So began the rhyme emblazoned on the stationery my cousin had given me when I was a pre-teen. There was a picture of a young girl with her hair blowing in the breeze. I loved that picture and I loved those note pages because, like the girl, I loved the blowing wind. But I don’t love the howling wind that is blasting outside my house this morning. Its cry sends shivers through my bones, probably bringing back dormant memories of tornado weather from my childhood.
Today is Wednesday, the day the big snowstorm is predicted to begin. Two days ago I entered a hardware store to check out barbeque grills. In front of me was a man with a list that included an emergency light, shovel, Gerry can, and a transistor. Was he overreacting or was I in denial? I certainly had good reasons to be in denial. Last year’s snow storm had left us without electricity, water, phone lines, and cell phone reception for three very long days.
Not only were we inconvenienced there were injuries due to exposure to the cold and falling on the ice. One young man who learned in yeshiva with my son had been delivering groceries to an elderly woman when he slipped and broke his leg. It was not a simple break and required surgery. However, he couldn’t have the surgery immediately because of all the others with complicated breaks. Several weeks later, still waiting for his turn, he came to his sister’s wedding in a wheelchair. The following day he finally had his operation and was in the hospital over Shabbat, when both the bride’s and groom’s families were all together to fete the couple. Not only did he miss those festivities, he was told he was no longer fit to enter the infantry unit his friends would be serving in. His disappointment was great and I feel bad for him. Yet, I can’t help wondering what would have happened to him during the war this past summer if he had been able to fight. Would he have been injured far worse? Everything is for the best
I need to remember that as I sit at my computer desk and wonder if the snow will indeed fall. Will we have electricity? It’s already flickered off three times, twice for just a second, and once for several minutes. Are we being teased or warned?
Although I may not have been as serious as the man in the hardware store, I have also done some preparing for the storm. We have a gas heater and full gas balloon if there’s a need for alternative heating. There are matches and candles in our cupboard and plenty of food in the pantry. I even baked and froze challahs the other day in case I won’t be able to use my oven Friday.
There’s a limit to the scenarios I can prepare for, though. Whether we will have snow or electricity or phones is up to HaShem. I must trust in Him. Meanwhile I listen to the howling wind and pray that we all stay safe and warm, with or without the snow.