Friday, June 20, 2008

We're home. House is dry. We're happy.

Just a quick update for all you who called wondering how we were doing in the flooding last week.

We weren't ignoring you.

We were simply out of touch. Way out of touch. Camping for 10 days. No news whatsoever, unless you call state park newsletters news!

On Tuesday, our last day camping, we met a nice couple on a trail. They talked to us because we had 3 girls - they had 4 girls they left at home (teens) so they could hike without hearing whines & complaints about sore legs, boredome, being thirsty, etc. hehe. (we only had a little of that)They took a photo of us together, we took a photo of them. They found out where we were from and asked if we had been affected by all the flooding. "Um, flooding? Not sure..." we said with puzzled looks. They looked abashed, waved their hands, and knowing we were headed home in the next few days, quickly said, "Nevermind, just enjoy the rest of your vacation!" Yeah, sure.

Truly, we knew when we left that water levels were getting close to 1993 flood levels, and with much forecasted rain, were likely to exceed that while we were gone. Past that, we knew nothing of the awful devastation flooding and tornadoes were wreaking on Iowa, and were confident in our sump pump, the area we live in, and that our neighbors would have tried to contact us at any of the various numbers we left. Still, the first thing we did when reaching our hotel in Colorado Springs late yesterday afternoon was to:
  1. find the weather channel and watch,
  2. call the neighbors watching the cats & house.

What we found out was that our state was a mess (and continues to be), and that while our part of the city was without water for a few days, it had come back on 3 hours before we called anyone. Reassured, we then

  1. washed three days grime off everyone
  2. ate dinner out
  3. swam in the pool
  4. and slept in real beds.
  5. Woke for breakfast, and drove 10-11 hours with stops and loss of an hour in the change to Central Time zone.
Tomorrow I will call some of you in between doing laundry, filling the fridge, laundry, mowing, and more laundry. For those I don't manage to reach (as I'll also be trying to reach a few who may still be affected by all the water), we'll be adventuring a little closer to home this weekend at the Quad Cities air show, so will be back to regular life sometime Monday.

We had a wonderful trip. Beautiful scenery & stunning ruins, great hikes, a few biting gnats, a harrowing 57 mile drive alongside a HUGE bike tour on winding two lane roads with no shoulder, 5 National Park Jr. Ranger Badges earned for each of the girls, and great weather until we hit Lincoln, NE tonight, after which we saw no less than 4 sets of rainbows, two of them doubles. We'll take that as a good sign.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Eleven years ago my babygirl was brand new, sigh. She's still just as sweet, with just a tiny bit of attitude thrown in :).

She had quite the birthday too. The day started with a present (an artsy thing, a Buddha Board) and chocolate chip pancakes. Too sweet for me, but the girls love them. A friend took her to the pool while Sarah, Mira & I picked up a small cake & hung around, staying cool and doing some basic prepwork for our vacation. After Rich came home she opened the rest of her presents then we headed out into the muggy greyness, having settled on dinner and a movie instead of mini golf and popcorn for dinner. She still wanted popcorn, but we convinced her the rest of us needed to eat real food and she could eat all the popcorn she wanted at the theater. No, she wasn't pleased, but that's what happens when you are 11!
Hu Hot was of course yummy, and then we saw Prince Caspian (with two bags of popcorn, and three types of candy - a big treat for them). The girls & I read through all the Narnia books when Natasha was in 3rd grade, so they have been looking forward to each movie. It was well done - except for the part at the end when the lights came on and we were asked to follow an employee to the Tornado Shelter. By the time we traipsed through the food court, across the mall and down a level, people were receiving texts that the warning was over. That was good because the shelters were long, warm crowded hallways.
Have I told you Natasha doesn't like storms? She doesn't. The rain was loud on the vaulted roof of the mall, we could easily hear the thunder and see the lightening. After hanging around fora security guard to give us the all clear, we followed the crowd back up to the theater, where they let us back in and retstarted all the movies. The girls wanted to go home but it was still raining HARD and Mira was asleep, having fallen asleep a good 30minutes before the tornado fun. So we opted to stay. It was already going to be a late night, but with the 40 minute break we didn't leave the theater until 11:40. The ending of the movie was worth staying for - the girls were sucked right back in as soon as it started up again. Makes me want to reread the book.

It was STILL raining hard. Rich soaked himself getting the car for us, we braved a few running-river type flooded streets to get home, and settled in to watch the news until the storm passed. Sarah fell asleep in a heap on the living room rug and was lifted into her bunk, Mira fussed only a little while being tucked in, and Natasha opted to sleep on the couch. She says she only fell off once!

The sun is out, but the sump is still running. Our own little water feature HA!
Happy Birthday Natasha. I hope you never have another like it :). But I bet you'll never forget it!