Another Great List

What is it with all of these people and their great lists this week? Man, oh, man. You MUST go over to Linda’s place and read her list of political vernacular through the lense of motherhood. I have all but quit listening to the news, so weary am I and ready for this whole election to BE DONE ALREADY. . .but this post is priceless.

(BTW–she has lots of gee-gaws on her site, so it may take it a minute to load up. Be patient. It’s worth it.)

Bless her. . .

I have been friends with Sarah for a long, long time. Long. Time. While hurricane Ike was visiting my neck of the Gulf coast, Sarah had a birthday. I didn’t send her a card. She, however, has come up with the best list of 39 wisdoms to celebrate her years on the planet, and I can’t say it any better than she did.

I CAN say that all those years ago when God flung us into Ms. Mallis’s class together, He did it because He loved us and He knew we needed each other. Sarah says “bless” a lot as in: bless him, bless her, bless his/her/their heart. I don’t know if she realizes how much she really does that–blessing us all I mean.

She is a gift and a treasure.

Love you, S–.

R–

Electricity, EEEEEEEEE-lectricity

As I was on the phone with mom at 4:39 this afternoon, I was staring at my open refrigerator and freezer doors and said, “I’ve been keeping the fridge doors open so it won’t stink, but I need to remember to close them tomorrow when we go to school in case the power comes on. . .” and BAM!!! The lights in my fridge came on and we had power. Just like that. There should have been confetti cannons–or a balloon drop–or someone striking up a band. Instead, it. Just. Was.

Power. . .Power. . .POWER.

I still stand by my statement that power is a luxury–but it is a luxury that I, personally, enjoy. Beyond my love of reading all of your blogs, I love–EVEN MORE–air conditioning, washers and dryers, dish-washers, and vacuum cleaners. Yesterday I attended the funeral of an older friend, and I had to blow dry my bangs in the car, then go to my in-laws in town to iron clothes. Not only do I enjoy it, but my 8 days, 13 hours, and 9 minutes without power have given me time to think of several things.

1.) There is a REASON people used to go to bed really early–’cause when it gets dark, it is WAY too much work to try and have enough light by which to do anything at all. Candles are wonderful for ambience and/or scent, but they are NOT such a good source of light. Same for flashlights–a lot of work to hold–same for battery operated Coleman lanterns (we got one on loan from a friend on Friday night) because the light is very, very bright but also very, very obnoxious.

2.) Multi-tasking is a modern day, appliance driven phenomena. I am not trying to take away any respect from the women of yester-year. They were hard-working, thrifty, strong women–but multi-tasking as we know it in the modern world is totally dependent on appliances that are run my power. For example: I will throw a load of clothes in the washer, a load of dishes in the OTHER washer, and some sort of food in the microwave while I cook even more food on my gas stove WHILE I talk on my cordless phone. The only one of those things I can do without power is cook on my gas stove. And, without power, if I need to wash dishes–I have BOTH of my hands washing dishes. If I need to cook–I have both of my hands busy with the business of cooking. Thankfully, I did not have to wash any clothing by hand in the sink as a friend let me come and does some laundry at her house on Thursday AND we had done laundry before the storm hit.

3.) It is a little thing–and one that is like riding a bike evidently–but I had to reheat things in pots on the stove or covered in foil in the oven. I cannot tell you the last time I re-heated left-overs thusly. I know how. I grew up watching my mom and Granny do it. We didn’t get our first microwave until I was 12 or 13, and my Granny NEVER owned a microwave. It is something I am SO glad I don’t have to do anymore. It is just ONE MORE THING to add to your list of things to do. . .reheating food by oven takes a long time y’all.

4.) You, most certainly, can survive–even thrive without electricity. I, personally, don’t recommend a 200+ mile wide hurricane to take your power from you, but I challenge all of you to do without power for a night. Come home from school and work, but don’t turn on anything electric until the following day. You will find ways to be creative with your family–a lot more reading goes on–a lot more card games get played–a lot more bikes get ridden–a lot more knees get scraped.

