Saturday, September 20, 2008

Landscaping by Ike

This is the extent of our tree damage. Our fence will be repaired by Brad shortly.
We're going to wait to have someone look at our roof. There are other people who need contractors more desperately than we do!

Stacia and I walked around our neighborhoods yesterday and today. We saw that people have their sense of humor more intact than their fences.

During our walk today we were offered hotdogs and a drink by a family without power. I am always tempted by a good hot-dog (who isn't), but we thanked them and made our way back home. There are so many families in this small community who lost everything. Their belongings are out on the curb waiting for the trash pickup. Devastating. Again, it reminds us that we should be thankful for so much.

I miss the girls terribly. I'm just about over my cold and am ready to have our house full of squealing and giggles. It is too quiet in here... even with Fergus meowing at me every five minutes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy, Thankful and Listening to the Sounds of Recovery

As I type this I hear helicopters fly overhead. This is a constant sound as news crews and rescue workers travel. Fire truck and police sirens now. Ike left his mark.

When we evacuated from Rita (pre-children), I packed photos and momentos, computers, cats, nick-nacks, whatever would fit in two cars. While surveying my house before the Ike evacuation, I just saw “stuff”. It is cliché, but everything is just stuff now. My main priority was packing enough food, clothes and entertainment for my kids. Getting my cats into 2 cages was also high on my stress list.

I am now at home. We don’t have water, our roof needs to be replaced and our pool is a funky shade of teal with shingles and whatnot at the bottom… and I couldn’t be more relieved. I am so lucky. I’m so surprised that my house is still here and so sick that some of my friends are going through so much.

My goal this week is to work and stay out of the way of rescue and relief workers. I have gas in my car and food in the pantry. I have enough water in the bathtubs and in containers to last for awhile. I’ll go to a friend’s house in a bit to upload this post.

*hammering sounds… more tarps going on roofs*

It is good to see the best come out in people. The worst is visible, too… but thankfully it isn’t rampant. I’ve seen the kindness of strangers and neighbors. I’ve seen coworkers show up at work to feed people. I’ve also seen the bad – the streets are dangerous. Emotionally charged drivers are distracted and upset. They run through intersections whose lights were taken by Ike.

*neighbor at the front door… he left replacement slats for our fence… salvaged from someone else’s fence… so nice!*

I miss the girls – They’re safe in Austin. Ana and Keira will play with their cousin until there is enough gas, water and safety to come home. Meanwhile, I’m boiling water to clean out the fridge.

I’m lucky to have my home and my “stuff”… but not for the reasons I would have wished for before kids. Now, I’m thankful that my girls have a home to come back to. I’m thankful that I don’t need to find temporary housing for my family. In fact, I’m just thankful for my family. They’re safe and sound. And that is all that matters.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quick thoughts... and body functions.

Looks like the house might not be flooded.
We don't know about wind damage
It's the girl's 2nd Birthday
Let me state that last one again... It is ANA AND KEIRA'S 2nd BDAY! WHOOHOOO
We can't get back to our house for 48 hours
The cats are FREAKING OUT
Fergus peed on Tracy's guest bed
Ana threw up in the middle of the night
Fergus peed on ME as I slept on the floor in the middle of the night.
All of the cats tried to get into the closet
Cats were awake all night.
Many of my friends lost their homes, etc.

I'm lucky - I'm in Austin with power and A/C. I am drinking hot coffee. The family is safe.

Please keep Will, Dom, Vanessa, Tibonne and everyone in your thoughts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike is beating us like we're Tina.

A week to the day from my last post (fun on the beach), I sit and wait as the ocean takes my home. There are so many emotions... there is my "who cares, it's just stuff" emotion conflicting with my "I really don't want to deal with this" emotion.
It is 8:35pm. I think there is already water in my home.
I also think about work... Ugh... I'm so worried about work.
I worry about my friends and their homes.
I worry about the Cuipers - and I'm so thankful for their hospitality and love.
I worry for my girls. Why didn't I move ALL of their toys upstairs? Why?
I wish I could just take my kitties and daughters home. I want to pet Fergus in his cat box, put the girls to bed in their own beds, see Chad on the chair and lay down on the bed with Kije.
I wish that so much.
I wish.

Most of my emotions are all over the place.
At the same time as I morn for my normal life, I am grateful to be safe and sound with my family. I think of my good friend's wife, who is starting her battle with cancer this week.

I'll update everyone later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

... File is Saving...

When Brad and I were dating in High School we found ourselves in the middle of a perfect moment. We had a great day at school and were walking across the grass practice field on our way to the parking lot. The sun was setting as we walked and held each others hands. We didn't know at that time that we would spend the rest of our lives together, but we KNEW that we would always remember each other. Brad told me at that moment that it was a perfect High School Memory. I saved that moment deliberately. Our Perfect High School Memory is made even more perfect knowing that it happened over 20 years ago and started a lifetime of happiness.

On Saturday we inadvertently created the Perfect Family Memory.
We brought the girls to the beach for the first time. The weather was perfect. The water was perfect. All in all a perfect day.

We parked on the beach and set our belongings on a ridiculously expensive beach chair. The girls were very distracted by all of the sand. Walking on sand is fun... hey... playing with the sand is fun!

It was Keira who first noticed the water, but Ana who walked in first.
Let the squealing being.
Ana squealed often out of sheer joy.

The girls progressed from walking into the water to wanting to be part of the waves in no time. The Hubby and I picked up the girls and let the water splash on their bellies.
After awhile Brad sat down in the water to play with the girls.

Ana decided that she needed to run freely in on the Beach. She ran up and down the beach tirelessly, only stopping to play in sand or point to a bird. So much squealing.

We didn't want to leave. It was the perfect day.
I'll file this day into my "Perfect Family Memories" in my mind. I hope I have more room in there...

Friday, September 5, 2008

C is for cookie and that's good enough for me... I guess.

Ana licked all of the butter from my toast the other morning.
And then she put the toast back on my plate.

The same day she sneezed on my plate of food while I ate a wonderful dinner at my sister's house.
I ate it.

What has happened to me?
My mom used to tell us stories about how we would chew on a cookie and hand it to her. She said she would always eat the mushy cookie. "You HAVE to," she says. "The child is trying to SHARE," she says to our protests. As young adults we would hold back our gag reflex and flinch when she would tell the stories of a mother eating a mushy cookie.
"No way," we said.
"Too gross," we exclaimed as we united against her.

And so I stand before you. I have eaten the licked toast. I have eaten pork with a lovely maple-and-sneeze glaze. I rarely make it through a meal without someone touching my food or taking my fork from me.

I'm not sure if I've eaten these things out of love for my daughters or respect for their self esteem, sadly. I think it is laziness and apathy. I've given up on my privacy and my food.
And with all of this talk I'm not at all grossed out.
In fact, I'm in the mood for a cookie...