The Power of Thankfulness

Photo credit: Kerry Murphy Photography

At about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, my husband called to tell me about a “planned power outage” in our subdivision the next day. Apparently, Commonwealth Edison would be doing some work related to a nearby highway expansion project, which had already caused our neighborhood months of aggravation. In addition to street closures, we now faced having our power shut off from as long as 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We were both perturbed about the short notice. How would we survive without Internet access for up to six hours? What would happen to all the food in our fridge and freezer? What would our kids do all day with no source of electronic entertainment? And what about Thanksgiving?

My biggest chore was to make a green bean casserole to take to my sister-in-law’s house, and that could certainly wait till Thursday morning. But what about the people in the neighborhood who were hosting dinner and hoping to get a head start on Wednesday? Most of the items on their to-do lists — baking, preparing side dishes, cleaning the house, washing and ironing linens — would require power, which they wouldn’t have for six hours. Annoying? Yes. But at least they would still be able to work their holiday magic once the power was restored in the well-equipped, fully functioning kitchens of their heated Midwestern homes.

What about the thousands of East Coasters who remain without power three weeks after Superstorm Sandy? How will they make Thanksgiving happen?

According to The Daily Beast, 18,095 people in Long Island are still powerless, as are 2,170 in New York City and 14,000 in New Jersey. To make matters worse, temperatures on the East Coast are expected to drop into the thirties tonight. Missing a day to prepare for Thanksgiving doesn’t matter much when you have no way to heat your home, let alone cook a turkey.

Thanks to countless individuals and organizations donating time, space and meals, lots of the Sandy victims without power will have warm dinners today. I’m sure that despite their three weeks of loss and suffering, they will give thanks for the family, friends and love that surround them — no matter where their dinner tables happen to be.

As it turned out, our planned power outage never happened. But sometimes a small inconvenience, or the potential for one, can really help you put things in perspective. Today I am thankful for a hot meal, a warm place to sleep and the love of my family. Although I may forget it sometimes, they are the only things I need.

4 thoughts on “The Power of Thankfulness

  1. Great post Kathleen! Thanks for thinking of the East Coast. Most of my town got power back after 12 long days but there are so many people, as you point out, who still don’t have power – or even homes – after Sandy. Most people have already forgotten, so it’s nice to see posts like this one 🙂

    • Thanks, Stacie. It makes me so sad to think of all that was lost. I don’t know how you move on from that kind of devastation, but I guess you just do. Glad you guys are back to normal and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Things like that definitely put things in perspective don’t they? I cannot even begin to imagine what life has been like for our East Coast neighbors.

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