Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Weekend Update

If I wait until I have a leisurely moment to write, I will never write again. So, I'm going to begin this, even though my daughter is whining because "Max & Ruby" ended and she wants to make cherry juice, just like Ruby, and my sons are making noodles for lunch and the dryer buzzer sounded long ago and in fifteen minutes the 15-month old baby will return from his lunch with his mommy.

* * *

So, now it's 2:30 p.m. The boys finally finished their history assessments (on the Constitution) and math problems (Probability and Statistics, which they don't get "get"). My daughter is upstairs "napping," which mainly consists of watching PBS instead of sleeping and the 15-month old sleeps soundly, despite the boy noise coming through up the heating vents.

Last Friday, a huge, unexpected windstorm blew through our area. I was about to drag myself out of bed at 7:45 a.m. when the electricity shut off at 7:40 a.m. I drowsily thought I ought to get dressed, just in case a tree fell on our house (I'm often an alarmist), but first, I called my husband to see if he had power at the church. He did not. (As it turned out, some 50,000 customers were without power, some for days.) I joked, "I am going to be so mad if a tree falls on our house and ruins my trip!"

A few minutes later, after I dressed and ambled downstairs, I heard a noise outside, a noise besides the howling wind. I peeked out an upstairs window and saw a firetruck with lights flashing near the cul-de-sac, so I put on a jacket and went out to see what happened.

My next door neighbor was huddled with the middle-of-the-cul-de-sac neighbor (and friend) and her 7-year old and 5-year old. She clutched the leash to her dog in her free hand. The children had only socks on. I said, "Do you want to come to my house?" and they did, leaving behind their van with one door open and a large tree covering it. We put the dog in our fenced backyard because their fence was demolished.

This is what happened. First, a big tree uprooted and fell onto another neighbor's house, actually sheering off a corner of the house and narrowly missing the home's occupants who were in their car in the driveway. After that, my friend rushed her children out to their van so they could leave their home. She worried that another tree might fall on their house. (We have a lot of trees in our neighborhood, giant, stately Douglas Firs.) She put the kids in the van and as she stood in the driveway, about to climb in, she heard a terrifying sound and looked up to see an enormous tree falling toward the van. She didn't know what to do. The kids were in the van. So, she got in, too.

The roof of the two-story house broke the fall of the tree and literally broke the tree, too, so only half the tree landed on the van, smashing the roof a little and breaking the back window. The repair will take six weeks.

So, I spent my Friday morning with my neighbor while her kids played with mine in our powerless house. Her husband eventually arrived and they made calls and before we knew it, guys with chainsaws were cutting up the fallen trees. The roof of the house was caved in a little, but all things considered, the damage is minor. You can still see into the bedroom of the other house through the lopped off corner. The neighbors departed about noon, I guess, and the power finally came on at 1:45 p.m., so I was able to shower. At that point, the temperature had dipped to sixty degrees in the house.

By 5:00 p.m., my friends arrived to pick me up. By 6:00 p.m., we were eating in the bar of a local restaurant, sharing appetizers and eating big salads. By 9:30 p.m., we'd arrived at the ocean cottage. By 10:30 p.m., our Hostess with the Mostess had figured out how to get the gas fireplace burning . . . she followed all the steps, yet the flame stayed small until her dad told her (via cell phone held in the driveway where she found a tenuous connection) to smack the thermostat on the wall. Of course! Forget logic and following directions and just give the thing a whack!

When we crawled into our individual beds around midnight, the sheets were so cold--and stayed cold even an hour later (I had to read before sleeping, of course). So I went to sleep huddled shivering and woke to warmth and sunshine.

I have a little anxiety--performance anxiety, you might say--and feel a little self-conscious about describing the weekend because my friend (The Hostess) raved about my blog to the other three women. And now they have the address, so "hi!" to them. Welcome to unvarnished world of Actual Unretouched Photo.

Let me just say that my worst fear came true and they were all beautiful and thin and sported lovely manicured fingernails and cute haircuts and jeans much smaller than I've ever worn in my life. None of this is fair, of course, but I did get more scrapbooking pages done because I do simpler layouts and they all had to be extravagantly creative and use embellishments and computer-generated fonts and digitized photos.

