No Mass today. It was raining and a few trees were still going down. These huge pine trees have shallow roots and all that water wasn’t good. I got up early to grab a bottle of mile for the baby. We had milk bottles chilling and I just went to grab one. I forgot for a second what was going on that was until I looked out and saw the huge trees all over the neighbor’s yard. I said a quick prayer of thanks that that tree had not come toward our home. Listening to the news I knew that we were not nearly as bad of as some people.
We tapped into emergency money to buy the stuff ahead of time so our finances were good, we had a house full of “no power” supplies, we were alive, we had a sturdy home to shelter us. The rest are just creature comforts that we would try to live without for a few days. (or weeks, or months) For today I knew things were OK.
At noon the rains began to subside. Our friends stopped by again with a chain saw in hand. We planned to clean up our street. J got all excited and began to get his new chain saw ready to use. It was defected. That is such a bite when you buy things that are broken. That was nearly as bad as a neighbor that purchased a whole house natural gas generator that was installed on Thursday. Only to discover it also had a defect. The company apologized but what good does that do when you need the item and it doesn’t work. Our neighbor on one side was worried that the county would not pick up their tree if they started the clean up. Now I think that is a silly thing anyway but if any part of the tree falls into the public street the country send a crew to chop in down, take it away and put down some grass seed. That is tax dollars over working in my opinion. So the neighbors refused to let us clean up the street.
J and Mr. T took their tools and headed to B family home. That house has two huge pines come down into their drive way. Just a puncture into the garage but everything was safe, intact but they were trapped at home. Mrs. T came by a few minutes later and dropped her kiddos off so she could go help the dads. I would much rather have dropped mine off at her house and left but I had a fridge that was beginning to smell and needed my attention. What do you do with 11 children that are all acting out because of their fear of the unknown? You try very hard to not loose your temper and to keep every one busy. Other wise your friends will break every family rule and convince your children to do the same. Not to mention let the dogs out over and over (and over and over) again!
We had heard a report that we were due to get more rain, while raking the front yard the older kiddos noticed that the water on the side of our home was high and was about to flood our J and My closest. Ugh, J wasn’t home, land lines don’t work, cell phones don’t work, and kids can not be left alone. We handed the small ones buckets and made them scoop out our flooding. They liked this better than raking so it did entertain them for a long time. Long enough for me to tackle the now very smelly frig. The food we could save was moved into a cooler with ice from the deep freeze and All other items had to go. We found that the package of frozen rolls were already rising so we made some rolls bread on the grill. After the rolls had baked and my dinner was cooling I piled the big van up with all the younger kiddos into the van. We headed to the B house and packed them into our car.
Pooker and Moogie went for a long walk to visit with friends and to see what was out there. They had decided to that they would try to organize a neighborhood game of capture the flag after dark and they headed out to spread the word. Bear went on a bike ride with some of his friends to checkout the sights and catch up with people. They took a camera to report back. At the B house we picked up most of their kiddos, Mrs. B, Mrs. T and we left all the dads behind to continue working on those huge pine trees that had come so close to hurting our friends. The drive was good for all of us. It let these three families regroup and chat. Both these families are friends from the neighborhood and also the Catholic church. It was so nice praying and talking with them as we drove just around the neighborhood.
We would stop and wave to neighbors as we saw house after house with trees cutting right through them. We new so many from swim team. Everyone was OK. Some of them lost houses but no injuries. I really think it was a miracle that there was extreme loss of life in my neighborhood. Trees are down everywhere. On the route home I noticed that a teen age kid that I have always thought of as some what of a trouble maker was using his dad’s chain saw and cutting pieces off of a huge tree that was down in the main road. He didn’t tackle the entire tree just the dangerous tips that cars would easily hit.
One thing is for sure something like this shows you who your friends really are and who the selfish people are. When neighbors offer you their last bit of milk because you have a baby and they don’t you know they are offering a lot. Pickle can see the positive when he tries. We probably saw five cars on our trip around the neighborhood that had been hit by trees.
Pickle said, “I think having your car smashed on the top by a tree would be a gift from God.” “How so?” We asked waiting to hear this one. “Well maybe it is just God’s way of giving you a really cool car!” “What”?!?!? “You know a convertible. They are really cool cars without tops.” That kid will always be able to make me smile.
We slept very well that night. It was hot going to bed and everything was still so sticky from being damp. It didn’t stop us. After we ate dinner Moogie, Sugar, Bear, Goobers, and Pooker all headed outside to play a big game of capture the flag. They were in by 9:00 pm and we all settled into bed. It was fun to hear the kiddos laughing outside and then to hear all the children talking about their day as they fell asleep in the family room.
The “remember when’s” are always fun to hear.