A wave of gratitude passed over me. I had passed yet another vehicle headed back to Florida with a generator and extra gas strapped to the back of the car. How did we get so lucky? When we left town, Hurricane Irma was predicted to be a Category 5 storm with a direct hit on Charleston.
We didn’t know what was going to happen, so we took a friends advice and made an adventure out of our evacuation. We visited dear friends and family in Raleigh. Then headed up to Roanoke to spend time with some of our favorite people. Our girls had a blast exploring new towns, climbing on playgrounds and meeting a cat named Capone.
We celebrated my birthday at a random Ruby Tuesday’s in South Carolina when traffic was at a stand still and I had been attacked by fire ants. It was perfect. It was messy. It was kids eat free night - yahtzee!
It’s the little things really. I had big plans for my birthday. I was launching my business, planning to celebrate a night off from the kiddos with my girlfriends, Josh was going to buy my favorite pie. And then plans changed. Weather was unpredictable. Life moved beyond our control.
And I thought I would be more unhappy about it. I LOVE celebrating birthdays. One year, Josh took me to Switzerland for my birthday (pre-kids) and my biggest complaint was that my cell phone didn’t work so I couldn’t talk to my mom on my birthday. (I know, you can judge me, I’m judging me too.) But somehow, someway I was perfectly contented to be trapped in my car, alone, with screaming twinados, grateful that I wasn’t one of the cars with a generator strapped on heading back home.
I was exhausted. Tired. Cranky. That was all to be expected. We had to rush home, unpack everything, do laundry, respond to messages, work, get the girls to school, take the dog to the vet, clean the house before guests arrived, and the list goes on. But it all got done. And then the best thing happened.
Despite the insanity we were walking into, Josh planned a do-over for me. He had texted all my closest friends in town, organized a birthday party and even surprised me with balloons and banners and gifts. The best. All unexpected, a perfectly timed celebration in the midst of a season of chaos.
It was beautiful. It was meaningful. It reminded me of the importance of community and made me re-energized and excited for what is to come.
So I’m grateful. Grateful for the pause. Grateful for the time with friends. Grateful for 36.