It is not my desire to wear you completely out with tornado talk but it’s all I got. I must first make it clear that Luke and I continue to be very much in the moment serving our community and meeting those affected by this calamity emotion for emotion and are by no means ‘over it’. I tell you that in hopes it will not seem inappropriate if I make light – and possibly even grin a bit – over our own experiences over the past days. It was a wise person who said that a smile will turn away a tear. Frankly, I’m just sick of crying so I declare myself liberated from it for the next few minutes.
I’ve arrived at many conclusions over the past two weeks with either no or limited electricity. Allow me to share a few with you:
1. I now understand why pioneer women wore their hair in buns.
They most certainly had hair like mine that was never intended to air dry. I learned this sad lesson many years ago as a teenager when I went to Six Flags and got soaked within the first hour of a very long day. This was in the age of the layered spiral perm and it never occurred to me that if it was wet with recycled pond water and subsequently dried by riding various roller coasters that it may get a little large. It was one of the rare occasions I didn’t have a banana clip in my bag so I endured that day being heckled by the losers I used to call friends.
The difference between then and now? Not many except I’m old now, I don’t ride rollercoasters, and my friends realize I’m fragile and haven’t commented on my frizz and unfortunate roots. My hairdresser has me down for Thursday and it’s highly likely I will hug her or at the very least sob uncontrollably when I fall into her chair.
2. Insurance will not replace your deep freeze just because it smells like rotted meat.
Our garage roof caved in on top of my chest freezer so it was forgotten in the all the mad rush of the days following the storm. Luke had already told me he would never eat one piece of food from it again no matter how much I bleached it so not to even try pulling a fast one on him. He’ so dramatic where botulism is concerned. I was determined to save my freezer so I pulled all the debris off, opened the lid, and did what any reasonable woman would do: slammed it shut, beat it with a baseball bat, set it on fire, and put it on the list of Personal Items to turn in to the insurance company.
3. Four wheelers are fun.
My brother in law brought us his four wheeler so we could use it for clean up and navigating the roads a little easier. Since I worked all day on Mother’s Day burning the freezer down Luke thought I needed a break and asked me if I wanted to ride with him to visit our neighbors. I jumped on with him and one of my children actually cried because I was getting to ride and she wasn’t. I did what any reasonable woman would on Mother’s Day: stuck my tongue out at her and rode away with my hubby into the sunset we can now see since our pine thicket has been flattened.
I was going to list ten things but man that’s a lot and I just realized I’m exhausted. I’ll save some more for later. In the meantime, an update of needful things because y’all are awesome and continue to email, twitter, and text me to ask:
1. Yard equipment: shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, push brooms, water hoses, etc. As clean up continues, these are in very high demand.
2. Rubbermaid bins/containers. Those who have collected their belongings need storage until they are relocated. This is a huge request.
2. Lowe’s and/or Wal Mart gift cards. For obvious reasons.
3. Monetary donations. We are administering your funds faithfully to families who demonstrate need. It is also mine and Luke’s desire to rebuild a home for an uninsured person though we are still in the prayerful stage of determining the logistics of such a thing. I want to thank those of you who have already sent donations. I mailed a large batch of thank you cards today and you can expect an official gift receipt from our clerk soon. I’m overwhelmed at how your concern has been made manifest. If you will message me I will send you our mailing address. Thank you so much.
(If you have emailed me for that info and I haven’t answered, hang on. I’m a little behind but I’m getting there now that I have electricity!)
4. Prayer. Lots and lots of it. That’s the only thing that keeps those working, serving, cleaning, and/or rebuilding from losing heart.
That’s enough for now. Next time I need to show y’all pictures of the ministry center that literally sprung up overnight. You won’t believe the timeliness of it and how it came to be in our possession. To my church family who birthed it and are working like crazy to organize and establish it from the contributions of churches all over the U.S? Well, I just flat out love you. The Lord knows your labor and it is not in vain.