31 October 2005

A Tale of Two Attitudes

So it didn't make the news ... at least not much, but Wilma actually took two bites at our apple. She swung through the southeast, went out to sea and ran back ashore in New England as a dreaded (or beloved) nor'easter and dumped a literal ton of snow in Vermont last week. It was really heavy wet snow and it took down a lot of trees and the powerlines that they surround. Both LightHusband's parents and my parents still live in Vermont and so they had stories to tell us of how they survived and thrived the October snow of aught five! I had separate conversations with our moms this weekend and was struck by how vastly different our parents are and wondered (yet again) ... just how do we make this marriage work?? Here it is in a nutshell, the two very different worlds that LightHusband and I come from. I won't tell you which parent was whos' ... I'll see if you can guess.

Parent Set T - heard the nor'easter was coming and they prepared!! They filled the bathtubs with water. They filled the larder with canned foods. They filled the racks with wood for the stove. They purchased replacement oil lamps and mantles. They battened the hatches. They found the propane stove and ensured that it was in working order. They found the battery operated, black&white television and the ham radio. In every way that they could think of ... they were prepared. And then, they settled in, lit the fire in the wood stove and got cozy. When the story was told, they knew exactly how long the power was out: "twenty-six and a half hours."

Parent Set O - may or may not have heard the nor'easter was coming, but sometime around eleven o'clock on Tuesday night the lights went out. This caused the wife to think that perhaps there would be a problem in the morning ... you see, they grind their coffee each day. Hmmm ... what to do? Well, that would be something to face in the morning when there was more light ... and perhaps the power would be back on by then anyway. In the morning, the power was not on. So, the wife dug around and discovered that it was their good luck to have over-ground on enough occasions to have enough coffee to make one pot. ... Alas ... they use an electronic percolater. Hmmm ... what to do? Oh, yes. They do have an old stove-top percolater ... hmmm ... it's somewhere around here. So that got dug out. But now there's the problem of getting some water. The husband managed to bring some up from the basement cistern. And so it went. When asked how long their power was out, the response went something like this: "Well, I think it was 36 hours but it might not have been, but well, I couldn't wash my hair Wednesday, but I had a hair appointment, so it got washed then, but then I couldn't wash it on Thursday ........"

It all made me laugh with glee. We're so fortunate to have such healthy parents at this stage of our lives. On one hand, the organization of the T's was impressive and I imagined them riding out the storm, cozy in their snug preparation. On the other hand, the adventure that the O's experienced sounded like a lot of fun too. I don't know that I'd necessarily pick one over the other (and I used to think I had to), but I really enjoyed it all from both of their perspectives.


Blogger kate said...

Hee hee! I love it. (and the fun way in which the stories were told.)

10/31/2005 02:54:00 PM  

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