Four years ago, when I had to decide on what area of Chicagoland to move to, I chose to stay relatively close to where I had been. For many reasons this was a "controversial" decision as a lot my family and friend live about an hour away from me. Understandably it made sense that I would want to be as close to them as possible. However, I decided to keep myself an hour away. (Again I made this choice for many reasons... none of which are relevant to this post.)
Sunday, a strong storm hit the Chicagoland area. I was having lunch with a friend at a local Panera location at the time it hit. From our vantage point, the storm didn't look like much. Sure the rain was pouring down vigorously and it seemed to be somewhat windy, however it didn't look THAT to either of us. Before we knew it, the rain left just as quickly as it had arrived and the sun was out once again.
After parting ways with my friend, I ran around a bit and proceeded to make my way home. While at the grocery, I received a text message from a good friend of mine who was on vacation and had received a text from ComEd (our electricity provider) that service was out in her area due to the storm. She asked me if I could swing by the house to make sure there wasn't a tree in her front yard, and that the back-up sump pump was working. "Sure, but it might not be until later tonight or tomorrow" I replied. (At this point I was truly in a bubble and had no clue the strength of this storm.) As I ventured back to my part of our area, it became crystal clear why my friend was concerned about her home, and as I neared my area I became concerned as well.
"The power is out and there is no ETA as to when it will be back on." (That's what I was told when I inquired about the status of accessibility to electricity at my home.) "Crap Monkey! Crap Monkey! Crap Monkey!" I thought to myself. Then another thought popped into my head.... Elsie. Elsie is the ball of adorableness that has taken up residence with me. Not only would I need to find a place to stay for a day - or possibly two - I would have to make sure the place was "Elsie friendly". Thankfully I'd only have to make one phone call to find someone who was eager to meet Elsie. Once the bags were packed, it was off to my friend's house to check on the tree and sump pump situation, and then off to temporary housing.
On the way to temporary housing I reflected upon how different this whole scenario would have went four years ago when I had just moved to the my area and really had no support system around me.
It felt good to know refuge was just a phone call away. It was nice to see how calm and collected I stayed through the whole thing, not letting one bit of this awfulness get to me. I guess sometimes it takes events like this to really force me to take a much needed step back. It caused me to take a moment to not only be proud of the life I've established in my little corner of the world, but it also made me thankful for all that has been brought into my life as well.