Before I get too far into this post, I need to ask…

Does anyone else feel like they need a vacation from last week?

I am still trying to recover from the havoc created by winter storm Alfred. I’m exhausted, my house is disorganized, our yard is a disaster, and I need a break!

We lost power around 4PM on Saturday, October 29th. We were fortunate enough to have a generator–but since our house is not hardwired we were unable to use the furnace, fawcets or toilets. The second night without power, our three year old wouldn’t sleep and our seventeen month old was up all night crying. To top it off we ran out of gas for the generator, and the temperature inside the house quickly dipped to a chilly 51 degrees. We couldn’t take it anymore–we had to abandon ship! In a matter of 10 minutes I packed up everything that I thought we would need (I was assuming that we would be gone one night, silly me!) and we hit the road.

My husband and I went back and forth about where we should stay; it was a tough decision! We thought about where we would be most comfortable, where the girls would be most comfortable, and what would be most convenient. We ultimately decided on our friends who live in Salem, CT. They welcomed us with outstanding hospitality. My friend took Monday off from work to help us get adjusted. We moved into their home, took over their guest bedroom, shoved our food into their fridge, my daughters made themselves at home in their daughter’s toy room. In essence, we invaded their lives.

That night, CL & P informed customers that certain areas of the state would not regain power until the weekend, or potentially the following week. I started freaking out! Where would my family go for the next 5 nights?

My friend and her husband assured us that we were welcome to stay with them for the duration. She insisted that we not move the girls around, and that after a night or two all of us would get into a routine and everyone would be comfortable. I was skeptical, but ultimately she was right!

Over the following week the eight of us coexisted happily, with the biggest drama arising from who was going to use what baby doll, when. I cooked dinner every night, it was the least I could do to compensate my friends for their trouble, my friend did the laundry, the husbands entertained the kids, and we had fun!

On Wednesday evening we gave our friends some space and went elsewhere for dinner. We visited another wonderful family friend who lives in Old Lyme, and who took us in with open arms, served us delicious pizza and had Halloween presents for the girls.  The same friends treated us to an adult-only dinner that Friday evening, at Aspen in Old Saybrook.

The gist of this entry is not to bore you with the tribulations that I experienced as a result of Alfred. My focus is on friendship. As busy working mothers it can be difficult to find the time to nurture and grow friendships. However, I feel that having the support of loving and wonderful friends is one of the most important things to help you achieve balance in your life. Make your friendships a priority. Find the time to spend quality time with your friends. What you get back in return cannot ever be measured.

Winter storm Alfred caused me significant grief, but is also helped me to appreciate what I have: 1) amazing friends who will inconvenience themselves to make sure my family is taken care of; and 2) electricity.

Your close friends and confidants support you, give you advice, help you to be a better parent, and take you into their homes when you need a warm place to stay. Think about where you would be without them. For me, I would have been in a freezing cold house with miserable kids.

To me, these women are more than just friends, they are family.

Thank you to everyone that helped me and my family over the past week. We greatly appreciate all the love, support and kindness.