Monday, December 18, 2006

Life together continues, boat or no boat!

It's amazing what happens when a modern society loses electricity for a few days. Insanity ensues, stores run out of ice and matches, and everyone forgets that when the stoplight is out, you treat it like a four-way stop.

This particular storm was frustrating to me personally for many reasons. Let me enumerate them for you:

1. My family lost power for three days. We are electric only, so not only was there no light, but also no heat and no hot water. This meant that my family sat around in an extremely cold house getting smelly. And I have four brothers. You can imagine.

2. My branch actually had power, so I had to go to work (without a shower, so I was already a little cranky). All the other branches south of me had no power, so guess where all those customers went? You guessed it: my branch. I've never seen it that busy. I didn't stop all day. It was also a payday Friday, so everybody and their mother wanted to cash a check. So I ran out of money. No kidding. People came up to cash $1,000 checks, and I offered them tens. I barely made it through the day.

3. My branch had planned a trip to Snoqualmie to go intertubing as a Christmas present from my boss. We've been planning this for weeks. Everyone was excited. I drove up to my boss' house Saturday morning, ready to go throw myself down a snowy hill, when my mom called and told me that the pass was closed. Sure enough, my boss tried to call the place, and the phones were out. No snow fun for us.

4. But most disappointing was Thursday night. See, I am now the co-leader of the ministry formerly known as the symbol of PCPF, aka Life Together. I know, I know, don't ask about the name situation. Anyway, we had tried to plan a cruise around Lake Washington in October, but due to miscommunication, the boat and captain of said boat did not show on the appointed night. So we rescheduled for this past Thursday, thinking that if we were going to freeze our arses off anyway, we might as well look at the pretty Christmas lights while doing it. Now, what do you think happens when the worst windstorm in the past couple of decades decides to hit Thursday night? Yep, cruise cancelled. Again. I'm starting to think this cruise thing is not such a good idea after all.

So, my weekend, which was full of great plans, was completely turned upside down. But if there is one thing I have learned these past few years, it is to be flexible, and look for the blessings that God has in the midst of a sucky situation. So, here are some blessings I can count from this weekend:

1. I got to break out all my fun, yummy-smelling candles and put them to good use.

2. We had family bonding time over tea, ramen (cooked over the campstove), and reading Swiss Family Robinson by aforementioned candlelight.

3. I was able to bum a shower off of my boss, who lives in Ballard and never lost power, and my staff all went out to breakfast and then bowling, and I actually got a couple of strikes.

4. I was still able to go to the Quest Christmas party, which is very special to me because it was my first Quest event. What is so great is that last year, I was the new girl, who got invited to a C group and found great community there, and this year, I met a new girl and got to invite her to the C group that I co-lead. Things do come full circle.

5. After C group, I was invited to hang with a good group of Questers and share a couple pitchers of beer and hard cider and some good conversation. I was also taken in by my good friend Tina, who always insists on making me sleep in her bed (while she suffers on the floor), even though I am the one crashing her place. So not only did I get another hot shower, but I also was able to sleep in a warm bed, instead of the ice tray I had slept in the night before.

6. Sunday I spent the entire day with my church community. I sang in the morning, and George brought out my favorite Christmas carol (What Child is This) and let me sing most of it. I busted out the first soprano pipes and my good friend Grace told me I sounded "angelic" (I think she is trying to butter me up for something, I don't know what yet). Samantha and Lindsey, two hostesses extraordinaire, had everyone over for homemade soup and fellowship after church. A group of us went for a walk, and I got to experience University Village for the first time (I may be a native, but there are still places I have not been and things I have not done in Seattle. I love playing tourist in my hometown). I even got invited to go hang out with some ESL students and learn new Korean words. I can't remember them all now, but it was a lot of fun.

7. And last of all, when I got home after my awesome Sunday, the power was back, and my mom had prewarmed my room. This morning, I got a hot shower.

So really, my blessings far outweighed my frustrations. It was still an awesome, fun-filled weekend. I experienced community with myriad groups of people from Quest, was impressed with the outstanding hospitality of my friends, and got to see Pastor Eugene's face when he opened that stunted giraffe figurine (thank you Tre, that was priceless). I deepened existing relationships and began new ones. I ate good food, drank good drinks, and laughed a lot. So I guess the lesson is that every cloud has a silver lining, and every tree-toppling, cruise-cancelling, power-stopping windstorm has its blessings.

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