The story was originally featured for Seasoned Grace: Hooper Island release week of fun

December 21st, 2013

Most of the time, Michigan weather doesn’t get that bad. They say that because we are surrounded with water, those bodies of water act as barriers to rough weather. Yes, we get storms that produce tornadoes, heavy snow, and frigid temperatures, but they are rarely as bad as other states around us. 

That said, 12/21/13 was one doozy of an ice storm. The family and I had prepared all week for our first family gathering with my husband’s family. The 21st hit and all our plans were canceled as the power began to flicker around one o’clock in the afternoon. By two, we were heating our house by running our shower on hot for a half hour at a time. Was it smart? No but we didn’t know what else to do. We could still cook because with our gas stove and shower because our water heater was heated by gas. That was it. By the end of the night, the boys had snuggled together in one bed while our little girl lay snuggled between hubby and myself.

Monday came along and we still had no power. Our house was now a balmy sixty-two degrees. My mom reached out to me to inform us that my grandma and aunt, who lived a block away, had power and that we were welcome to crash there until power came on. So, we packed up and went while painfully leaving our fur babies behind. My dad assured me that the dogs would be okay, just leave them in the kennel together and create places off the floor for the cats to huddle in together. 

We checked on the pets off and on throughout Monday afternoon and Tuesday. Near the end of the day on Tuesday, it was becoming clear that all the extra people was make my grandma uneasy. Her dementia made it difficult for her to handle large gatherings and we didn’t want to stress her out. To give her time to relax, our family made a call to family with power to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with. My aunt and uncle came to our rescue.

Hubby met them at our house so that they could take the kids Christmas gifts over to their house. We had to drive twenty minutes to their house, but the ice had melted significantly. The state wide power outages kept many in the dark.

Christmas morning was fun as we watched the kids open gifts and enjoy them while fellowshipping with family. That night, hubby had to go to work early the 26th so the kids and I went back to my grandmas while he went home.

So, I made you read through all that to get to the lessons learned. 

Lesson 1 – God’s hand was on our family the whole time. He provided a way for us in the middle of a scary time in our lives. We were helpless and He softened hearts to open their homes to us. Michigan hadn’t experienced weather like this since the 1970’s, so hubby and I were a little lost. We city kids, what can I say.

Lesson 2 – Appreciate family. My daughter will never forget curling up in “GB’s” bed with her to stay warm. I will never forget watching my kids laugh with my grandma (their GB) as she repeatedly beat them in Skip-Bo. These are moments we will never get back and my kids had the privilege of getting to know their great-grandma before her dementia worsened. 

Lesson 3 – Gifts will be broken or given away, but the memories we create with our loved ones will stay with us forever.

Was there a time you witnessed the hand of God in the middle of nature’s fury? What did you learn from that time?