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OP-ED: Talking About Parenting: Take time to reconnect with others, unplug from technology

Chris Kovatch

As I write this, the impending weather is looming over our area. What would the next day or so look like? Will it be a beautiful winter wonderland that we get to enjoy or will be a freezing version of post-hurricane recovery?
Our family did as much prep work as we could to ready ourselves and home for whatever occurs. The pantry is stocked, gas cans filled, generators ready, plants protected, faucets covered, and many other tasks have been completed.
So now we get to sit and wait. Nothing like a bit of suspense.
This makes me think back to the ice storm that we got to experience in 1997. I was 16 at the time and had been driving for just a short time.

I remember listening to the oak tree limbs cracking and crashing to the ground. I secretly hoped a limb would fall on my car so I could get a new one. Sorry to all my insurance agent friends on that last comment. Much to my dismay my car made it through just fine. It was actually probably a site to see my 1989 Ford Probe slowly creeping over some nice size limbs on the road.
Obviously school was canceled. We had no power at home. We were lucky that we had gas for a portion of the time so that the gas wall heater in the bathroom worked.

I spent much of my time at the movie theater waiting for the power to come on. That was my job at the time and we knew that once power was back on, we would be a popular spot.

I got the ‘honor’ of taking a movie apart with no power. Mind you, this is the period of time that the movie was actually film and came on several wheels. We had to hand roll all of the film on to the reels. Wish we had digital technology then.
As the ice storm wore on, the power company, GSU at the time I believe, came out to put in a new power pole. We were all so excited, but then they hit the water line. Needless to say, our spirits crashed back down again.

In the next few days power came back on at my dad’s shop, so we were able to stay in the travel trailer, which was a welcome upgrade.
I say all of this to recognize that we all have our own stories from that time if you were around then. Was it a totally bad experience? No. Could I think of different things I’d like to experience? You bet. At the end of the day, it was an experience that allowed me to come to a point of appreciation for the comforts we have. We often take things for granted, and sometimes a wake up call isn’t a bad thing.
So I hope that when you are reading this, we are all on the other side of this weather event and are nice and warm in your home. I hope that the kids got to have fun playing in some snow. If these happy results didn’t occur, I hope that the rough time that you have endured/are enduring allows you to be thankful for what we have on a normal basis. Take the time to reconnect with others and unplug from tech. We need to do this on a regular basis.

Chris Kovatch is a resident of Orange County. You can reach him at news@orangeleader.com

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