That’s what my friend Pat R. always says…she’s one positive lady and a great encourager to me personally.
Yep, this is a personal blog post today. As we are now on the flip side of this record-breaking Texas storm, I thought I needed to summarize my blessings, hoping you will rejoice with me.
A week ago, we began our preparations… propane for our indoor portable heater, gas for the generator, water, Spam (grin), soup, etc. As I’ve mentioned, we are more geared up around here for hurricane prep than winter prep. Some of my Tennessee memories came back as I made sure we had batteries for the flashlight, oil for the kerosine lamps, etc. I have to admit I was bemoaning the fact we didn’t have a fireplace or the woodstove I counted on while living in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. There was some sort of security, or perhaps pride, in knowing my husband worked all summer to cut up enough firewood to get us through the winter….
We were without power for 24 hours, in and out power the next few days, loss of water, in and out water…now we have water with a boil notice for the water – I’m not ready to run my washing machine just yet, somehow it just doesn’t seem fitting. And if you’ve been reading the news, know that we have been dealing with unheard-of prices for power, up to $9 per kWh. We were thankful we had a generator to run the refrigerator – I still chuckle thinking that one of our priorities was to keep the frozen food frozen while we felt like we were freezing…
But I digress… counting my blessings goes back a few years and that’s the tale I want to tell.
Thank You Lord for Hurricane Harvey
We experienced many blessings among the hardship of reconstruction after Harvey but this week we have rekindled our gratefulness for this event ….
For example: Did you know it’s much less costly to re-pipe your whole house when you don’t have any walls!
It was a personal expense, naturally not covered by insurance, but looking back we are so blessed that we had this opportunity. Our home is 50+ years old, and at the time had galvanized pipes that were worse than any clogged arteries you can imagine – a heart attack waiting to happen.
Due to the previous storm and consequent repairs, we did not have the level of fear others in our area have experienced, no broken or frozen pipes. Others in our area, including personal friends and family, have had to deal with this issue. The photos on the news are heart-wrenching, seeing families and businesses mopping up water from burst pipes. Unlike any hurricane damage, our area has now experienced cleaning up water that either froze or was freezing.
Another benefit of our Harvey reconstruction was replacing all our insulation with the spray foam type. The added blessing is this is a local family-owned business, and the owners are best friends with our oldest son & his wife. We do like to support local businesses…
The benefit has been saved in our electric bill since Harvey, however, the greatest benefit has been experienced during this past week. Before the power went out our temperature control read 68 or 63 (I can’t remember as prices were already going up so we were conserving by not having at a higher temp). As you know, temps got around 15 or 16, which in some parts of the country are normal – not so for Houston/Galveston.
Anyway, back to the blessings – this foam insulation kept our house warmer than our old insulation ever would have. Without power, and for days even with power but not using it, the inside temp never got below 57. Still cold, but goodness what a testimony to how this type of insulation really does what it says!
And by the way, thanks to this same company our oldest son & wife didn’t lose their well-water/pump house – and we were able to get water from them to flush and wash our hands during the water outages (not to mention the added benefit of playing with our 2-year-old granddaughter when we went across town to gather water!)
A Few Hardships, But Still Counting Blessings
I will admit there were a few hardships during this past week, but nothing insurmountable. Being unable to take a hot shower for multiple days, or wearing the same two layers of socks, flannel PJ’s under sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt under a sweat shirt with a fleece vest and finger-less gloves in the house day after day because that’s the only “winter clothing” in the closet; not being able to make those mac & cheese individual serve size containers in the microwave to go along with my Spam (grin); the propane heater deciding not to work after the first 12 hours (it has since been repaired once we were able to get a part on Thursday after the worst of the storm was over – it’s ready for next time, hoping there’s not the next time!). Not to mention having to conserve energy even with the power restored (we went from using 38 kWh daily down to 5 kWh when it was back on as we figured we could afford gas for the generator better than hundreds of dollars daily – even so, our monthly bill has quadrupled). And the hardest part of all was not being able to sew (grin) – which was remedied last night as electricity prices finally came back to normal.
Seriously, we are blessed beyond measure. So many of our neighbors and friends had it so much worse than us. We are constantly being reminded that “God knows”. And He cares. We firmly believe that He provided for us before we even knew we had a need. The blessings from Harvey have spilled over to being blessed during this storm. Yes, we believe in a God of HOPE and by His grace, we will carry on.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler
Heading over to our kiddos to take advantage of their CLEAN well water to do a little laundry and hang out with my best little goofy girlfriend. “So much fun!”