Like most other families in North Alabama the morning after the storm, we found ourselves with:
- No power (estimated to be out 4-5 days)
- No land line phone
- A cell phone capable of getting an occasional weak signal on a very busy network.
- A fridge of food that was getting warmer.
- A freezer full of thawing food.
- Bored and weather weary kids.
However, we were very fortunate. We had our lives, our home, and the ability to make the best of things.
The first order of business was the fridge. This actually went hand in hand with breakfast as we fed the kids things that were defrosting, like frozen waffles and toaster strudels. Anything that was spoiled or not worth keeping got tossed. Every cooler we own was filled with ice packs and the most perishable items. Frozen veggies now served as makeshift ice packs, and prior to going into the coolers ice was placed in large Ziploc bags just in case the situation arose where we'd need to resort to it for drinking water.
Lunch was leftovers from the fridge. For dinner, there was chicken breast that I'd been meaning to cook for 2 days. To that, I added a bag of not-so-frozen veggies, and a cobbler made from a bag of not-so-frozen raspberries and blueberries.
My dear husband dug out a fire pit, which we lined with left over pavers since the ground was so wet. We also build a wind break from rocks and dirt. Hubby also started a fire for me, and even though he had never made a cooking fire before, he did an excellent job. This turned out to be a wonderful place to cook and someday I hope to make a few minor improvements to make it a permanent fire pit.
Not wanting to let hot coals go to waste, or start more than 1 fire a day, I decided to cook the next day's breakfast along with dinner. I made banana bread and date muffins. The kids roasted leftover Easter marshmallows as an appetizer, and we shared the extra food with neighbors.
|Our hand crank radio, that proved invaluable, and date muffins.|
(The brown sugar, I sprinkled them with, got a little too "caramelized")
After dinner, the kids provided entertainment with an improvised play. They are masters of slapstick, but could do with some education on the importance of plot. We set them the task of coming up with a play early in the day. It occupied them so we could take care of things like the fridge, trying to learn the latest news from the radio, washing all the dishes by hand, and taking stock of non perishable food items. Turns out, we had enough food to make it another 4 days if we had stayed, and the stores had not opened.