Ice Storm – Experience
The most important thing in the world to me, is my family and friends. Life is all about them, living with hope and love. Its about surviving the life storms with courage and strength. When our lives pass through the storms, we know who stood by us and who walked away. This is a story of a real ice storm my family and I faced. It was December of 2007, in Tulsa OK……..
We lived in Tulsa for a few years as my husband went to University there. My parents were visiting us that year. It was their first time to come to USA and our home, after our wedding. So it was a very exciting time for both of us. We were looking forward to celebrate Christmas together. Just around that time on 10th of December, Tulsa faced an historic ice storm. None of us have ever seen an ice storm, in our lives. We were used to snow but ice falling from the sky was unheard off.
That was a cold, long night in December. We lay on our bed sleepless, hearing the sounds of howling wind, and falling tree branches. It sounded very ominous. In the morning,when we looked around our home, the scene was so different from the previous day. It looked like a war zone or as if a twister came and left. Soon that morning, there was power cut, and most part of Tulsa became dark. As the day passed, the house started becoming cold and by evening everything around looked black and gloomy.
At the same time, my close friend, Priyanka’s parents were also visiting her for the first time. She too was a graduate student at University of Tulsa. By God’s grace, her apartment’s heating system was on as it was running on gas and not electricity. They invited us to stay with them as we did not have any heat at our home. We knew each other since the time we all came to Tulsa. We shared a close relationship as we all started as students in the foreign land. We decided to go and stay with her in her apartment. Our family of four with my husband and parents went and joined them in their one bed room apartment, not forgetting that Priyanka’s parents were with her too.
Can you imagine 7 people living in 1 bed room apartment? It might sound crazy. But for us who live in a collective culture, it is normal. We generally are a close knit people with strong group dynamics and social structure. In those “dark days” we got a lot of time to spend with each other talking about our lives and the experiences as we had. All the time, my parents and Priyanka’s parents sat and chatted for a long time how they felt not having electricity on their first visit in the most advanced country of the world. This was something they had never imagined or expected. But they were happy as they had very amusing stories to tell back home when they returned to India. We all cooked, cleaned and worked together caring for each other in those difficult days. In the evenings, we all had dinner together lit with many candles which warmed our hearts in those freezing days. At night we all slept huddled in 2 rooms which has a profound and lasting impact on us and our relationships.
It took 5 days for the power to come and finally on 14th of December our home lit up again. We had a big gathering that night with many friends and both our families. It was a double celebration for me as it was my birthday with our lights on – a gift I will always remember.