Rah! The rush of self-satisfaction I feel after boiling water over an open flame. That’s right; me, a suburban mom who before Sandy considered staying in a hotel “roughing it,” just boiled water over a fire that I built. With no power, a husband stuck 40 miles away in New York City until further notice and two kids under four to care for, here are five ways I am more self-sufficient today than I was yesterday. Sandy, we aren’t thanking you for much (trees on power lines, canceling Halloween) but I will thank you for empowering a little lady from suburban New Jersey to:

  1. Build a fire. No, I didn’t whittle sticks together but I did stack up some logs, add a fire starter and light a match. Go me! Before Sandy lighting a candle was the most I’d played with fire.
  2. Disengage a garage door. When our power went out, I manually opened our garage door. This may sound like no big deal, but I’m not a big person. I’m proud of myself; no haters!
  3. Shovel leaves. No, not just a little pile of leaves. I shoveled Hurricane Sandy leaves; giant, heavy leaves that covered our driveway with twigs and all manner of debris interspersed.
  4. Fix a minor plumbing issue. Did you know there were chains connecting thingies in the back of your toilet? I didn’t. I do now.
  5. Discover the source of mystery beeping. You know, that mystery beeping that starts in the middle of the night and you can’t figure out where it’s coming from? Usually I send my husband off in the dark to find the source but during Sandy it was me!