As challenges go, I've had some interesting and new ones this last year. As much as I love this adventure of remodeling our own foreclosure and making it home...it is what it is. And that is lots of "learning experiences." Now it is no fault of the house, but this winter our particular section of this neighborhood had a prolonged power outage.
It was at hour 36! that I told my Facebook friends that it was hour 36! We really hadn't expected it to go through two nights of cold and worried sleep. At the coldest our house reached 49 degrees. We spent all of those days huddled by the gas fireplace and we were constantly aware of the temperature as it changed. It was a very cold part of winter when this happened.
By the very end (like when the indoor temperature made that dip below 50) we decided it was time to own a generator. Time. Grocery money be darned. Medical bill money...who needs it? It was TIME. So we drove around the city and I started calling around to stores to see if any had generators in stock. Initial calls weren't encouraging, but thankfully one Menard's had just gotten an emergency shipment of generators. It wasn't a brand they normally carry, but thankfully they were priced fairly for those of us who were desperate. A few hours later we were the proud owners of a gasoline fueled method of keeping our food cold and a space heater on.
During this drive to find a generator I received multiple texts from a girl I didn't know well at church. She asked if she could help. She asked if she could give us dinner. I just didn't know how to reply. I never know if people are serious and I've had bad luck in the past with offers of "if there is anything I can do" not actually being sincere. So I put her off and put her off.
Finally, she just told me the soup was ready, there was plenty of it and rolls for our family and it would still be hot whenever we stopped by to get it (I had told her we were out driving). So we did. When I knew the soup was already made, who was I to turn it down? And man, oh man....That was probably the most incredible broccoli cheese soup I have ever let roll over my tongue. We ate it by flashlight and gushed to each other over our good fortune.
I get a little panicky remembering how cold we were those days, but the kids remember it as an incredibly fun adventure. And I do remember the warm nurturing feeling of being provided for. To me that is the essence of true service. Not offering, not just feeling sympathy, but doing something, just doing it. I am so, so glad she just made that soup.