He sat in the reclining chair with a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter and an old Mason jar half-filled with homemade sweet tea. The light of a small candle reflecting off the mirror hanging above the fireplace mantle augmented the warm glow of the gas heater below. He gently stroked the neck and shoulders of his k-9 companion who was wondering why they were both awake at this unusual hour, but waited patiently for whatever adventure might unfold… whether it be a nocturnal excursion into the freezing winter’s night or something as simple as a stroll to the far side of the bed to lay down and rest after a hectic day.
His mind reviewed the events of the past few days without electricity. He was pleased with what had been accomplished.
Many of the items were those he had made mental notes of for his ever-expanding to-do list. However, it wasn’t until the snow storm forced him to focus of the immediate need that he was able to transform those thoughts from speculative desires into concrete action. Even though there was still much to be done, it felt good to know that as long as he remained focused, he would be able to do them.
He began sorting the tasks for the coming day. First he would need to bring a bucket of snow inside to melt and use as a water source. So, Water was number one priority.
Communication with the outside world was limited. He only heard snippets of news while recharging his phone battery in the car. Then he remembered a battery powered radio he got several years ago. It had probably been put in one of the storage sheds during a shuffle of items to make room for the ongoing renovation work he was doing to the house. Finding it would require daylight, but the sheds got morning light and offered protection the chilling wind. He could look for the radio in the early morning while waiting for the Sun to warm the outside air. So, Radio became the second priority.
Once the outside temperature was bearable, he would need to start clearing the fallen tree limbs that blocked the driveway. Supplies were beginning to run low and he would need to venture out to replenish them. He had no idea what the roads were like beyond the end of the driveway, but felt confident they would improve during the couple of days it would take him to clear the driveway. So, Limbs became the third priority.
As always, especially during recent days, taking care of the needs of his wife, Donna, was an ongoing priority.
Since it was too dark and cold to write, he made an easy to remember list of priorities in his head.
Water, Radio, Limbs, Donna. While repeating to himself several times as a way of reinforcing the memory connections, he had an “Oh” moment. The priorities along with his “Oh” moment made the acronym “W.O.R.L.D.”
With a grin that was more felt than expressed, he was satisfied he would be abbe to recall the list in the morning regardless or what unforeseen events may occur between now and then. As he made his way past the foot of the bed to the far side, he realized the first step toward tomorrow’s goals was for him to get some sleep. Including his own needs was the thread that bound him to the fabric of his W.O.R.L.D. priorities. His task was complete, his mind could calm and he could get some much needed rest.
While covering himself with the quilts he heard his k-9 companion settle onto the pad beside the bed. All was quiet and all was calm. Pulling the covers over his head with only his face sticking out like an arctic seal at an air hole, he breathed a sigh of relief and drifted off to dreamland.