, without power and see how much we take for granted.  Eric Hoffer wrote: “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”  I already am drawing up a New Year’s resolution to ask for after school tutoring.  I need it.

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