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OPINION

GOOD MORNING: What did you learn during the storm?

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

Hopefully by the time this piece makes it out to our readers, everyone will have their power back on and water restored, even if they are still having to boil it.

When I sat down to write the piece, I was trying to come up with some way to sum up this whole miserable week for us all. I am not sure that I came up with anything brilliant except to say that I am almost positive most of us learned something new during the storm and probably learned something new about ourselves.

What did I learn about myself? That I am never moving anywhere further north than I currently live and I have been right all of these years in thinking I would never make it through a New England winter.

There have been a number of times in my life when I have flirted with the idea of moving east because I love the history around every corner in places like Boston. But I have long suspected that such a move would end me and now I am certain.

I also discovered that absolute silence leaves me hearing a very uncomfortable sound that is not really a ringing in the ears as much as it is a sort of funky vibrating noise. The first night without power, it kept me awake most of the night. 

Also, I discovered that I had never really ever been cold before even though I thought I had. I would not have made a very good pioneer woman as I do not enjoy boiling water to wash dishes or make tea or do anything else.

To put it bluntly, I am a spoiled, somewhat high maintenance gal who likes her light switches to bring about light and her heaters to spew forth heat with wild abandon. And I will gladly suffer through any 100 degree day before choosing to death with a negative degree day under any circumstances. 

But I also learned that no matter how cold I got or how much the silence drove me batty, I was capable of dealing with the situation. And I am guessing I am not alone in that realization. It wasn't easy and we didn't like it one tiny little bitty bit, but we made it through it all. Some of us even did so while remaining married and happily attached to children.

The dog and I got even closer than we have ever been as there were times when she steadfastly refused to leave my lap because it was the only warmth she could find.

I also suspect that many of us found ourselves thanking God a lot for the fact that whatever we were facing at that particular moment was not worse and for the many blessings our lives normally hold like lights that come on when we flip a switch and water that is just there when we turn on the faucet. 

Some of us, no doubt, found out which friends came running when we needed help and just how good it felt to be the friend who was able to go running when someone had need of something that we had.  Generally after an area undergoes some sort of disaster, you start to see hashtags that say that area's name and the word "strong" attached. Somehow, with North Texas and Southern Oklahoma, that process almost seems redundant. Don't North Texas and Southern Oklahoma already mean strong? 

All of this to say I hope Michigan comes and gets its weather out of our backyards soon and that the north builds a better fence to keep it from roaming around down here anymore anytime soon.