Saturday, July 22, 2006

NOLA Trip Pics

Unbelievable, originally uploaded by Thepreacherswife.

For those of you who are interested, here's a link to our NOLA mission trip photolog, via Flickr.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Weather Outside

Yes, it is stupidly hot here this week. Temps over 100, with heat indices in the 110-115 range. It's also Vacation Bible School Week at the church, featuring an outdoor sand dune for "archeological digs". It looks a bit more like Death Valley than the Sinai, mainly because of some of the added "treasures": elephant femur, rhino skull, etc. Fortunately, no incidents of heat stroke thus far.

To add to the weather fun, Wednesday night St. Louis was pounded by intense storms that knocked out power all over the metro area. We got an early morning phone call from the Rev.'s parents:

"How much freezer space do you have?"

Apparently, their house will be without electricity for the next five days or so, and they have a treasure trove of frozen meat (that the Rev.'s mom bought off the back of a roving pickup truck, but that's another story) that needs a temporary home. So our freezer, and perhaps freezers at the church, will be filled up for a little while, and the in-laws will stay at the lake.

Meanwhile, we're going to the beach for vacation next week. My folks made an executive decision to switch from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast for a change of scenery (not to mention the fact that the Gulf Coast beaches have had to be replenished several times recently due to hurricane damage). We'll spend a week with the nieces and nephews (4 of whom are under a year old) then head back up to Atlanta where the Rev. will baptize the triplets.

No news on the adoption front lately, so we won't be adding any insanity (child-wise) to the beach mix this year.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Reason # 7,348

Reason #7,348 to thank Dr. Einhorn.

Ok, so I haven't actually sat down and counted up the reasons, but as I was driving in blinding rain to Wally World last night at 11pm on a quest for a pump to keep the water out of the basement I had two flashes of insight:

One, on the heels of being in NOLA it is interesting how big a little bit of water in the basement can seem.
Complaining is a leisure activity: it was late, we were tired, it kept raining, the water kept rising, and after not falling down for well over two years that I slipped twice on our concrete patio and scraped and bruised toe/foot/knee and my ego.
Perspective is a gift: so I may need to repack my grandma's dishes, but I also need to get them out an use them anyway, it's not like the entire basement was flooded 4 or more feet. (What a mess THAT would be!)

Second, (and the reason that I'm blogging) I'm sure glad I am that I don't have to face everything by myself. But it really is easier for me to have someone else sharing in the frustration of the situation. We fell into bed exhausted, resigned to the knowledge that there would be water in the basement in the morning, but we did it together.

Thank you Dr. Einhorn.

BTW: I have bailed that basement window well by myself before, it was a pain, but it was day light. 4 inches of rain fell in an hour that day. And I followed it with 2 hours of what I call the "Shop Vac Shuffle" in the church basement. The church has since installed pumps that worked very nicely last night where were got about 5 inches in total.

Friday, July 07, 2006


We're back. Five days of mucking out flooded houses and two days of driving, followed by July 4th to help smooth our re-entry into normal life. How was your holiday?

The devastation in New Orleans has to be seen with your own eyes (and in some cases smelled with your own nostrils) in order to be fully appreciated. There's really no other way to explain it - it simply defies description, and we're talking 9 1/2 months after the storm/flooding. Nevertheless, we'll post pictures soon.

Despite the seriousness of our team's task, we generally had a good time. The hospitality was wonderful, and the people were grateful. We listened to a lot of survivor stories, ranging from minor inconvenience to personal tragedy. Friday's work day was the hardest from an emotional standpoint - we were cleaning out the personal possessions of a house that had at least 8 feet of water, and the house was basically untouched since the storm. It was a day we needed to remind ourselves that our work wasn't futile, that it would make a difference to someone. It was a starfish kind of day.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the rebuilding process will take 15-20 years, so we'll have plenty of opportunities to return and offer more assistance. I'll be back.

Meanwhile, the world doesn't stop or even slow down. I have labs and a Dr. visit next Tuesday, and yesterday we learned of yet another person in our church who's been diagnosed with cancer. That makes five twelve (according to the Rev) in the last two years, if my counting is correct, in a church with an average attendance of 110 or so. No rest for the wicked.