So, yeah, our power went out. And stayed out for four and a half days. We could never have imagined that would happen. It just didn't seem like that big of a storm. We heard thunder in the distance that night. It got louder and louder, and the lightning strikes grew closer and closer together. The wind blew in. Then the wind really began to blow, and I was glad we no longer lived in a house surrounded by tall oak trees. In the midst of that, the power went off. It didn't falter. It didn't flicker. It went off and it stayed off. And the storm blew by. I swear, it was here for a half hour. Who could have dreamed it would do so much damage?
The next morning we still didn't have power, but when we went out and looked around our neighborhood, we didn't understand why. All our utility cables are buried, and the only downed tree we saw was a large branch down from our neighbor's tree in their back yard. Still, the power did not come back on. Because I am terrible during power outages, I drove up to Bel Air to spend the day (and possibly the night, if, unbelievably, the power wasn't restored by then) at Julie and Andrew's apartment. As we watched the news there, I began to understand that something major had happened. But I still didn't understand why our neighborhood didn't have power. No downed trees. No exposed power lines. But still, no power.
After many hours, I realized that all the food in our two refrigerators was a lost cause. It would all have to be thrown out. Oddly, it was a relief to know this. The only things I was really sad to lose were the homemade things in the freezer. A tub of chicken stock. Some grape pie filling. A little tub of pesto that I had made only the week before. And here's the thing I was saddest about, and still am - my Ziploc baggie full of chopped parsley. It's not the parsley, per se, that I mind losing, though, it's the bag. I brought the bag with us when we moved here from Ohio. I emptied it, washed it, dried it, and brought it along. Why did I do all that? Because of how the bag was labelled and dated. I know it was dated December 26, and I think the year was 2001, but I don't quite remember that. I never had to remember. It was on the bag.
And what did the label say? Well, it said, "What do YOU think?!" in Tom's handwriting. I must have been working in the kitchen while Tom was home for Christmas break. As I washed and chopped parsley, I asked him to label a Ziploc bag for me to put in the freezer. That was how he labelled it. And, without fail, when I took that bag full of bright green, chopped parsley out of the freezer, I smiled to think of Tom's response to being asked to label the obvious.
So now that bag is gone, along with all the other jars and bottles and tubs full of food that Ben emptied out of the refrigerators. And that bag is what I miss the most. Everything else is replaceable, you know? But some things just aren't.