Sunday, May 12, 2024

Spring Weather Is Not For The Weak

I slept through the deadline for last week's Ten Things of Thankful. I seem to be perpetually worn out and I can't get enough sleep. I'm in an exhausting season of my life. I think it's more mental than physical, but since the only way to give rest to the mental part of me is physical sleep, then that's what I've got to do until someone gives me a better idea (totally open to any and all suggestions, so bring 'em on). Now I've got some making up to do with a couple of weeks' worth of thankfuls:

I finished the A to Z Challenge! I had a lot of fun poring through memorabilia from my childhood for the Challenge. I teared up over some of it, but by and large, it was delightful to revisit my past. 

My husband and I spent the last weekend in April working on my parents' house, continuing to sort through items and box them up for either moving or donating or selling. We've had a ridiculous amount of thunderstorms and rain this spring, and that weekend, it seemed to rain non-stop. Not that it would have really mattered, but I didn't think to check the basement until Sunday afternoon when my dad called to ask if it had leaked. 

You know what's coming next, right? There was an inch and a half of water all over the basement. I know this exact measurement, because I stood on the bottom step and stuck a ruler in the water. And as I stood there, surveying the ruined boxes and other items, I would hear "blurrrrrrPPPP" coming from different places around the perimeter of the basement, followed by rippling water. The water was still entering the basement (I read that this happens when the ground is so very saturated that the pressure of the water in the ground causes it to push into basements and foundations). There was nothing I could do at the time, so we left and hoped for the best. We returned on Thursday, and all the water had receded (yay!) but there's a crap ton of stuff that will need to be thrown away (see introductory paragraph about my current state of exhaustion). It could have been a LOT worse, so there's that.

Now, back up a few hours on Thursday to about 1:30 in the afternoon. All almost all of the children at our school were sound asleep. I, myself, was trying NOT to fall asleep as I waited for my last little hold out to drop off to la la land when a shrill tone came over the intercom system, followed by an announcement that we were under a tornado warning. I jumped up, stuck my head out in the hallway, and yelled, "Is this for REAL?!" Because if it was a malfunction of the system, I was going to be ticked, really ticked.

Not a malfunction. I flipped on the lights, told my kiddos that they were getting their wish to go visit the room in the basement where we keep all the extra toys and equipment and where they have asked to go ever since the last time we had a tornado drill some six months earlier. They all popped up from their cots, got an Exit Buddy, and out the door, down the hall, and into the basement we went, along with all the other children (around 70 in all, ages 1-5 years old). We all made it safely to the basement and our safe place in two minutes (woot! woot!), the kids found it exciting rather than scary, and we sang every. single. song. I could come up with before we got the all clear some 40 minutes later. There was some wind damage, some possible tornado sightings (and definite radar detected rotations in the clouds), but nothing came closer to us than four or five miles. Huge thankful!

The first weekend in May was relatively quiet. We should have enjoyed it more.

As early as the day we had the tornado warnings, meteorologists were predicting big storms for Monday night. How do they know these things, anyway? They were correct, and our favorite meteorologist was amped for the event. We watched as he tracked tornadoes on the ground from Oklahoma on across to southwest Missouri. The storm was nearing us, and my husband decided he needed to pack a small bag to take to the basement (I only had plans for grabbing Finn [the other two cats will follow out of curiosity] and my purse and go to the basement). I asked my husband what he packed in his little bag, and he said, "Four pairs of underpants, an extra tshirt, and a pair of socks." "Why four pairs of underpants?" I queried, and his answer was, "Because if this tornado really happens, I'm going to shit my pants!"

About that time, there was a crash on our roof. I grabbed Finn and Nora and ran to the basement. The sirens were blowing and the wind was terrible. It was fast moving, however, and I didn't have to stay down there more than ten minutes. Our house seemed to be intact (found out the next day a tree branch did break off and hit our roof). A small tornado did skip through town, however, and it touched down on a portion of the path from the devastating and deadly 2011 Joplin tornado, so that was scary. No one got much sleep that night.

Wednesday afternoon. Same scenario as the previous Thursday. Kids asleep. All quiet (or so we thought). Announcement comes over intercom that we were in a tornado warning, and it was same song, second verse. We woke up children all over the building, hustled to the basement, and spent an hour waiting for the all clear. Again, there were small tornados touching down in the area, but we were safe. I think I'm ready for spring to be over.

And this weekend? Oh, nothing much. We're in Kansas City. The weather has been lovely. Oh, yeah, and MY DAUGHTER GRADUATED FROM LAW SCHOOL!!! YEEEEEEHAWWWWW!!!

Dodging tornadoes and graduating attorneys. They both have been wild rides!

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  1. My empathy. I understand the sort of stress you're under. We have a lot of stress, too, capped by a daughter with cancer, so I get it. Not that I'm anyone to ask for advice on fatigue and insomnia, but have you tried progressive relaxation? Start with the feet and say, "Feet, relax." Then on up by ankles, lower legs, etc. up to the head. Concentrate on telling your body to relax; banish any random thoughts. It won't seem impressive at first, but after a while, doing this every night, you should feel the feet relax, and on up. That is my two cents.

    You certainly did have a litany of huge problems. Having to sort through what your parents have left, then water in the basement, then tornadoes! At least you have basements to get into when that happens, at the day care and at home. Very few houses in Florida have that, as we don't generally have basements because the water table is so close to the surface. I hope this week will be kinder to you! (But, hey, you've got a great family story to hand down.)

  2. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation! As for the tornado warnings and basement flooding and exhaustion? The exhaustion is totally understandable, but I'm so sorry. May you have a very boring, very quiet, very restful week this week!

  3. Congratulations on the daughter graduating. Much better than tornadoes. We don't have a basement in this house so we have to sit in the bathroom hoping nothing happens. So far so good.

  4. Congratulations and wow and I pray you get some sleep soon. You certainly need it.

  5. I lose sleep when there's too much on my mind. It's not at all helpful.