Monday, September 5, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

...Add vodka!

Ha!  I love that expression!

And, I admit, I did do a little of that!

There have been many times in my life where I just get overwhelmed...with sadness, anxiety, nerves...LIFE.   My infinitely wise mother always points out all of the things that I have made it through...

Indeed, Hurricane Irene will go down in that category of things that we made it through.

We made it through 4 days without electricity.
We made it through bringing the contents of our basement up to our living room because once the power went we had no idea how much water we could get since the sump pumps would not work without electricity.  Fortunately we just got a sheen of water on the floors, as though they had been washed.
We made it through bleaching the floors only to have the sewer backup.  Apparently sewers in NJ were not made for this magnitude of flooding and this was a common problem.
We made it through that cleanup.
We made it through getting everything back together only to learn less than 24 hours later that another Tropical Storm was headed our way.

Hurricane Irene did ruin our plans to go to the lake for Labor Day Weekend, but I was able to spend Thursday and Friday getting things ready for our homeschool year.  My husband had put extra shelves in a closet upstairs a few weeks prior to Irene, since the girls and I seem to spend most of our learning time upstairs rather than in the classroom, so I was able to get the closet organized and my mind together about what I wanted to do.  Hurricane Irene will not spoil our plans to start a new adventure of learning this week!

We were supposed to have a NOT Back to School Tea Party at our house on September 7.  The girls and I had planned to spend last week making party favors and baking teacakes and scones to freeze for the party.  We didn't get to do this.  But, instead of canceling the party altogether, we asked all of our homeschool friends to meet us at a playground while the public school kids are in school. I don't know why but taking over the playgrounds while public school kids are in school leaves me exhilarated.  Now if the weather cooperates...

On Saturday morning, my brother and sister-in-law left their daughter with my sister-in-law's family and came over to help me move everything back to the basement.  Several of our friends showed up to help as well.  Jason was working 14, 15, 16 hour days and feeling frustrated about not being able to help.  We made it our mission to get things back in order and have beer cooling in the fridge when he got home.  We took my brother and sister-in-law out to dinner to thank them!  It was a most excellent day!  I do not know where I would be without my family.  I have been so, so richly blessed.  There have been rough patches, but when I need them, they always come through!

I think the best part in all of this is that my girls witnessed firsthand how all of this went down.  We could not protect or shield them from it.  It was their life.  It is life.  They saw us just keep trudging forward, one foot in front of the other, doing what had to be done.  They saw us come together, they got a true meaning of what it means to be part of this family.  The true meaning of family.  And friends.

On Saturday evening, Jason found out that he did not have to work Sunday-Tuesday (all of the power had been restored).  We decided to head to the lake.  We called my Grandma and invited her along.  Everyone was excited.

The car was packed Sunday morning,  we were literally ready to leave.  Jason took Ollie for a walk before having him cooped up in the car for a few hours and he ran into our neighbor, who informed him that Tropical Storm Lee was headed our way and would be dropping 2-6" of rain on our already saturated soil.  If you didn't get water last week...the ground had not had a chance to dry and we just may get some water this time...

We all got out of the car and went inside to watch The Weather Channel.  Indeed Lee would be in our area Monday night and all day Tuesday.

My husband does not like to leave the house for long stretches. I am serious.  I am not much of a traveler because it sets my whole system off...but he doesn't like to travel because he worries about the, flood, someone breaking in...we have an alarm system, but he always says that if we're HOURS away it won't do us any good...we won't be able to get back in time to do any good.  It's not that my husband is super-attached to material things, it is that if he is responsible for something he takes that VERY seriously.  Very seriously.  {and I love him for it!}  Our home is his responsibility, protecting it is his responsibility and he takes it all very seriously.

So, rather than go to the lake, we decided to start remodeling our downstairs bathroom.  We had been talking about it for a few years.  We knew what we wanted, we just never seemed to find the time to do it.  After the sewer back-up issue, we wanted to rip everything out and clean it from top to bottom.  We also heard of something you can install that will prevent back-ups, and after dealing with what we dealt with, it seemed prudent to do so.  So, we took on a Weekend Warrior project.  It's not done yet...but I will post photos when it is done!