You know the rest of the rhyme, right?
If you were at my cabin with me last weekend when the power was out for over 48 hours you sure as shit do.
But while you might not have been there heaving jugs of lake water up into the toilet tank and saying a quick prayer to the porcelain gods for swift success before you flushed, we weren’t alone. My sister-in-law, brother-in-law, niece and nephew came all the way from Arizona to enjoy lake life IN A CABIN WITH RUNNING WATER and got some good ol’ Minnesota outhouse living as a bonus.
I mean, sure, the “outhouse” was inside a cozy cabin but you had to use Purell to “wash” your hands because the bottled water was carefully allocated for teeth brushing.
And besides the toilet situation, the lack of running water meant no showers for a whole day and a half, playing board games by flashlight and headlamps, going into the darling little coffee shop in town for our morning caffeine fix, and having to use tubs to ice down the food and — more importantly — the beer and wine.
The hardships were tremendous, ya’ll, but our survival skills were strong.
No one argued.
No one cried.
No one collapsed from Netflix withdrawal.
It was like camping … with soft sofas, comfortable beds, and cats.
I think they call that glamping.
The power outage — an outage that of course only affected our cabin and the two on the right side of it out — was caused by a fallen transformer.
A transformer that fell because of this tree that fell on top of it when it was ripped from the ground –
Which was the result of a fierce storm that also did things like this to several trees right next door to us –
And things like this to trees in front of cabins about 500 yards from us as well as across the lake –
Funny how perspective shifts, isn’t it?
I got the chain of texts from my neighbor Thursday morning — the day we had planned for months to take our Arizona family up to the lake — telling us there had been a severe storm in the wee hours of the morning that had done some damage to several of our trees (which are now half-trees as the wind cut the tops of them clean off and tossed them onto our garage).
Our first thought — and the thought that stuck with us all afternoon as we drove up, hoping to get a call that the power was back on — was that the timing couldn’t have been worse, what with our visiting family expecting a nice long weekend with, oh, I don’t know, TOILETS THAT FLUSH.
But as soon as we arrived and saw the damage we felt nothing but fortunate and thankful.
Thankful we weren’t there during the storm, cowering terrified in the basement listening to the massive trees snap and fall around us.
Thankful no one on our lake was hurt.
Thankful the damage wasn’t worse.
Thankful for flashlights and headlamps and bags of ice.
Thankful that our big hardship was tinkling in already yellow water.
Sure, as the hours and full day ticked by we might have grown a little bit more bitter about it all, but I blame the odors that began emanating from our bodies for that.
Saturday, when we saw the power truck drive down our road to the fallen transformer, my husband, BIL, and the kids formed a posse to go check out what they were doing and see if they could get any answers … with Pig-Pen like clouds dancing around their bodies as they walked down the driveway. I suggested offering cash, beer, or at the very least, complimenting the workmen on their muscles and obvious intelligence.
And then, just as we were contemplating asking if we could use the local pizza joint’s dish sprayer to hose ourselves off, it was back.
The place went nuts.
We cheered and screamed.
The lights and fans came on.
The security alarm went off.
The cats lost all bodily fluids and darted under the beds.
And what did we do after that?
Pretty much the same things we’d been doing for the previous day and a half, but with clean hair and Olympic coverage.
The tree man came and cut up our fallen trees, we cleaned up the hundreds of tree branches littering the yard, and we remained thankful for the road bumps in life that, while perhaps may cause us to take a detour, are the ones we get safely over.
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