"When It Rains, It Pours...."

...OR...When It Snows...It Snows A Lot!

In the past 24 hours, Long Island (where I live) has been blanketed in several feet of snow, high winds have come roaring through, temperatures have plummeted, thousands have lost power, driving has been banned, trains have come to a standstill, a full moon has caused worse than usual flooding and sadly, a number of deaths have been reported. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

As for my personal situation, I can't even open my back door right now because it is blocked with so much snow. Not the safest situation, but my husband did shovel the front entrance. On the bright side, it is a beautiful, sparkling winter wonderland. It just makes you want to cozy up, start a fire and make some hot chocolate! Sometimes I envy those who live in areas of perennial paradise, where there is no winter...but, there is something wonderful about the changing seasons, each one possessing unique beauty. If I moved elsewhere, I think I would miss that. When the spring comes and everything returns to life, there is a greater appreciation for it. I think the cold winters and hot summers are part of what makes New Yorkers the tough people that we are. It is a place of extremes and we just take that in stride.

Okay, my friends, I haven't finished (I promise I'm not making this up!)...wouldn't you know, our snow-blower broke....and completely unrelated to the storm, our hot water heater and our oven/stove broke. All on the same day as this whopper of a storm hit. So, completely snowed in, no hot water and we had to move the dinner cooking on the stove to a crock pot. Thankfully, we have not lost power.

Sometimes I think God is trying to prepare me for something! Sometimes I think I hear Him saying, "So, Chiara, you want to prepare for the Apocalypse? You want to be a leader, helping My Church through the coming days? Okay have a go at THIS!" At times, I can't help but laugh at what life throws me. And we should always be lighthearted and never get too down (have you read my last post?). The path we tread leads straight to Heaven and life is just too short to let anything disturb us. Just love and trust-that's it. Be a source of joy to those around you, even in the worst circumstances. And always count your blessings...for instance, I may not have hot water, but at least I have water. I can't take a shower, but I stockpile baby wipes for sponge-bathing and hand-washing (they also have many other uses, even if they dry out). I may not have a big oven or a stove, but I have a toaster oven, a crockpot, a microwave, 2 grills and a fireplace (REDUNDANCY!). I have heat. I have tons of food. The day that concerns me is the day when survival becomes truly compromised, truly in the balance. And I believe that day is coming...for all of us.

This is just one more experience to learn from, in terms of short-term emergency preparedness. As a prepper, I find there is no replacement for actual, real-life experiences. The trick is...make the effort to learn from them. Identify your preparedness weaknesses and make a plan to systematically fix them. Reflect on how you and your family handled it. What was good? What could have been done differently? Taking notes and discussing it with your family is a good idea. These situations are invaluable opportunities which should not be squandered. In a few years, you'll hardly remember the details, so make an immediate effort to examine the experience. Perhaps it was sent to you for a reason.

BTW, today is the beginning of Septuagesima (wow, that came fast!) and the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of writers. Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us!