For our 8 days without power, I am so thankful to God that our family and friends made it safely through this storm–the damages to our homes and to us were MINIMAL, and it gave us another memory to weave into the fabric of our lives. Now, I have every ceiling fan in my home on–several completely unnecessary lights, AND the t.v. A little indulgence never hurt anyone. 🙂

Roxanne for Roxanne

I am at a friend’s house doing laundry. There are pockets around that have power, but our pocket is still powerless. As of this morning, we heard possibly Monday for electricity for us. Sarah has done a great job of keeping you updated. And I did, indeed, say that power is a luxury and water (including sewer) is a necessity. . .and still believe it to be true. We are happy to have gas for hot water and cooking and showers, and gas stations and grocery stores around where we can get ice. That is we can NOW get ice. We didn’t see hide nor hair of even one little ice cube between Saturday and Wednesday. Luke-warm water is one thing, people, but as I cracked open my luke-warm bottle of Diet Coke, Tony, knowing how I LOATHE drinking warm soft drinks, raised an eyebrow as if to say, “You have sunk to an all time low, dear.” My reply? “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Thank you for all of your well-wishes and thoughts and prayers. They at least influenced the weather. It has been gloriously cool and dry. The night of the hurricane we had power until about 3:30 a.m. It was stuffy for most of that day because we couldn’t open windows until the rain had passed. It was coming from a different direction every minute. After it DID pass, it was abysmally hot. The weatherman was discussing the dew point (which is what determines humidity.) He said, “Sixty is sticky, seventy is sultry, eighty is AWFUL, and we’re at seventy-nine.” It was, needless to say, BAD. But the cool front came through, so we’ve been fine ever since.

Meanwhile, I’m off to see if the rumor is true that FEMA will fully reimburse the cost of a generator if you are without power for 5 days. More than anything, I’d like to have a refrigerator–the one luxury besides air-conditioning that I miss.

Post-Ike Update

Still me — Sarah. Talked to Roxanne again today. I just KNEW she would be in Louisiana, where I would be if I had no air conditioning, internet, laundry capability (we THINK we hate it — try living without it!), or ice! Nope! She is still right there in Houston with no power. They seemed to be having a grand adventure, cooking all of the food from their freezer and sharing it with the neighbors (they have a gas stove). This morning was sausage and biscuits, tonight it was meatballs and fish. She wasn’t sure what type of cuisine that would be classified as, other than disaster cooking. They had actually been … somewhere, some station, not sure .. and gotten ice and she was most happy since she has been slurping warm Diet Coke for 3 days (oh, you aren’t addicted enough if you think you wouldn’t in the same situation).

Her school district — where both she and her husband teach AND her children attend — has been canceled for at least the remainder of the week. Which, she concedes, would be much more fun if she had electricity, but they are definitely ‘making do’. They light candles — the ones students have given her over the years that she hated the way they smelled — in the evenings, play a game or two of ‘Apples to Apples’ (which I hear is great fun but still haven’t played) then turn in, all windows open. She said the weather hasn’t been too bad this week after a cool front brought temperatures down to tolerable.

Her husband’s parents do have electricity, so they are considering a load or two of laundry over there, since they are getting to the bottom of clean things. As I mentioned (I think) in the earlier post, they do have clean, running water, and gas for the stove (and I guess for hot water for showers? not sure). Roxanne’s comment was, “Electricity is a luxury, clean water is a necessity.” To which I say, “Whatever, dude.” I, personally, wasn’t cut out to be a pioneer woman, but if ever I need to make it post-natural disaster, I’m going to live with Roxanne.

I’ll fill you in as I hear more!

Guest Blogger

This is Sarah, checking in for Roxanne. I’m sure you see the resemblance — other than me being about 6 inches shorter than Roxanne, we’re very much alike. We flail our hands constantly while speaking, we have long hair that we flip to and fro (Roxanne is actually MUCH more of a hair flipper than I am), and, as currently evidenced, we both enjoy a good rabbit trail of inconsequential details while relaying a story, or in this case, message!

So Ike visited Roxanne and her family over the weekend. He shut down power (hence my appearance here), blew down some trees, and knocked over part of the fence. Other than that, all is well with them. All of her husband’s family, that also lives in the area, are okay as well. Roxanne thought they may leave and go to her mother’s house in Louisiana, depending on how long the power would be out. Since millions are without power, I’m guessing it will be for more than a day or two.

I’ll post again if requested. Until then, continue to keep them in your prayers!

Sarah, for Roxanne

The Good News

See below for our current state of hurricane readiness. Preparation and anticipation have been so high on the agenda that I’ve not yet posted about the fact that WE HAVE A SLAB. . .WE HAVE A SLAB. . .WE HAVE A SLAB!!!!!!!! They poured it yesterday in advance of the storm. It was about 96-98 degrees here, so the slab baked all day long, and was dry when we got out there yesterday around 4:30. It’s beautiful–and storm proof–so even if a big pine tree falls on it, we can just move the tree and keep on building.

I’m not quite sure how it got to be 3 o’clock. I’m about to go out and sit in the pre-hurricane wind with my family. Tropical storm winds will reach out house at about 6:00 p.m. Please continue to pray as they are now predicting that ALL of Galveston island will be submerged. Almost everyone evacuated, but the houses and livelihoods of many hang in the balance.