Thursday, May 26, 2011


Well.  Before I jump into the pile of work that is rising by the moment, I had better take a minute to survey what is in front of me and try to separate this big pile of mental debris so I can be realistic about what can be done with this day....

Friday: Rehearsal dinner for Erin and Daniel's Wedding. It was driving in the pouring rain that made us realize with white knuckle moments, sliding around on the highway, just how badly we need new tires.  In the budget for money, but we've just bonked on making time for it.  What a silly way to die...just too busy to change the tires?

Saturday:  The big day when we would set up the pool, use the weed-wacker for the first time, and try out the new manual lawn mower I snagged for a mere 3 dollars at an estate sale the day before.  The reality: the brand new expensive weedwacker wouldn't start.  The pool was mostly set up, but we ran out of time to put on the filter, since we spent such a ridiculous amount of time trying to start the weedwacker.  And the grass was much too wet to even try to mow, even after a day of sunshine.  The yard is soup.  We were sunburned.  Went to the wedding and danced like a fool. Exactly the right thing after such a frustrating day.  Came home and slept deeply.

Sunday: Church in the morning where I could not concentrate.  This is something I can't write about publicly, but I had noise in my head, a frantic static.  This situation still has to be addressed and I know how hard it is going to be to address and I don't have the guts to do it right now.  It has to wait.  My elbows itched.
At the Block Street Party

After church, we headed down to the Block Street Party to support friends who were displaying work there.  Heartwood couldn't muster enough volunteer power to man a booth and I couldn't must the strength to make it happen.  I feel simultaneously bad about this and glad that I didn't sacrifice my family time and Sabbath for something I couldn't realistically take on.  Points to me for recognizing a limit.   We ate amazing food from Hammondtree's Grillenium Falcon.  Cheese = Comfort.   Came home to try to nap a bit while finishing laundry and thinking about what needed to be done before Robb and I could leave for Savannah.  Tried to keep our Sunday night tradition of toast and hot chocolate, America's Funniest Home Videos and an episode of Alias on DVD.  Folding laundry left over from Saturday kind of bulged in on that. More itchiness, this time on the palms of my hands.

Awoke Monday morning to the news of Joplin's disaster.  That file is just too large to process.  Had to pack and get ready to go.  Covered with itchy spots. Fearing poison ivy until I figured out it was hives.   Hurry to the airport.  Reminded again to get new tires as we drove in the pouring rain.  More white knuckles.  Slapping head over not taking the van instead.  Breathed a sigh of what we now know was misplaced relief that the worst was over.  Flight delayed.  And delayed. And delayed.  For 4 hours.    Finally got on the plane where we flew straight through the storm with heavy turbulence most of the way.  I don't deal with motion sickness well.  I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate instead of breathing calmly.  Nauseous, lips and fingers numb from trying to breathe slowly, feet freezing from the air conditioning at my feet, miserable.  Learned later that Robb was scared too.  Which means it was bad.   Finally, we descended in Atlanta, late, but with enough time to eat a meal and drink a beer.  Which helped me sleep through the next, much smoother flight.  Where a baby behind us wailed miserably through take off and landing.  Poor little thing.  I wished I could join him.

We had high hopes of having Monday evening to relax and see Savannah a bit, but it was late.  We crashed.  I awoke to blistered hives everywhere.  I took a Claritin for the first time in my life and was grateful when it halted the swelling I could feel in my lip at the hotel breakfast room.   We had a couple of hours to spend before starting the book buying, so we headed out about 40 minutes to the edge of Tybee Island where we saw dolphins (and took work calls) on the pier.  We didn't realize that that couple of hours on that 96 degree pier would be the best part of the whole trip.

From noon to six that day, we were in a room the size of my bathroom with no windows buying used textbooks.  I will not elaborate on that part of the day. Except that I understand now why Robb dreads traveling.

By this time, we knew that horrible weather was headed in the direction of our kids and home. Back at the hotel, we were glued to the Weather channel, waiting for the worst.  Completely helpless.  Outside, Savannah was balmy and beautiful but we couldn't enjoy it.  Calculating that we were in for a long night, we walked to a restaurant and ate on their rooftop terrace to fortify us for whatever we would face that night.  We communicated almost nonstop with friends and family on our phones, grateful for our friend Adam who was staying with the kids.  He made the decision to take them to the University campus where he lives and works, knowing they would be safer in the cement walls of the dorms than our subdivision if anything really went wrong.   We sat with phones, open laptops and the Weather Channel long into the night, watching the storms pound Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. The storms broke around home, to the north and south of us.  Adam reported that everything was fine. To the south of home, things were bad.

Exhausted from the short night, we had to be back at the school at 8 a.m. to finish the book-buying by noon, pack up the boxes, do the paperwork, arrange a truck for shipping, fed-ex the printers and supplies back to Robb's work and get lunch.  It was 98 degrees. The hives were the worst that morning, but the Claritin worked. After a busy morning of book buying, we had a few hours and drove out to St. Boneventure Cemetery.  I don't know why, but cemeteries tend to relax me.  It was beautiful and theatrical, just like all of Savannah, a town that knows who it is and has no need to try to be anything else.  I took a lot of pictures.

And then it was time to go back to the airport, where were delayed again, but prepared with an overnight bag if we couldn't get back home.  Savannah to Atlanta was short and smooth. We didnt' have enough time for a sit down meal in the ATL airport, and had our supper on our knees, sitting in very full plane that had to stop on the runway for a mechanical glitch and get back in line for take off, and then in flight, the pilot decided to skirt the storms that were hitting Little Rock and Memphis, which took longer, but resulted in a much smoother and less terrifying flight.
From the plane window, storm over Little Rock

Robb rejoiced that it was not raining as we drove home, kissed our sleeping babies, and sank into bed, exhausted.  Not the happy getaway we hoped for.  In fact, we mutually agreed that it was the worst trip ever. 

Here at home, I have boxes to ship.  The flea market to stock. Phonecalls to make. Sales to attend.  Menus to make. Housework to do.

But I am home. And we are safe.  And the car is going to the shop.


Gingiber said...

Oh Vanessa. So sorry that your trip was less than stellar. I really appreciate your coming down to support us on Sunday! Praying that the next several days are way more relaxing for you and your fam!

Holly said...

I am tired after reading this!

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