This I Believe

Ruby - Shelby, North Carolina
Entered on May 18, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family, love

This I Believe

I believe one of the best gifts that God gave humans is family. At least every other year a major ice storm goes through my hometown of Shelby, NC. And before the storm is finished my power is guaranteed to go off. Without power I’m also without heat. I’m not sure whether it’s my frugalness or my desire to have a slumber party at my sister’s, brother’s, nephews’, or niece’s, but I have yet to obtain a secondary source of heat. This year when I called my sister to ask, ”do you have power?’ and “how about room for an ice storm refugee?” She laughs and says yes. I then immediately say–“remember I have a husband this year and uh– uh, by the way I also have this 86 year old father in law.” No problem. There’s the spare room and the air mattress I can put in the living room.” Carl’s dad slept well, but the mattress was unaccustomed to as much weight as my new hubby and I had. We were sleeping on the floor before morning because the mattress had died—but we were warm, toasty, and cozy.

The next day my husband went to work, I took Dad to the Senior Center, and I went to work for half a day to get out of my sister’s and brother in law’s space. By the time we wished to return, they had no power either. Since two people could survive ok in front of gas logs and no other amenities, the question became “where do I stuff 3 ice storm refugees?” Obviously, I called my sister in law—no problem, they were going to a basketball game; I could find a key left in the flowerbed just for me, and I could make us comfortable at our new temporary home. I put dad in the bottom of a bunk bed with Sponge Bob Squarepants sheets, obviously the home of my grand nephews when they sleep over at grandmommy and pawpaw’s. I put us in the double bed downstairs with a private bath—perfect for newlyweds. Well, let’s see, at this rate, I can hit up each of the nephews and the one niece and still won’t have to be concerned with the “fish and family both stink after three days” philosophy. Ah yes, family—I’m the 56 year old baby of my family and they have seen me through an economically disadvantaged childhood, a wonderful marriage that still unfortunately ended in a devastating divorce, a wonderful new marriage, and the blessedness of a deadly ice storm and no power. I wonder if I can snooker them out of a few meals next week when I have to discard every thing in my fridge.