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The milk and bread crisis

Posted: February 18, 2014 8:22 a.m.
Updated: February 19, 2014 5:00 a.m.

What does a person who suffers from both lactose intolerance and celiac disease do during a natural disaster/state of emergency/winter storm? Since the staples of these said storms are “milk and bread,” my guess is … she starves to death?

Why milk and bread? I mean, really? We were discussing the absurdity of those so-called needs at the office the day of the storm and a co-worker mentioned that a local grocery store had been wiped clean of all varieties of bread and every type of milk except whole milk. Eww, whole milk? I can’t even think about that thick, saturated, creamy goo without getting a little sick.

In this day and age, I think we need to reevaluate what we need during a storm. In fact, I was just discussing the matter with a friend who feels similarly and he said really there’s only one real necessity for a 2-3 day power outage and that’s bottled water.

While I do agree with him on this topic and many others, I made my own Snowpocalypse grocery list and it included beef jerky; sour Skittles; pickles; salt and vinegar chips; a battery charger for my iPhone; water; yoga pants; water proof boots; a fresh supply of new music on said iPhone; pork cracklin’s; perfume (in case the water goes away along with the power); dry shampoo (same story as the perfume); Benadryl; and of course wine, beer and/or moonshine. This is actually my grocery/survival list for every day of the week, not just Snowpocalypse.

Notice nowhere on there is bread or milk. Why no bread? I don’t like bread; it’s not pleasing to my taste buds. Why no milk? Well, other than the fact that I don’t like (cow’s) milk (I drink soy and/or almond milk at times), I also think it’s not good for humans to drink after infancy. Also, here’s the clincher when it comes to milk -- if the power goes out, the milk is one of the first things to spoil. How is that a good purchase?

Really, what you need during a crisis is your friends. I have discovered that as long as you have your friends, you can weather just about anything. I spent last week’s wintery days playing Jenga and making ice forts with some friends in Sumter. They lost power for an entire day and, all jokes aside, that kind of experience is truly humbling. It reminds me of how much I depend on electricity to maintain the comforts of my life. Even one day without power and hot water makes me feel icky.

The winter storm was fun -- awesome, actually, for me. I know some people really suffered and I am sorry for that. However, what I like about a storm like that is that it reminds us to all step back and take a look at the world around us. We get so used to hurrying around and texting our lives into Facebook immortality, that I think we forget that none of these self-imposed social media forums are reality in any way, whatsoever. Sometimes it takes an ice storm to make you look at the ground, the sky, the trees to remember that life is the world of the living, the world we walk and drive around in every day and so often disregard completely.

In a way, I’m thankful for the storm for reminding me what matters. As I trudged through ice and snow in my friend’s backyard and examined the coats of ice on various types of branches, without realizing it, I became very aware that I was surrounded by an amazing beauty and an amazing power. Across the state, people were doing the same thing -- going outside and looking at the world again. Nature, again, proved its power over all the other systems we humans try to put before it. Even the need for milk and bread paled in comparison.

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