Values storying is...

...passing down values from one generation to the next through the stories we tell and re-tell

Surviving Icemegeddon: No Milk During a Storm

No Milk During a Storm

Surviving Icemegeddon: No Milk During a Storm

Mrs. Right, Big Sister, Older Brother, the Little Fella, and I were that family this week. We ran out of milk during a storm.

All weekend frenzied meteorologists armed with coulds and mays and mights and other terms of alarm forecast various and sundry forms of frozen precipitation. They used every form of intimidation possible. They even used the “remember the ice storm of ’94” ace in the hole so that Mid-Southerners would prepare for the coming doom of a quarter-inch of ice.

Our family went through our usual routine during the day on Sunday even as rumors of Icedmegeddon (or Icepocalypse or whatever skeptics like me elected to call this approaching storm) picked up steam. Just before Mrs. Right, the Little Fella, and I left for our church life group meeting that afternoon, I casually mentioned that we were almost out of milk. No problem. We always seem to stop by Wal-Mart on the way to small group or on the way home anyway.

We failed to consider the cardinal rule of ice storms in the South: Don’t be caught without bread and milk during a storm!

Later Sunday night, the milk at Wal-Mart was gone. The shelves were bare. Everyone in town had heeded the warning to stock up so that they could enjoy plenty of bread and milk during the storm, leaving the unprepared vulnerable. Everyone but us, it appeared.

To be completely transparent, Mrs. Right was able to corral a half-gallon of chocolate milk and couple of 2% singles. That, we thought, would allow us to survive Monday. We drank our scant milk supply accordingly. Little did we know, though, that the roads would continue to be hazardous until Tuesday afternoon. We became the family caught without milk during a storm. It was a dreadful realization.

No Milk During a Storm: Lessons Learned

I always try to find something positive in even a difficult situation: a teachable moment, a different perspective, or a greater appreciation. I discovered something wonderful about my family this past Tuesday. I have given them much credit over the pas year for their flexibility as I try to make my way as a values storying writer, speaker, and consultant.

We bent but didn’t break in 2014 as we dealt with multiple health issues and car problems that threatened our ability to stay financially afloat. A property tax bill put us to the test again last month. However, I discovered on Tuesday that my family has a resiliency far beyond anything the past year has thrown at us:

With snow and ice thick enough to practically cover the ground, my family survived over eight hours in the Mid-South without a drop of milk in the house!

With another round or two of wintry precipitation in the 10-day forecast, we won’t likely take a chance of braving the next round of storms unprepared. Heck, pitchers and catchers are reporting to Florida and Arizona this week, so warmer weather here can’t be too far behind. We’ll just stock up on bread and milk–this time–and ride out the storms of this brutal Mid-South winter.


About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

4 Replies

  1. Sorry, wish you were close enough to help out, you see we have our own milk bottling plant and dairy herd….but you would have had to trade the ice for the many feet of snow we have here in CT. Luckily I only have to get bread when the doom is forecast. Of course I can make that from scratch if I was feeling desperate. Spring right around the corner under the 15′ snowbank!

    1. Thanks for the offer, Carolyn. I am fed up up ice and snow but only because the calendar says that it’s baseball season (and my son’s senior season, at that). You folks in the northeast must have cabin fever that just won’t quit! (But at least you have milk and bread!)

      Thanks for the comment!

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