Adaptation, rejoicing, and bonding
- Written by Patsy Oliver
How does that happen? As I write this, I know that some people are still without power after Hurricane Ike. We got power Monday night (Sept. 22) – day 10 of our lives lived primarily in the garage. It seems the garage was the coolest place at our house while we didn’t have air conditioning. I’m feeling bad for those people still stumbling around in the dark … and at the same time, I’m really thankful that we have lights again. While “powerless,” my Cute Little German Mother, my son, my daughter and myself played just about every game we could think of to entertain ourselves. We played Trouble, Monopoly, Go Fish, Rummy, Uno, Battleship, and the list goes on. I guess on a positive note, it was some great bonding time … at least until my Cute Little German Mother accused us of ganging up on her at Trouble. The little cutie is ruthless when it comes to that game. Maybe we did get even a little. Every day, except during the hours I was working from the only co-worker’s house with lights, we lived in the breezy garage, playing games, telling stories and listening to our little, battery-operated radio … our only link to the outside world. We didn’t have a generator, so we had eaten what we could from the fridge and freezer, and had to throw the rest out. Every other day, along with thousands of others, we were on the quest for ice for the cooler. Thanks to some very nice friends and neighbors, even when ice was hard to come by, we were able to keep my mom’s insulin cool. She made it through like the trooper she is, and luckily we only ran out of one of her medications and were able to get refilled. One thing we did not want is for her to run out of any medicine, especially her sleeping pills. The little cutie is not so cute when she’s not sleeping well. I sometimes tease her about the side effects. You know the ones. “You may experience eating or driving while sleeping, with amnesia for the event,” or some such nonsense. So I tell her that the medicine may rank highly in her book, but if I might find myself in the car, across town, in my pajamas, with an empty bucket of KFC riding shotgun, I think I would opt for sleeplessness. She’s willing to take her chances. So after many conversations, games and the like, the lights came on and the rejoicing began. I had just gotten back from picking up some take-out for dinner when I pulled into the driveway and my mom pointed out that the fan was going. We had a brief celebratory moment and I raced to plug the TV and cable box in so I could finally see what I had been listening to. I settled into my recliner, with my salad in one hand and the remote in the other, when I realized that my mom was still outside. “Why are you eating in the garage?” I asked as I poked my head out the door. “Vell, I guess I am just used to it,” she replied. Apparently she had also bonded with the garage.