Friday, August 26, 2011

And then...

Yep, this photo pretty much sums up the week I've had. About an hour ago, B. called me to get the lowdown on what exactly has been going on this week, and after nearly half an hour of discussion, I realized that I had said, "And then...!" about 17 times. See, last weekend, the family left for our usual week at the beach in North Carolina. We should have known it was going to be an ill-fated trip when my parents arrived at my house the night before departure and we realized that we were woefully under-coordinated this year. Usually, with a family as big and shall we say boisterous, as mine, all en masse travels are planned with military precision. Its really the only way we can survive. Well, somehow this year we all kinda fell down on the job when it came to our pre-trip military maneuvers. Bed linens? Forgotten. Pre-baked, frozen casseroles? Only 2 for 7 nights. Who bought the various soaps - hand, shower, laundry? Uh, no one. We did, however, remember all of our assorted alcohols, so we decided to forge ahead despite the bad omens.

Now, I'm going to take a serious turn here for a moment. Because what happened on our first night at the beach was really not funny in any way. In fact, it was truly one of the most awful things I've ever witnessed. My dad and I decided to take an evening stroll down on the beach after we unloaded the car. It started out lovely, but within minutes had turned into a terrifying situation. A family had gotten themselves stuck in a massive rip-tide just off-shore, and before I knew it, my dad and I were involved in a full-scale rescue operation. We tried and tried and tried, but the waves and currents were just too ferocious to get everyone. In the end, a grandfather died there on the beach, and I was holding his face in my hands when it happened. I now know his name was John. And he was from Vermont. And that's all I'm going to say about it.

What followed was a really surreal week. Obviously a strange pallor had kind of fallen over everything we did, and honestly none of us had our hearts in vacation anymore. That's when the crazies started showing up. First, we felt an earthquake. A little investigation via Facebook and I discovered that EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE had felt the earthquake, and low and behold its epicenter wasn't too terribly far from my house. A flurry of calls and messages ensued, and luckily none of our respective friends/properties/places of employment had been significantly damaged, although there were a whole lotta freaked out pets. So, we get through the earthquake and suddenly there's this hurricane named Irene barreling down on the Carolina coast like its got it in for us personally. I'm not kidding - our annual rental beach house is literally the highest point on our particular barrier island of choice. So after a couple of tense days of watching weather reports, the Carolina coast was officially ordered to evacuate. We had exactly 1 hour to get ourselves packed and off the island. I've never seen such chaos - both in our house and around all the other houses in the neighborhood. During the rush to get things thrown into the cars, one of my nephews decided it would be a great idea to lacerate his foot and bleed allover the deck without telling anyone. My brother-in-law discovered him, and I spent some time trying to bandage hime up - luckily, it didn't look too serious, but man, was there a lot of blood. So, that little episode behind us, we all jumped in our cars and took off for the highway...where we sat and sat and sat and sat with all the other 3 million tourists trying to evacuate. The Outer Banks are great and all, but their one major drawback is that there are only like 3 bridges to connect them to the mainland. Not really a problem until EVERYONE has to cross them at the same time. Nevertheless, we made it out of hurricane territory and arrived at my house late at night.

Upon our arrival, we noticed a ton of debris and downed trees allover my neighborhood. Turns out a big storm, completely unrelated to the impending hurricane, had swept through and we didn't have any electricity. We took showers, in the dark, and went to bed. This morning, however, I happened to look out my kitchen window and see one of my backyard trees lying across the yard. Half of it was resting on another tree and half of it had taken out the neighbor's fence. A groundhog sat in front of it blissfully eating the downed foliage. And that's when I started laughing. Laughing in that high-pitched, kind of hysterical way that usually signals a major breakdown is coming. But I didn't completely lose it, because believe it or not there is actually a bright side to all of this. I don't have to clean up that tree or any of the debris in my yard!! You know why? Because that pesky Irene is still headed my way!!! So, she's probably just going to cause more damage and knock more crap down, so why bother cleaning up now, right?

Yeah, it was one bizarre week. The way it began seems like a million years ago, and in someways it feels like it happened to someone else, but it didn't. That one might take some time to get over. As my mom pointed out in the midst of all our issues this week, maybe life is just throwing so many crazy things in our paths right now because we're not ready to focus on the other stuff yet. Maybe she's right. All I know is I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yellow Lamp with Bird

I recently deviated from my signature decorating color scheme (i.e. a red accessory is a good accessory) and purchased this brilliant yellow-shaded lamp, which also features a cute little wrought iron bird perched on the base. Its quite adorable and adds a nice pop to my living room (which some may argue did not really need a pop at all - note the green walls and crazy patterned curtains). Many thanks to G for being decisive when I was waffling on the purchase and encouraging me to plunk down the money for it - you were right, G! I know you're feeling a bit sluggish lately, so I hope this little yellow lamp makes you smile!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coming Out of Retirement

Sammy and I spent considerable time looking out the front window. That kid loves him some trees.

So, its been a while. Just shy of a year, as a matter of fact! Why did I go into blogging-retirement, you ask? I honestly don't know. A personal funk, of sorts, I guess. I just didn't have anything to say there for a while. And once I had something to say, I was out of the habit, and etc. etc. etc. But, things have transpired recently to get me off my butt and back into the blogosphere. My friend L (who has created one of the most enjoyable blogs ever!) is leaving today for a cross-country move with her son and husband to their new home in El Paso. As a bit of a good-bye gift, L created the new header at the top of my blog for me, with the caviate that I had to start blogging again (I guess the poor girl felt she would miss my witty banter on her 6-day drive to Texas!). So, here it is, L! My gift to you! I don't know if you'll notice this for a while, but when you do, just know that I'm thinking about you and Sammy and Sandy and Jim. In the meantime, here's a few pics my day of baby-sitting Sammy during the packing phase.

Sammy did a lot of dancing that day, but every time I turned the camera on he stoppes. This is the best effort - his interpretation of 500 Miles by the Proclaimers. Also, notice my lightening-quick reflexes at the end.