I typically write about the weather to praise the sunshine or curse the rain, but today is just a report. You would have to be living in a hole somewhere to have not heard about the awful storms in Oklahoma. If you were living in a hole in the Midwest then you would have been flooded out by now. It has rained and rained and there has much much damage from the wind and random tornadoes. I have extended family just outside of Shawnee, OK and they were hit Sunday night. Our family was clear of the damage and is safe. Moore Oklahoma was hit hard yesterday. It’s awful and I have no words. I’m praying for the families affected and thankful that my OKC family is safe.
The storms moved into Arkansas yesterday evening. I guess it was about 6:30pm when the sirens went off in Siloam. I picked up Alex and we made a fort of pillows and blankets at the end of the hallway. Alex isn’t scared of storms and for that I am grateful. There I was, at the end of the hall with Alex and the dogs, and Drew was standing at the other end of the hall so he could keep an eye on the news and see out the window. Then the power went out. We giggled in the dark and then giggled some more when Drew brought us a flashlight. It was extra funny because he brought a huge Mag Light and almost handed it to Alex. That flashlight weights a ton and could definitely knock me out if placed in the flailing hands of Alex. Now, Alex wasn’t nervous, but I guess Mac was. I took this pic with my phone. The ball of fur on Alex’s chest is Mac.
We eventually moved back to the living room once the storm had passed us. Does anyone want to place bets on how many times Drew & I tried to turn the lights on while looking for and lighting candles? Enough. That’s the only answer you are going to get. It’s almost scary how accustomed we are to the ‘conveniences’ of our life.
This is where I tell you that Scentsy is overrated. Do you have Scentsy? It’s all the rage because it is a fragrant and safe alternative to open flames on candles. Plug the warmer in, place your choice of wax, have a nice little night light and a yummy smelling home. It’s lovely, but it has also robbed my home of old fashioned candles. I only had two candles to light the house while the power was out. Thanks a lot Scentsy.
So, what do you do when the power is out? I think we all know what some people do. When the Northeast has the awful blizzard and power was out for days, there were many babies born 9 months later. To paraphrase Seth Meyers from SNL, “Honey, you are what happened when Mommy’s iPhone died.” Well, it’s safe to assume that wasn’t the case around here. Drew, Alex, Toto, Mac, Foose and I just hung out in the living room. I played the guitar for a good while. That’s only part of the beauty of a guitar… it requires nothing but your own effort. You should have been a fly on the wall when I put the guitar down and Drew picked it up. He strummed random chords and sang “Wagon Wheel! Wagon Wheel! Wagon Wheel!” in a less than bird like voice. Well, it may have been bird like, but more like the seagull on The Little Mermaid than a song bird. Alex laughed hysterically.
Me: Alex, who is a better guitar player? Me or Daddy?
Alex: (points at me while smiling)
Me: Yeah! I’m better than Daddy at something!
Drew: You are good at lots of things.
Me: (feeling flattered) Oh, that’s sweet…
Drew: Like vacuuming, doing dishes, washing laundry…
I wanted to be mad, but it was just too funny. We all laughed and laughed.
I prepared Alex bedtime feeding and medications in the dark, but only after trying to turn on the kitchen light for the hundredth time. I would have been worried, but I have done it so many times that I guess I can literally do it in the dark with no problem. After her feeding, we made Alex a pallet in the living room floor. We were having such a nice evening anyway and I didn’t see the need in forcing a bedtime routine without the routine. She fell asleep and Toto curled up with her.
Drew and I talked and laughed with not so much as the air conditioner kicking on to distract us. Somehow the conversation turned to my excellent driving skills (cough, cough). I drive like a woman and I’m not afraid to admit it. The stereotype of the woman driver was created for me. That lead Drew to count out all the vehicular mishaps I have had in my 17 years of driving. It took a while. Again, I could have been offended, but it was just so funny.
Me: Okay, I’m an awful driver.
Drew: I love you for it.
Me: For it or in spite of it?
Drew: Let’s just call it spousal security.
I guess he’s banking on no other man ever being willing to le me drive their vehicle. He was quick to point out that we would never find out because this marriage is forever. True that, my hilarious husband. You better be nice though, we are still young and there will be plenty more vehicles in our life for me to break in. I’m having a vision of Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, going Towanda on the car of those annoying young girls in the parking lot. You know what I’m saying? She told her husband it was an accident, even though to rammed, reversed and rammed again and again.
I think Drew really was trying to be sweet when he said this…
Drew: I’m proud of you for not freaking out tonight.
Me: Over what? The storm? Storms don’t really scare me.
Drew: But you had Alex in the hallway as soon as the siren went off.
Me: Well, I respect it, but I’m not scared of it. (I think I may have also called him a dumb butt.)
I guess maybe it is strange for a gal with a history of irrational anxiety to not be afraid of storms. Many people are afraid of such weather and some have severe anxiety in response. I just don’t see the point. Respect nature and such acts of God, but for some reason I’m able to acknowledge that anxiety isn’t going to help anything. Most of my anxiety comes from situations that I think I should be able to control. I am under no illusion that I have any control over the weather, so I’m able to take reasonable precautions and let God handle the rest.
Our last power free conversation last night was about how the power would probably scare us when it came on in the middle of the night. Then the power came back on and made us jump. I laughed at myself when the first thing I said was, “Will you turn that light off?”
That, my friends, is the stormy and electricity free story of our Monday evening. It lasted about 2 1/2 hours and it was actually fun. I won’t pretend to understand why such tragedies (like in Moore, OK) happen, but in the tiny bubble of my life, I’m pretty sure God was just giving me a time out. No, not a punishment time out, just a time out that gave me no choice but to be still and enjoy the moment with my family. Amen to that.
I’m completely leaving the storm stories now, so bounce with me.
The sore on Alex’s left shoulder blade is healing beautifully. It is obviously because of my extreme natural talent, so you may call me Dr. Mandy. Just kidding. I don’t know if it was actually a pressure sore or an abscess. Maybe it started as one and resulted in the other. No matter, I have changed up our routine and a few habits. I’m back to washing pretty much everything in hot water. I don’t let Alex wear the same pajamas more than one night without washing them. I don’t reuse towels with her and I wash her bedding daily. I used to bathe her every other day, but now I bathe her every night. We have switched soaps from the cheap smell good stuff to a good ol’ bar of Lever 2000. I’m also putting a blanket down when she lays in the living room floor. It doesn’t give much more cushion, but it is softer than the carpet and hopefully won’t cause as much irritation to her sensitive skin. I think it’s safe to say that we have learned that the smallest scratch on her skin can turn into something yucky in a hurry, so keeping her super clean and protected is the best I know to do.