The Monday Blog

How many Christmases have you had in the dark?

 December 28, 2020

By  Lorhainne Eckhart

Monday of this past week, the countdown to Christmas ushered in a surprise storm. It started in the wee hours of the morning with rain and wind—you know, the kind of heavy winds that cause driving rain, knock down trees, and take out power? I was woken by a godawful howling from my cat, who’d somehow found himself outside at about four in the morning and was clinging to the screen door, soaking wet. The wind was howling, too, and as I let him in, dripping, I realized one of the kids must have let him out earlier that night. Of course, I didn’t stay up afterward, simply went back to bed. But the temperature dropped, and I woke up at dawn to find that the rainstorm had turned into a snowstorm.

Now, this wasn’t just a few snowflakes. This was a full-fledged heavy winter snowstorm, so much so that the roads weren’t driveable, because it was that wet, icy west coast snow. My daughter had to work, but she soon found out that would mean pulling on her boots and hiking through the snow to the ferry by foot. It was only an hour’s walk, but she reported that apparently, as she was walking, most of the cars that had attempted the drive were already on their sides in the ditch.

By the time she got to the ferry, purchased her ticket, and thought to check her cell phone, she found that her boss had tried calling her. They had a tree down across their road and weren’t getting out, and not only was there too much snow, but the power was out there too, so they weren’t opening. She took it in stride and chalked it up to her daily exercise, but I don’t think I would have looked at it with the same optimism! She made the hike back, which took closer to an hour and a half with the heavy, icy snow, and when she arrived home, snow covered, she was just in time for all the power to go out.

Where we live, no power means you’d better have other heat sources, other ways to cook, and water stocked up. As we faced the reality of having no power, I really hoped we wouldn’t see a repeat of Christmas 2018, when a huge windstorm had hit us, taking trees down everywhere and knocking out power across the island. For us, it took seven days for it to be restored, and for many other places around us, it was closer to New Year’s. Now, let me tell you, that Christmas was one I’ll never forget—from having to haul buckets of water from our holding tank to heat on the woodstove, to our neighbor, who was entirely solar powered, taking pity on us and dragging an extension cord up to our house so I could work on my laptop and plug in our fridge and freezer so we wouldn’t lose all our food. Now that’s a good neighbor!

The moment I remember most during that windstorm was watching trees come down, fearing that our neighbors’ trees, which were sideways, swaying in the storm, would snap and come down on our roof. When it finally stopped at the end of the day, my daughter was stranded at school, the roads not passable, and the entire island was without power. If you’ve heard people say that the roads after a storm resemble a war zone, you’ll have some idea.

I had to lift the neighbors’ fence, which was completely down and blocking my road. Branches were everywhere, and I had to drive over one, though, luckily, I had a 4 x 4. The roads that led to town had trees down across them, and power poles and lines were down, too. Everyone who had a chainsaw was out there, clearing the road, which was covered in branches and debris. I drove at a crawl in a single line of traffic while neighbors cleared with their chainsaws so we could pass through just to get our kids in town. We followed one of the Shaw trucks, which was clearing lines from the road. But not everyone could get their kids, because some roads just couldn’t be cleared, so many had to bunk with friends. Christmas on the island was spent in the community.

This year, our power was restored late that first night, with a huge sigh of relief. It was a reminder that a storm is great as long as the power stays on! Christmas 2018, though it was spent with no power, was spent with our neighbors, and we made it a great day. Unfortunately, this year, with all the shutdowns, that wouldn’t have been an option. Thankfully, the power was restored.

As I’ve said to my kids, we will get back to spending Christmas with family and friends again. But you know what? At least we had power, and we were warm.

Don’t miss my newest release The O’Connell Family Christmas

The O’Connells Family Christmas

The O’Connells Family Christmas

As Christmas approaches, the O’Connell family’s loyalty is tested once again.

More info →

Lorhainne Eckhart

"Lorhainne Eckhart is one of my go to authors when I want a guaranteed good book. So many twists and turns, but also so much love and such a strong sense of family." (Lora W., Reviewer) New York Times & USA Today bestseller Lorhainne Eckhart writes Raw Relatable Real Romance is best known for writing big family romances series, where “Morals and family are running themes. Danger, romance, and a drive to do what is right will see you glued to the page.” As one fan calls her, she is the “Queen of the family saga.” (aherman) writing “the ups and downs of what goes on within a family but also with some suspense, angst and of course a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.” Follow Lorhainne on Bookbub to receive alerts on New Releases and Sales and join her mailing list at LorhainneEckhart.com for her Monday Blog, books news, giveaways and FREE reads. With over 120 books, audiobooks, and multiple series published and available at all retailers now translated into six languages. She is a multiple recipient of the Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance, and lives in the Pacific Northwest on an island, is the mother of three, her oldest has autism and she is an advocate for never giving up on your dreams. "Lorhainne Eckhart has this uncanny way of just hitting the spot every time with her books.” (Caroline L., Reviewer) The O’Connells: The O’Connells of Livingston, Montana are not your typical family. A riveting collection of stories surrounding the ups and downs of what goes on within a family but also with some suspense, angst and of course a bit of romance thrown in for good measure “I thought I loved the Friessens, but I absolutely adore the O’Connell’s. Each and every book has totally different genres of stories but the one thing in common is how she is able to wrap it around the family which is the heart of each story.” (C. Logue) The Friessens: An emotional big family romance series, the Friessen family siblings find their relationships tested, lay their hearts on the line, and discover lasting love! “Lorhainne Eckhart is one of my go to authors when I want a guaranteed good book. So many twists and turns, but also so much love and such a strong sense of family.” (Lora W., Reviewer) The Parker Sisters: The Parker Sisters are a close-knit family, and like any other family they have their ups and downs. “Eckhart has crafted another intense family drama…The character development is outstanding, and the emotional investment is high…" (Aherman, Reviewer) The McCabe Brothers: Join the five McCabe siblings on their journeys to the dark and dangerous side of love! An intense, exhilarating collection of romantic thrillers you won’t want to miss. — “Eckhart has a new series that is definitely worth the read. The queen of the family saga started this series with a spin-off of her wildly successful Friessen series.” From a Readers’ Favorite award—winning author and “queen of the family saga” (Aherman)

Lorhainne Eckhart

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