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Local Column

Cheeky Mama: Reflecting on a champagne problem

On Tuesday afternoon, I saw on my subdivision’s Facebook page that the electricity went out at 2 p.m. My only thought was that it better be restored before I come home from work at 4:15. Quickly, another feed showed that the anticipated return time was 4:30 p.m. Then it went to 5, and finally, 7:30 p.m.

Well, that just stinks! I was so peeved. My family had things to do! This is urgent. How dare they turn it off without warning?

We pulled into the driveway and couldn’t open the garage door. Oh boy, how are we going to get into the house? The hubby prompted me to dig for the extra key hidden in our bush. He wasn’t able to dig because the smart person that he is, he didn’t wear a coat. That’s a whole other issue.

Anyway, I am digging in the snow and dirt wearing flats and no gloves. I am digging like a dog. I know the key is there, but the ground is frozen, and my fingertips start to tingle.

Out of nowhere, I hear someone shouting. It’s Bobby, holding a key out the car window. He said he forgot there also was a spare in the glove box. Now I am peeved that I am wet and cold, and I have a tiff with Bobby while he is opening the front door.

The light was dim in the house, but I was able to find a few candles. We needed to eat dinner, so Bobby threw together some quick sandwiches. I felt like a pioneer family living in the early 1800s.

By 6 p.m., the only warm air in the house was upstairs. So Hannah Jo, Bobby and I all wrapped ourselves in blankets. Luckily, we still had the internet. While Bobby and I were glued to the Facebook page, Hannah Jo was playing on her iPad.

Bobby’s buddy, Brad, called to chat. Bobby told Brad about the lights being out, and he graciously invited us over. We jumped at the chance. My goodness, was I relieved. We had been without power two hours too long!

Comfy, cozy at Brad’s house, we watched TV. Coincidentally, the lead news story was a Puerto Rican school finally getting power after hundreds of days without it because of Hurricane Maria.

I was humbled.

The news also reported that many residents still were displaced from their homes. The American Red Cross still was providing clean water and food to residents. It will take years for them to rebuild.

My heart sank. My mama bear came out. I couldn’t imagine the insecurity I would feel for my family. Feeling like a pair of ding dongs, Bobby and I looked at each other like, “Yeah this is no big deal.” We realized we had no right to complain about our little inconvenience.

A short power outage in DeKalb is a champagne problem compared to any of the recent disasters, such as the hurricanes, wildfires and mudslides. This mama hurts for those families in distress. This whole experience has brought me back to the reality of how lucky we are.

• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Contact her at 

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