Recovering From the Storm by Pattie Martin

It's hard to believe it has been more than a month since the derecho tore through Virginia leaving a big mess behind. Before June 29, I had never even heard of a derecho. Now I know what one is all too well and find myself getting a little nervous whenever the wind kicks up.

No question, most of us faced a lot of inconveniences when the storm hit. My house didn't get power back until the following Thursday and in the process we lost a lot of food and quite a few appliances. A couple of days after the power came back, we discovered we had no air conditioning, dishwasher and microwave... along with a few other things. It's been a tough few weeks as we wait to get the items repaired, but what I've found is that I can survive with ALL the modern conveniences.

I'm washing dishes by hand and have found this keeps us from using 15 cups a day for drinks. Everyone in the house uses one cup each day. We recently bought a new refrigerator, but before that we were using a friend's college refrigerator--which meant keeping a lot less food in the house and eating the leftovers much faster. We have a window unit in our bedroom, but I've discovered that fans and open windows don't do a bad job keeping the house relatively cool.

We have a long way to go to get back to normal. There is a huge tree sitting on top of my son's swing set and we're still finding things that aren't quite right. We discovered just last week that our doorbell no longer works!

I know we got off a lot easier than a lot of folks. There are some people whose homes were literally destroyed. I think about them a lot and know I have no right to complain about my house being a little warm or my t-v that died. I'm praying for a smooth recovery for those people.

In the meantime, I'll continue washing dishes in the sink and sitting in front of the fan knowing that despite what I lost, life goes on and sometimes the best lessons come from challenging times.