What I Learned from 2014's Big Freeze aka Snowpocalypse

This past Sunday the snow was falling and I was looking forward to being snowed in for a few days. I had a pork butt smoking on the Green Egg, a fire going, records playing, games with the kids, etc. I was looking to do some reading, catch up on email and hibernate a little more before heading back to work. But everything changed around 2:30pm when the power went out. After waiting a couple hours we decided, with the approaching cold front (Arctic Vortex!) that it was best to evacuate. Fortunately my in-laws live in town so after some packing we made our way through the snow and resettled at their house a few miles away. 

Tonight, back home at last, I am sitting by the fire, listening to records and reflecting from the last 3 days. What was learned?

I wash my clothes way too much. You can wear the same jeans and shirt for 4 days.

In-laws are awesome. Jenny's parents took the 5 of us in, and our big dog Russell, and made us feel at home. Good food, wine, games. We were hardly roughing it. I know we put them out but they never complained and I feel lucky to have them in my life. Thanks John and Cheryl! 

Good neighbors are priceless. My neighbors kept a watch for our lights to come back on, their text last night "Lights are on!" was the most exciting text I've gotten in a while. When we finally got back in the house my neighbor Ray across the street came and cleared my drive with his snow blower (I really need to buy one of those) when my Volvo couldn't hack it. I can't believe how poorly that car handles the snow. 

I don't like having a beard. I left my razor at home and finally had a chance to shave tonight. It had been about a week since I was already slacking before the storm hit. I really don't like having facial hair. It seems like I can never get past the itchy stage. I don't know how those dudes in Williamsburg do it. 

Being uprooted messes with the mind. One thing I noticed when I started to come back to work this week was that I was more unfocused and discombobulated (love that word) than usual. I was a mess, basically. I didn't feel centered or on my game. My energy was off. A lot of that, I think, comes from being uprooted. It made me think about how fortunate I really am. I mean, come on, I packed up the family and drove 3 miles south to stay in a very nice, warm house- first world problems all the way. But so many people around the world live in an almost constant state of disruption. Often we think of this in physical terms but this small sample experience reminded me that the mental impact is equal if not greater. I feel much more sympathetic to those that struggle with maintaining a safe and comfortable home. Now I want to challenge myself to do something about that, how can I build on this increased awareness?

We (still) crave shared experiences. It was really interesting to watch, almost as peaking through a window, everyone's reaction to the storm via social media. Sometimes I like to look at my wife's Facebook feed and vice versa. Since we have many of the same friends it can seem weird how different each feed can be. So it was interesting to see that the storm/freeze created an overwhelming shared experienced that forced us out of our highly personalized feeds, if only for a small period of time. As a culture we don't have many shared experiences at this time. There aren't a lot of moon landing moments. It felt good to go online and see all of us talking and sharing about the same thing. We may have been snowed in but it felt a little bit like we were in it together. 

What was your experience? What did you learn?