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Hurricane Brain

This morning when I woke up, it took me a few minutes to orient myself.

I had no idea where I was.  Changing home base three times in a week will do that to a person.

Super Sis and her husband had already left for work, so I had the house to myself.

The dogs seemed to have slept well; their appetites had returned as well.  Pele even ate without me adding any of the soft dog food I’d purchased a couple of days before.

After allowing them to explore the back yard, I showered and then headed over to the in-laws’ house.

Gambit was not having it.  He stuck close by and even crawled on my lap at one point in the morning.

I wound up leaving them in the care of Grand Pooba while Coupon Queen and I ran to Walmart.

Now, let me tell you a little about a thing called Hurricane Brain.

It’s akin to Teacher Brain or New Mommy Brain.

It’s a phenomenon where you cannot put two thoughts together.

It’s born out of the infinite need to multi-task while under the influence of extreme stress.

That is why we were at Walmart for almost two hours and walked back and forth across the entire store at least six times.

I kid you not.

I think I got about 20,000 steps during that errand alone.

I had even made a list on my phone, but I couldn’t find anything I needed the first, second, or third passes through aisles.  Coupon Queen can verify this.

It didn’t help that I was also texting Megan, telling her how to apply for FEMA assistance, which I’d done that morning, was reading emails from one of my assistant principals, and updating a Google spreadsheet with my information along with Megan’s since she doesn’t have internet yet.

Then, of course, I got distracted when I saw a law enforcement guy all dressed in his black shirt and fatigues.  I had to stop him and ask where he was from.  He was a local who happened to be shopping for hurricane supplies to take to Lynn Haven.

Y’all, I would have hugged him, except that he had a gun strapped to his thigh, and I don’t think that officers like being hugged unexpectedly by strange women in Walmart.

I told him where I was from and thanked him.  I told him about my own hubby who was working with the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts.

I saw his face soften as he wished me well.  Later, I watched as he and another officer pushed two buggies filled to the brim out of the store.  God bless them!

I managed to finish my shopping.  Y’all, when you have thirty minutes to pack your belongings, you forget a few items.  You realize how much you take for granted things like Q-tips, razors, and shaving cream when you don’t have them.

I also picked up some supplies for when I go home.  Bleach will be very important because the house has been without power for nearly a week and will probably continue to be without electricity for at least a week or two longer.  Stuff is getting stinky.

Coupon Queen, who knows half of Tallahassee I do believe, ran into a gal as we were checking out of Walmart.  The lady is a pastor at a church in Gretna, which is a short jump away from Tallahassee.  She was picking up stuff for the people affected by the storm.  I listened as she described the dire conditions that community was facing.  It’s a poor area – one in which a lot of churches visit to do missionary work.  The people there need a lot of help in their recovery efforts.

I guess I wore Coupon Queen out; she napped when we got back to her house.  The dogs followed suit.

By the way, let me do a shout-out to these people.  I remember a day, quite a few years ago, when they wouldn’t let Aubie on that carpet.  They’ve softened up a lot!

While everyone sawed some logs, I got to busy in the kitchen.

One of the ways I cope with stress is to bake.  I’d seen a recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie, so when we were out and about, I’d picked up the ingredients for it.

These are Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (all vegan, of course).

Look how well they rose!  The smell was divine.

Here’s what they looked like with the frosting.

Maybe they weren’t the prettiest, but they tasted incredible!

And yes, I know that I need to work on my frosting technique.  I actually left a comment on the gal’s blog about how to make that frosting fluffy.  What matters most is the taste.  They’re so good that I’m going to make another batch tomorrow!  I have plenty of supplies for the cupcakes as well as leftover frosting.

I went back to Super Sis’s house for dinner.

Gambit loves the front windows in her house.  He can see all of the traffic going by.

It was fun to sit at their table, watch my brother-in-law squared (sisters married brothers) cook dinner, and enjoy a glass of wine with them.

After dinner, we sat and watched God Friended Me, a new show that Super Sis and her husband are enjoying.

One thing I am loving is the simpleness of just being.  So are the dogs, apparently, as they’ve finally begun to relax.

We are a close-knit family – especially because sisters married brothers.  We laugh easily, we poke fun of each other, we celebrate the joys of life together.

My new routine doesn’t feel normal yet, but at least I am with people who I love and who love me (and my fur babies) in return.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, here are the latest updates about my precious little town.

The water is slowly coming back, although the Mr. told me, during our nightly phone call, that there are still a lot of breaks in the system – leaks they are trying to locate.  I’m seeing friends’ posts on Facebook about them having water, and I’m so excited!  They can’t drink it yet, but at least they can shower.

The sewer system is still a mess.  They are trying to bring it up to speed, but they are manually pumping it out and carrying the refuse elsewhere.  Sounds disgusting, eh?  I watched a City of Lynn Haven meeting online today, and officials were still telling people not to flush.  They’ve ordered a slew of Porta Potties, but they are having trouble getting them in.

I read one neighbor’s Facebook post that said how it smelled like a circus.

So gross.

This is a facet of recovery that I sincerely doubt the news is reporting.

The public needs to know this, though.

I read that there are people who are being evicted from their apartments because they can’t pay the rent right now.  I don’t understand this.  Where will they go?  Many of the students I teach are homeless.  I expect that number to go up exponentially.

The school district is still trying to develop plans for the return of school; however, with no electricity and schools being heavily damaged, the challenges are overwhelming.

We will get there, though.  It’s just going to take a lot of wisdom, time, and patience.

Please continue to pray for us.  If you can send supplies, please do so.  They are asking for chainsaws.  I know that water and ice are also desperately needed.  Those in outlying areas are struggling to get to the supplies and free food being offered because they have no gas for transportation. In fact, I’ve read that gas is very hard to come by as many of the stations were destroyed or simply have no power.

Please pray for us as we navigate what is already becoming Insurance Hell.  It’s very nerve-wracking to know that you have a large deductible and are worried that the insurance is going to try to get out of paying for repairs.  True story, about a hundred thousand times over.

As always, I count myself blessed to have wonderful readers who do pray and who offer sweet, supportive comments.  Thank you so much!

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