Feeling a bit apocalyptic around here

In the past week, we’ve moved up from daily thunderstorms to severe storms, accompanied by sizable hail and high winds.

Two days ago, I was comforting a sobbing Katherine as we watched a river form between us and our neighbors across the street, and another river cut by the side of our house and sweep through our corn patch.  We’ve since repeated that scene, minus the hail, two times. No, our car probably wouldn’t have made it through the water if I’d tried it.

I found myself balancing on a bucket, wielding a drill for the first time in my life, trying to screw boards to the six-foot-high tomato stakes in Sydney’s garden after the whole thing came down during a storm.  While I worked, mosquitoes tapped roughly a third of my body’s blood. I’ve since learned a bit more about drills since I got towel bars for the bathroom today.  I now have sturdy towel bars on the walls (yes, I used a level, and no, I probably still didn’t do it right) and no fingerprints from trying to hold the screws while I got them in the wall.  Did you know that screws get hot after being drilled into a wall?  I do–now.  I also have rippling forearm muscles from the screwdrivers, which will, I’m sure, come in handy in the classroom.

I hurried to mow as much of the lawn as I could between storms, but when the air suddenly filled with sound, I grabbed Nathaniel and ran to the garage just before we got pelted with heavy rain.  Half of my lawn is now freshly mown and the other half–well, we’ll see when it dries off long enough to mow it.  Forget lawnmowers: Sydney, can we get a scythe?

Yesterday afternoon, as I sat in my office at school, I suddenly realized I could not see across the street, where the kids’ school is.  The sky had turned black and there was no traffic on the road. The kids reported that they had been forced to go to the school’s basement and watch “Mary Poppins” during the storm.  Oh sure, nursery: show the kids junk on a regular basis, and save the one movie of which I approve for the apocalypse?

This evening I got a call from our elderly neighbor, who asked if we had a pet turtle who got loose.  When I went over to investigate, a turtle roughly a foot in diameter was nestled in her flower bed.  I pet its tail, but didn’t want to mess with something so large without, say, a shovel.  She called again later: she got the city-hall guys to take it away, and they said it was a snapping turtle that likely came up from the flooded city drains.  Since I spent most of last night dodging Katherine’s thrashing elbows and legs (she was sick, so I foolishly let her sleep with me) and watching lightning make patterns on the wall until Nathaniel came in bright and early to take over once Katherine settled down to sleep, all of this struck me as just a bit surreal.

Why, yes, I do have the lyrics to “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” running through my head this week . . .


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