Breathe In, Breathe Out, Blah, Blah, Blah

While my Monday blog is important to me and I make it a top priority, you may have noticed I’ve been missing these last couple weeks. That’s because I had to prioritize a few other things, like heat and water and food as Mother Nature really made her presence known.

Now that may sound overly dramatic, and perhaps 10 days without power (except for that little teaser when the power came back on for a few hours on day 4) does that to a person.

Snow on table
Breathe in, breath out, blah, blah, blah

Living in the rural central Sierra Nevada brings some unique challenges. No power means that the well doesn’t work, thus no water. The dirt road and sparse population means you wait a little longer for the power company to come out. The condition of the road is also a hindrance to any kind of work crews that need to come out.

All of this is a result of a massive storm that dumped record snow on areas of California, areas that have not seen a flake of snow in decades. Unfortunately, it’s not over as a warmer storm barrels down on us as I write this. With a large amount of rain due on top of the existing snow, the threat of flooding is real.

I first wrote this post by hand, because, well no power, and laid out a timeline of events, but I won’t bore you with that. Just know we got lots of snow in a very short time. I do want to share some of the takeaways from this event, some of the reminders of what’s really important, so here goes:

We got nothing on Mother Nature
With all our technological advances, she’s still in charge. I like it that way.

We are resilient
No water? Melt snow to flush, keep jugs filled when we’re able to get to town. No oven? Cook on top of the wood stove. No shower? Sponge baths and dry shampoo are a decent substitute.

We have much to be thankful for
I’ve never liked the woodstove. It’s smelly and dirty and can’t be good for your health. I’ve threatened to take it out several times. Thank goodness my husband never took me seriously. Really, there are so many in our area going through so much more than we are. Folks that are snowed in, getting low on heat and food and fuel and all the necessities of life. I think about those that aren’t physically able to do the things we did, those that lost cars and structures from tree fall, those that are facing a long road to recovery. I am grateful for all I have.

We are blessed with community
This was a big one. To Carrie, who offered me her shower and home to office at because she knew I had a big work deadline looming, to Kent who got his guys out to cut up the tree that cut the power, to Brian who gave us good advice on how to get the power company to finally come out, to Clinton who did all the work for the power company to come back at restore power, and to so many others, we couldn’t have done it without you! Big shout out to the power company workers who put in the long hours and finally got us up and running at 11pm.

We have power! Thanks power company workers.

In the dry heat of August, we’ll look back, maybe not fondly, to this time.

This life ain’t for sissies
Making sure we have food, water and heat is hard work. So is moving mattresses in and out of the living room and setting them up every night so we can stay warm. So is shoveling snow in an attempt to mitigate any flooding. I am grateful we have the health and stamina. And now I want to take a nap.

We’re a team
My husband, Tim, and I each had our assignments, and it happened organically. I was responsible for collecting and melting snow and keeping us fed for example. He kept us warm and shoveled the snow so we could get out our driveway. We held each other up, that’s what families do.

All of this is not to say I was always upbeat. With all my humanness, I wasn’t always in the present moment, worried about running out of wood, food or water and all sorts of other what-ifs. So even with everything my mindfulness practice brings me there were times I was a real grump. Yeah, yeah, practice non-judgment, the say. It’s all impermanent, breathe in, breathe out, blah, blah, blah.

May you all be safe and warm and watered and fed.

Update: The rains came, the road past us washed out, no damage here, for us all is well.

Road Washout

  1. Tim

    Just read this tonight (9/29/23) and looked back on all we went thru, not really fondly, and actually had a few small smiles pop up on my face. The way I’d tell the story goes like this….blah, blah, blah.

    Love you! T

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