Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Holidays...Let's Be Thankful

I live in New Hampshire, and you may have heard about us lately in the news. "Ice Storm...2008." I didn't have any power, running water, or heat, except for our gas fireplace, (and a borrowed generator for part of an evening that gave us a heat boost, Thank You!) for 5 days.. And there are still people without power now. I hope they get it soon.

The last night without power, we packed up some clothes, and went to my parent's house in Massachusetts. The luxury of a light bulb was amazing. I admit it. I am a spoiled princess, I like flushing toilets, running water, light, and heat, all on demand. I had never been without power for so long before.

One night we all jumped into bed together, 2 children, husband and wife and dog, all snuggled under the blankets to keep warm. And we all went to bed at the same time, and got up at the same time. One woman I talked to said she kind of liked living like this. It was simple. Go to bed when dark. Get up when light. Do what chores you can. Eat. Start over.

People came together more to help each other. My neighbor gave up time with that borrowed generator to let us have itthe whole time, since his family was staying somewhere else. And I am sure his pipes would have liked that heat. People visited each other and checked on each other. Many people called offering help, a shower, or a place to stay since they had power, or a generator.

One day I sat in my friend's kitchen, keeping her company and watching her bake her Christmas cookies while my children played in her heated, lit home. If it wasn't for the power outage, we never would have taken the time to visit with each other for an entire day during the Christmas season. Relaxing and chatting in her kitchen, I realized just how comfortable our friendship is, and what a gift true friends are.

Sometimes it stinks being gluten free, not at home, but when I go out. Going to a party and not being able to eat anything, having a new neighbor bring you a baked good, not yet knowing you can't eat, explaining yourself at a restaurant again and again, or finding yourself hungry and unprepared, without anything safe to eat.

There is the other side, we live in a country with faults, but we have freedoms. More and more restaurants are becoming gluten free savvy. We have access to all different kinds of gluten free foods, things that other gluten free eaters couldn't even fathom 10 years ago. There are countless cookbooks, and gluten free blogs, and support groups. So much information literally at our fingertips to stay healthy.

And most of all, we know what was making us sick.

Count your blessings, I am counting mine.

Happy Holidays!

PS Since I have not been able to cook much, I do not have a recipe for you. If I get some time after cleaning up after the power outage mess, and Christmas fun, I will post.


Travis Ingersoll said...

This is a nice story:) It reminds me of when I lived in Buffalo, NY and we had a snow storm that buried the city in its place. The next morning the entire city, including my partner and I, set out to dig everyone out. People were cross-country skiing through the streets, others set up free hot-dog stands, and everyone had a shovel to pitch in. It felt wonderful to see and feel a part of something like that.

As far as celiac goes, I'm with you on feeling grateful! Just a few years ago things were much harder for us. Now I can go to a variety of restaurants, ask for their GF menu, and get a GF beer. Not only that, but I feel better than I have my whole life. I count my blessings every day, and never leave home without a small stash of GF food bars and snacks just in case:)

Rachel said...

Sorry to hear you had no power for so long. Ours amazingly only flickered for a while, while we usually lose power on our rural road. Now we are enduring Buffalo-like snow. Clinging to my candles.....

Julie said...

Oh..Danielle ,I enjoyed your post !! I'm glad your power is back on! We have been without power several times already this winter...and I know what you mean about it putting us back where we experience again some of the old fashioned values... but... much as I appreciate them, I wish there was a way we could keep them and still keep our modern conveniences too... you know have our cake and eat it too.. GF of course! smile.. .

Thank you for commenting on my bread post on the MGCC blog... please do let me know how your bread turns out ..especially with using another flour. I love how we can all share and inprove our recipes together... Hmmm.. maybe we'll get soo good the whole world will just join us .... smile..

Anonymous said...

I just got diagnosed as having celiac disease and this post hit home on one count -- the not being able to eat when going out. My friend is getting married and I went with her to a wedding fair where they served breakfast. I had told her I should be fairly okay (still worried about contamination) because breakfast always includes a fruit bowl. Nope. There were 3 kinds of breads, cake, a cobbler style dish, quiche, etc...

Mrs. G.F. said...

I know, breakfasts are the worst. I usually call ahead, getting a hard boiled egg, some yogurt and fruit is a success in my book.

The loss of freedom is tough, I still feel it when I get ready to travel or go out for the day with my family.

Good luck,

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