Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Journaling Emotions

The events of this past week made we realize the importance of journaling emotions. Putting feelings on paper helped me work through the events, and then be able to channel those emotions in a positive manner.

When reading my journal, future generations will understand the frustration and anger I experienced following the recent historic nor’easter, which in turn illuminated the poor management and emergency response of Northeast Utilities and Connecticut Light and Power. 

On November 6 (Day 8 of power outage) my journal entry reads:

“Anger? Doesn’t cover it for the over 2,000 homes in Newtown (this does not include the rest of the state) that remain without power.” 

But my journal entries also share how well we adapted to lack of power for over a week. I wrote how fortunate we were to have a wood stove to keep us warm and on which to cook. 

Corningware Cornflower Percolator
Photo from

The first few days we made coffee in the Corningware percolator I had purchased at a church yard sale several years ago just for such an event.  We cooked delicious one-dish meals each night.  We heated water on the wood stove each morning for our pump style coffee carafe to be used as a convenient hand washing station.  And an added benefit was the wonderful conversations with neighbors who converged in the street to share storm stories and to catch up on the latest news.

We realized our biggest challenge was keeping busy as many of our daily activities center around having power and water, and so I wrote down what we did to fill each day. I utilized non-power ways to clean the house; my husband worked at cleaning up yard debris in our yard as well as our neighbors’ yards.

Sadly, my great-grandmother’s diaries tell me so little about what she felt as this January 6, 1944 entry represents.:

“Not very cold -Addie went to Asbury Park today. Marian and I took her to the Black Diamond at noon. I did some shopping. It got colder in the p.m. Very windy. We got home at 3:30 in time to do some extra washing. I ironed two dresses.”

As genealogists we understand the importance of keeping a journal and leaving a piece of who we are for our children, grandchildren and beyond.

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