Not a Prepper

A friendly note to readers: You may want to skip along if you’re looking to have your thoughts provoked. If you’re in the mood for mundane, journal-type blogging, well, you’ve come to the right url. Welcome to my weekend.

Friday consisted of the usual events: school and chores. One major development was that Ben cleaned out our attic.

A little backstory: one day last week, our air conditioning system malfunctioned. The temperature outside felt more comfortable than the temperature inside the house. So, I sent my oldest boy up to the attic to take a look at the magic machine that helps maintain my husband’s mood. Beneath the machine is a drip pan. When the pan fills with water, the machine stops blowing cold air. So, the boy was sent to inspect said pan. But before he could take a good look at the pan, he had to wrestle his way through a decade of kids’ fashions. He decided to win the match by body-slamming multiple bags of clothing; he threw them down the stairs where they piled themselves.

We spent some time Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sorting all of those clothes into three piles: keep, garbage, donate. I am happy to say that about 10 bags have been delivered to our local thrift store, Abbey has a “new” wardrobe for the next year, and my attic is almost empty again.

Friday afternoon Hannah and I ran some last-minute errands to prepare her for her first formal dance. (Our homeschool community puts on a fun spring formal every year for kids 8th grade and up). We bought some new makeup and feathery things for her hair. We had fun getting ready. “A Party at Gatsby’s” was a phenomenal success. All of the kids looked so sharp! I had 2 rules for Hannah: 1) Dance every dance, and 2) dance so much that you have to carry your shoes out the door when I pick you up at 11 (because everyone one knows that the mark of a great dance is not being able to stay in your shoes). She obeyed.

We spent Saturday morning down by the river picking up trash. Our local group of geocachers gets together to pick up trash throughout the year. Because Earth Day was the 22nd, Saturday was one of our clean-up days. We collected about 8 bags of garbage in an hour along the waterfront. Afterwards, we grilled burgers and hotdogs and enjoyed hanging out; it was an absolutely gorgeous day!

Saturday afternoon, the kids and I worked on sorting clothing, washing laundry, and doing random chores around the house while Karl had to remedy a work-related crisis.

Around 4:30, we met up with our caching friends again to hunt for a very difficult cache together. It was hidden in an Cold-War-era fall-out shelter. I had no idea those were even around here! We caravaned to ground zero (GZ). When we arrived, we spied the hillside doorway that led into a very dark concrete room. We gathered our courage and went in. The opening hallway made a couple of 90 degree turns until it opened up to a huge room. Y’all, it was creepy in there! Imagine standing in a room so dark that you can’t tell if your eyes are opened or closed. No amount of light made it’s way into that room. When we turned on our flashlights, we could see giant camel crickets, spiders, and bugs were scattered all over the walls. In the corners lay strange dirt/dust piles covered in bugs. There were a few broken toilets along the right wall. I’m sure there were other random things in there, but I missed them because my flashlight could only shed light exactly where I aimed; the dark kept everything else covered.

We had to call the cache’s owner to get a hint. I don’t know how we would have found it without help; it was NANO….think needle in a haystack.

Karl’s Uncle Richard treated us to dinner at Hoo’s Q, a newish barbeque joint on 15th Street. Their smoked chicken with white sauce is my favorite.

Sunday was an interesting day for some of us. I went to church. Karl slept in after working almost nonstop on that work-related crisis mentioned above. The boys went kayaking on Blue Creek. About halfway through their expedition, a thunderstorm, that we weren’t expecting until the afternoon, hit. Rain poured on them for about 2 hours, increasing the water level by about 100 cubic feet per second (I was worried until I checked the current water data. It went from less than 200 cfs to just over 300 cfs in 2 hours. At the time of this writing, the cfs for that creek is around 1500 — now that’s some white water!). Basically, the rain made their morning more fun so that they didn’t have to do as much portage over the rocks.

I had a little bit of a headache, so I took a nap in the afternoon. The boys came home around 4, at which time I listened to their kayaking adventure.

The rest of the day was spent at church, at the store, organizing items in preparation for the bad weather, and watching the tornado news out of Arkansas and Oklahoma. I am so NOT looking forward to Monday night and Tuesday. We’ve done all we can do, though. We have water, batteries, flashlights, a tarp, non-perishable food, weather radio, ham radio, helmets…I don’t know what else to do. As much as I’d like to try, I’m not much of a prepper.

You won’t waste a prayer for the southeast.


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