SLICE OF LIFE: Soldiering through the storms

2013-06-30T00:00:00Z SLICE OF LIFE: Soldiering through the stormsBy Vanessa Renderman, (219) 933-3244

A package of chicken breasts. A four-pack of chocolate- and coffee-flavored Greek yogurt. A 15-foot section of fence.

Those were our casualties from the recent storms.

All in all, not too bad. It could've been worse. It could've been like Oklahoma.

Sure, it wasn't pleasant having to sleep in a humid house, knowing the groceries we bought the day before were thawing and spoiling in the fridge down the hall.

Nor was it fun bringing my styling tools to work so I could straighten my hair in the women's bathroom because the electricity was out.

But I noticed more than fallen tree limbs and flashing traffic signals. I noticed we're a bunch of whiners.

If a tree fell on your car or your patio furniture blew through your window or your dog was picked up and dropped on your neighbor's roof, then, yeah. I'd expect some complaining.

But, please spare the drama and shock of your power going out when we have 80 mph winds.

It gets old.

I'm as guilty as anyone of posting frustration on Facebook about the outage, especially when we missed one of the Stanley Cup playoff games because there was no juice running through our house.

And, yes, it's frustrating to sit in the dark for a day or three, wondering when the power will kick back on. But, in most cases, it's not life threatening to live like a pioneer for a little while.

People who depend on electricity for their medical equipment at home are supposed to have backup plans—like a generator or a place to go—in case of an emergency.

The rest of us are merely inconvenienced.

It's simple math. When there's a huge storm that does widespread damage, it is going to take longer to restore power to all the people sitting in the dark.

So, while the workers are repairing and reconnecting and restoring everyone else's power before yours (or at least it seems like you're last to get power), use it as an opportunity.

Play a board game by candle light. Grill all the food in your fridge before it goes bad and invite friends over for a storm party. Go to the park and play catch or enjoy one of the countless Region festivals.

Or, go somewhere that has power. You're too busy to go to the movies during the week, but when your laptop can't power up, being tethered to it is no use. So, go watch a summer blockbuster in an air-conditioned theater instead and grab some dinner afterward.

And look on the bright side of the power outage. Although, that may be tough to do without a flash light.

Vanessa Renderman is a business writer for The Times. You can reach her at

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