(this may not interest you at all, I'm mostly doing it for myself.)
What a week! Not only did it hit a record high (106 degrees--to be repeated today!), but we had a storm-of-a-decade last Friday night. Our power was out for four days and five hours--a total of 101 hours! We've never been without power for so long. 138 of 146 (95%) of the circuits which serve our area were damaged. I spent three of the four nights at home (more of that to follow), and was blessed by a church couple in letting us stay in their home for the fourth night. (Actually, they volunteered to house us all of the nights.)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about these last days is that the quiet and the crisis give you time to think about the Lord and how good He is to us. For one thing, this happened in the summer (but really, could I have not learned these lessons at 80 degrees?) so we didn't have to deal with frozen pipes or anything. We still had water and gas, so I could light my electric-pilot stove with a match, and showers were uninterrupted. Coffee in the morning went a long way towards making it through the day.
I traveled wa-a-a-y back into my memory to remember how to do things old-school: open the windows late at night (when it finally got below 80 degrees, the temp of the house), and close them after a couple of hours in the morning. Of course, we did not have access to fans, like my childhood, so sleeping was pretty bad. When I'd wake up after a couple of hours, I'd jump in the shower for a wet-down, and back to bed to air-dry. Hopefully, I'd get to sleep before I dried!
I really, really don't do well in the heat. I'd be a quick candidate for heat stroke, but mostly, I just feel like my organs are melting inside. I quickly turn beet-red, and then get nauseated. So mostly I did dishes, did a little hand-sewing, and wet my head a lot. After the third night, it got worse. My son and I drove out to my friend's house to get keys for that night (they were going out of town). She asked me if we wanted water--I declined because I had a bottle in the car. I did not, however, drink it when I got back to the car. When we got home, we fell asleep for two hours. My son had to run an errand after that, and called me awhile later. I couldn't quite understand what he was saying, and vice versa. I realized that I couldn't remember the last time I had taken a drink. I also realized that I hadn't been to the bathroom since about 9 am. Thank God I "saw the signs" and began to drink water. I drank about 24 ounces in 45 minutes, and my neighbor brought me an electrolyte drink (I didn't remember eating, either). Soon I was feeling much better, and was grateful that I had said yes to my friend, with her lovely air-conditioned home! My daughter told me to keep water beside everything else I drank: coffee and water, milk and water, pop and water, alternating "sips."
Power was restored late Tuesday night, so we slept a second night at our friends's home. We came home Wednesday and tossed the refrigerator and then cleaned it (eeuuww). My daughter facebooked: "I'll bet there are 100,000 newly-cleaned, shiny-bright refrigerators today!"
There were originally 138,000 customers without power in our area. They reduced the number to 3400 before another storm hit yesterday (Thursday). 10,000 additional customers lost power, some for the second time. We were fortunate this time. My a/c, however, is still trying to recover. After running for twelve hours, the thermostat still said 80 degrees. Overnight Wednesday it got to 75, then with the above 100 degrees yesterday, it was back to 78. I think it says 74 this morning. Charming thinks that all of the 2x4s in the walls got hot, that is why it is taking so long.
The point of all this is that, no matter how much we think we are in control, God can remind us in an instant that He is the one in control. (I didn't tell you about the myriad trees uprooted and crashing branches that virtually stopped traffic in many areas of the city.) Suddenly we are all reduced to Survival mode, the way so much of the world lives their entire life. I think of our soldiers, living in this heat, with full gear, and being shot at, to boot.
Lord, help me to be grateful, every, every day.