Recovering From Hurricane Harvey

Amy’s Adventures, 9/2/17 Edition

What I am reading:  During the storm, I finished reading Wonder by Palacio.  It was a sweet book that helps kids see from other people’s perspectives and showed what courage really looks like.  I also finished rereading Big Magic by Gilbert.  It was good the first and second time around.  The author reminds you that living creatively is its own reward and much of what she said resonated with me because I am currently trying to recover my creative self.  I felt like something light, so I started a library book my son checked out called The Unwanteds by McMann.  I was intrigued by the idea of separating out the “unwanted” creatives from the “necessaries” and “wanteds” in a society and saw that someone called the book a cross between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, both of which I devoured.  So far, it is good, but I have lost momentum about 1/3 of the way through.  I will see if I can muster the focus to finish before I move on to something else.  (It is times like these that my little self-challenge helps me to finish books that I wouldn’t otherwise.)

What I have been struggling with:  Wow–the past week has been rough.  Thanks be to God, we (almost, but) did not get water in our house.  We did, however, lose power for a week.  All of our worst personality quirks were staring everyone down in the close quarters with rising irritation levels as the days went on.  The surly preteen who is hyperactive and unable to play outside or do screens.  The poor hot baby being held too much because there is no light to safely move around.  The toddler who screams about every toy being hers.  The 5-year old who somehow involves herself in all the other ongoing problems.  The husband who was being a “big elephant a$$ of doom” dropping down on my poor shakey ant legs of joy (as I once put it), and me who just needed my hot coffee and a break from all these people–I am sure they needed a break from me as well.  Oh, I love them, but it has been rough not having electricity.  Since we don’t have gas in our house, it meant we also couldn’t have hot water to shower or any way to cook.  I think we are really really dependent on our modern conveniences and it is good to have an opportunity sometimes to try to make do without them.  It makes you very grateful for the wonders of the times we live in, and helps prepare you for possible situations that could arise when you have to do without–what do you need, what will be your plan…?  Hurricanes are a good trial run for end-of-the-world scenarios.

What I have learned lately:  A few things I will certainly do differently next time–please, God let it be a while–go away Irma!!!!  I heard someone say that they freeze their gallon water jugs for their hurricane preparations–this is brilliant because it will keep the freezer cool for a while if the power goes out and you can store some foods in there to save or use later.  Also, when it melts, it doesn’t leak all over the fridge.  Finally, when it is all melted, you can enjoy drinking cool water.  Also, I am going to get a Coleman stove that uses propane–one of the worst things during the past week was having no way to heat up hot coffee or get a hot meal–one gets sick of continual room temperature meals like crackers and peanut butter or trail mix…  (Thankful for any food, but some food is better than others!)  I dread the lines wrapping around stores and parking lots full of panicky and irritable people desperately looking for any scrap of food or gas or water, etc…  I will certainly make it a priority to stock up at the beginning of hurricane season on enough necessary things to get us through at least  a week to avoid the panic before the storm and the desperate, dangerous crowds after the storm–gas included–I want to have enough to get out of dodge if necessary.

What I am thankful for:  Soooooo sooooo much.  We just got our power and internet restored yesterday evening, so I am thankful to be able to post on this blog again and update my Etsy store soon.  I am thankful to be able to see the videos of our city during the storm, as I only had talk radio to keep informed of what was going on.  I’m very thankful to all the news people who worked 24 hours to keep us all informed and safe (talk radio was my t.v. alternative and was how I was able to sleep since I usually sleep with a t.v. on).  Obviously, I am thankful to all the heroes that rescued people who were trapped and carried them to safety–it was comforting to know that we had people to help if there was a need.  I am thankful for drivable roads.  Oh my God, I am so grateful for some sense of normalcy returning–yesterday I had to go to get my tires aired up and Discount Tire was open with a station set up to check air pressure for people since cars sitting in cold rain for a while can have problems.  Then I was delighted to see the library was open and the H.E.B. grocery store was finally getting restocked and it wasn’t such a panicky situation.  Thank you God, and thank you, regular people for getting back to work to help us all even when many of you have damaged homes and ongoing hardships from the storm.  I am thankful for the trash service resuming so our garage isn’t full of hot poopy diapers anymore!  I am thankful for the mailman taking our bills to be paid.  I am thankful that my husband’s job is going to pay him for the days he couldn’t work.  I am thankful for the community schools, churches, and businesses organizing benefits to help those who lost everything.  I am thankful to my friends who checked in on us and offered us their generators.  I am thankful to our neighbors that we don’t even know well that bought us diapers and wipes in case it was the end of the world and we couldn’t get to restock our supply soon.  I am thankful for the pastor neighbor who brought us loads of ice to keep our food cool.  I am thankful to the neighbor who bought my kids an ice cream when the ice cream man drove by yesterday.  I am thankful to the neighbor who bought all the poor people on our block who were still without power a hot pizza.  I am thankful to the neighbor who offered us some food from his stock when he heard me mention about a possible food shortage–I returned it since I had no way to keep it from spoiling without power, but wow–how thoughtful and generous.  I am thankful to those neighbors who had power that offered to let us use their homes to cool off or charge things or whatever we needed.  I am just so thankful for all of this kindness and now, normalcy returning.  And thanks to all the other people in the country and other parts of the world who were concerned for us here and prayed and made donations to help us.   Thank you, friends, and thank you Jesus, because I know they were inspired by you!

What I am thinking about:  With all this time and nothing much I could do, I was thinking about making my transition back to the working world–possibly heading back to school for a masters in teaching reading and then when my baby is about 4, returning to the classroom to teach.  I have tremendous respect for stay-at-home moms and homeschooling families.  I also think that we are not all equally cut out for it, and sometimes, maybe the Lord calls us to it for a short time, and not the long haul.  Anyway, I am thinking I may look into that.   This doesn’t mean I can’t continue to work on my blog and improving as a writer, but as I have read from many artists, your art doesn’t have to be what pays the bills, and it may be better if you don’t expect it to.  That way you can be more free to take creative risks and innovate without the weight of the finances crushing you.  I am learning that life has seasons–they come and go–enjoy the season you are in, and let it go when it is time.


What “normal” things are you grateful for today?

Your $0.02