I walked on the shore a couple of times, soaking in the sunshine and trying to hypnotize the sun into setting slower and taking pictures which I can only hope capture a fraction of the beauty of the vast ocean. We went to "town," where we bought more scrapbooking supplies and tacky souvenirs from a shop overflowing with kitschy junk I wouldn't pay a dime for at a garage sale. (Well, maybe a dime.) We viewed the lighthouse up close, photographed it, posed by the chain-link fence (me thinking, if I stand behind her a little and turn sideways, I will look almost as narrow as these tall, thin women--I'll let you know if that worked out for me).

We watched a terrible movie (Must Love Dogs.) "I saw that," I said. "Was it good?" they said. "Uh, not really. But it should be. But it's terrible. You'll see." Afterwards: "I can't believe I watched that whole movie! It was awful!" (I only watched half of it and wandered back downstairs to scrapbook some more.)

We ate, we laughed, we talked (someone stop me, please--at least I didn't tell the decapitated hamster story), we snipped, cropped, stuck pictures in scrapbooks, we read, we slept, we gazed at the ocean. I searched in vain for an unbroken sand dollar--I have such a fixation with them. Saturday night, I saw a bicyclist riding near the waves at low tide with a horse tethered to one hand and a dog leashed to the other. I hope that silhouette turns out.

Three nights, four days, two complete scrapbooks (almost). Good times. Our hostess encouraged us to make the best of our re-entry into the real world so our husbands would be inclined to send us away again for a long weekend.

What a glorious weekend!

And now the baby is crying, my son's due home from school, my fingers are cold and I have to go.

17 Comments:

Blogger houseband00 said...

After a bad windstorm and " Must Love Dogs." I sincerely hope that you're alright. =)

4:05 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Darling said...

I have no words.

Yes I do. I actually have three words. lucky lucky you sigh

4:28 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Sounds refreshingly wonderful. Do tell more, I was just starting to relax. :)

4:29 PM  
Blogger Jack-on-the-Lake said...

Welcome back! You were missed.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Julana said...

Mel,
I'm glad you got away. Sounds like a great time. Moms need that.
(Thank you for not sharing the hamster story.)
--Now I'm self-conscious that tall, thin, long-haired blondes with long manicured fingernails, dressed in black,driving SUVs, Hummers, Lexuses, BMWs, and Mercedes might be reading your comments.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Seafoam said...

When my sheets are cold like that, I warm them with my hair dryer before I get in. It works great.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Marisa said...

I love unbroken sand dollars. Everytime I go to the Oregon Coast I look for them. I don't think I've ever found one, but it doesn't stop me from looking.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Sigh.....it sounds so nice and peaceful. I would love a weekend away like that.

7:42 PM  
Blogger EmmaSometimes said...

Im with Yvonne, me too. (a little green here..)

9:18 PM  
Blogger The Daring One said...

Sounds like such a fun escape. Enjoy readjusting to "life."

11:05 PM  
Blogger Brandie said...

Sounds like a great time!! Glad you were able to get away =)

11:09 PM  
Blogger Krisco said...

What a great post! Good luck on your re-entry. Great job on your scrapbooking! I am impressed!

And what a bummer about your neighbor's house, and thank goodness in regard to the van story. That is beautiful that she got back in there with them. Man, what WOULD you do?!!! Exactly that, I guess.

11:31 PM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

On one of our regular New Year's trips to the Outer Banks, we found the beach littered with sand dollars, intact and of all different sizes. It was amazing. Haven't seen any down there for years, however.

Sounds like a recuperative enjoyable weekend with the ladies. I'm glad you had a chance to get away. :)

Suzanne

5:07 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

Sounds like you had a nice getaway.

7:38 AM  
Blogger portuguesa nova said...

I'm so grateful to you for the "must love dogs" portion of this post. For some reason I have been weirdly tempted to order it on On Demand....which I never do, since we have more free t.v. and Netflix than we know what to do with. But a little part of me knows that I will be very disappointed.

You are right though...it *should* be a good chick flick.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

I love the picture of the guy on a bike with the horse, but what a strange thing to see!

You need a digital camera, so you can see the pictures right away and take hundreds of the same shot so you can always get the perfect picture! I think you need to ask for a digital SLR for Christmas. If anyone deserves it, you do!

4:07 AM  
Blogger Krisco said...

The brilliance of hopping back into that van really struck me. (No pun intended.)

It struck me so much, I wrote a little post about it.

Thanks for sharing that story.

9:21 PM  

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