Friday, September 25, 2009

Was it a miracle or just luck?


Four years and two days ago, Maggie and I packed our bags and headed to the jail to ride out hurricane Rita. Most of the people in town and the prisoners had already evacuated. We were left behind.

Just before we left the house, I asked the "Virgin Mary", represented by a small little statue my sister Mary brought me home from Mexico, to watch over the place. It's not much I said but it is our home. I always had a fondness for the concept of the "Virgin Mary".

It was four days after the storm hit before I could escape from the jail to get just 8 miles down the road to see if we had anything left. I was so excited to see that our house was still standing even though it was hard to see it because it was hidden behind all the trees that were down.

My yard is full of trees and I just love every one of them. Several of them were down. One of the downed trees was the biggest and tallest pine trees in the yard. There was only one small space where it could fall and land without doing major damage to anything and that tree managed to drop precisely in that space. The top landed in my driveway right between my little bass boat and a friend's pontoon boat that he parked in my driveway. It was a miracle.

I just had the last remnants of the trunk of that tree ground up two weeks ago.

77 comments:

Carol said...

I've been outside watching a squirrel working hard to knock nuts out of a tall tree. Must be preparing his winter stash. Only problem is, that they are falling in the water where he can't retrieve them. Poor little squirrel. All that work and nuttin to show for it.

Carol said...

Sitting here drinking my coffee on a breezy, early fall morning. Eating some camp fried potatoes: Put a little olive oil in a fry pan, add a couple of large strips of chopped up bacon, onions, bell pepper, and seasoning of your choice. My choice is Tony's. Not you Tony but you are right spicy now.

Saute that down, add a little water, cover and simmer for a while. Ummmm good, yeah.

They already called from work this morning to tell me one of the inmates cut a good chunk of his finger off while cutting up meat in the kitchen. Sorry I had to miss that. Yeah right.

Chloe said...

I love all my tree's too Carol, especially the oldest ones. I always mourn a bit when I a favorite is damaged or goes down. The trees are the main reason I'm living here, and will never leave.

That breakfast sounds sooo good.

Chloe said...

"Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better. " -Albert Einstein

"Ecologically, squirrels are important re-seeders of trees and woodland plants, busily burying their stash of nuts and seeds in preparation for winter. A squirrel can hide as many as 10,000 nuts each fall and can find his buried food under as much as a foot of winter snow. " Squirrels Are the Most Fed and Observed Animals

RebelliousRenee said...

Hey.... it's great to see here Tony....

and I want to say Hi to wayfarer.... aka Jan....
I've been lurking here on and off since Carol put this site up...
and it's been a pleasure to read your posts, Jan.
I LOVE New Mexico. My hubby, Rick, and I went to your state to go to Indian Market about 15 yrs ago. We've been getting New Mexico Magazine ever since. I really, really NEED to get back there soon. We live in New Hampshire.

oh yeah.... I'm a northern babe.... summer is my least favorite season. So I guess that makes me the oddball on this here blog.... but that's ok... I can take it... :0)

Chloe said...

Hi Renee, Just came back to leave a message for Tony from the last thread.

You're right about Jan. She's a long time friend of Carols, and I felt like I knew her right away. I guess you know she's also a nurse and a teacher.

We drove through New Mexico a couple of times, and I'm always overwhelmed by it's beauty. I think that's where Blonde lives too.

RebelliousRenee said...

Carol...
I am soooooo glad that your home didn't get wrecked during Rita. I'd never experienced a weather disaster until this past December when we were hit with a horrific ice storm. So many trees were damaged it looked like the aftermath of a hurricane here.

There's a place of worship for any and all religious points of view in the town next to our's that's called Cathedral of the Pines. It's called that because on it's grounds there is(was) a natural sanctuary of tall pines where benches were built beneath them. The scene overlooks a beautiful lake. I've lost several good spiritual friends that were eulogized there. Unfortunately those pines took a beating in that ice storm.
They were all severely damaged and what was left had to come down. Now those benches sit out in the open. It looks naked. I still cry for those trees.

Chloe said...

"I could give you a list of great "Showtime" original series..Love them..So many laughs."

Hi Tony, Can you give me that list? I'm 'thinking about' taking in a little TV again.

Chloe said...

.. time for me to get a few more things done so I can go do all my errands. Back later.

Have a great day!

RebelliousRenee said...

Hi Chloe...
yeah... BlondeWino lives in southern New Mexico. Our trip took us on a northerly route... from Albuquerque to Taos.

I LOVE the southwest. I swear I must have lived a lifetime there.
I first fell in love with weaving on a trip across country with a girlfriend 35 yrs ago. The first time I laid my eyes on a Navajo rug I just HAD to learn to do that. I did learn (in New Hampshire).... I wove only Navajo designs on a Navajo loom that Rick built for me for the first 10 yrs. But I'm an Anglo and when I decided to make the jump from hobby to avocation with weaving I had to learn to weave my own designs on a regular loom.

RebelliousRenee said...

Yeah.... I'm going over to TM now. I can't play on here too long today. I'm having a group of girlfriends over tonight and I have to cook and clean.

Take Care!

Ivy Green said...

Hey Everybody,

Just letting you all know we're home safe and sound. 24 hours of travel time from Aberdeen to Birmingham. I have lots to digest, and not just the gastronomic delights lingering in my tummy.

We left Scotland with some tears and hugs for the boys...already got a text message from their Mom how sad it was when they woke up looking for us...but now we can start planning the next visit for them to come to the U.S. Their Dad has been here many times, including overnights in our guest room, but Mom and the boys have never come. She was apprehensive about coming to the U.S. - kinda scared of us - but says after getting to know more through me, she feels confident. Hope I did my diplomatic bit to improve international relations. She is quite an educated young woman with a master's degree in economics, but now devoted to raising her boys full-time. We had several in-depth conversations about socio-economics, international politics, and our respective health and education systems.
They are quite happy with their pick-and-choose menu of private and "socialized" medicine. We have nothing to fear, folks, but the fear-mongers themselves!

P.S. Their people REALLY didn't like George Bush and feel much better about Obama in the WH. They don't know anything about Cheney as the evil-genius-behind-the-scenes, and were amazed to learn about it.

Chloe said...

Ok, not quite gone yet, but almost...

WELCOME HOME IVY!!

... now I'm 'really' gone.

Ivy Green said...

Thanks, Chloe!

I completed my reading of "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks whilst over the Atlantic Ocean. It left me awed. Anyone who might feel intrigued by a fictional but based-in-fact "feminist" perspective on 17th-century rural England, a study of good vs. bad leadership, and the contrast between ignorance and enlightenment, science and religion please read this book.

The main character confesses memorably at the end, "I cannot say that I have faith anymore. Hope, perhaps. We have agreed that it will do, for now."

Carol said...

Welcome home Ivy and hi to the rest of you. I just got back from fishing. I caught 6 nice white perch and it wasn't even supposed to be a good fishing day and it wasn't even near high period. I lost a big blue catfish. I even had him over the ice chest when he broke my line and flipped out. Drats.

For a while I was tied up to a downed tree that had this horrible looking hornet's haven on it. I didn't see them when I tied up to the tree stump because they were hiding under some of the bark. My heart skipped a beat when I noticed them. They were huge, black and red, critters.

I was catching fish at that hornet site so I didn't plan on moving right away. We managed to coexist peacefully until the fish stopped biting. I caught four of my biggest fish right there. I guess you have to take the biggest risks to get the biggest fish.

Ivy, that book sounds wonderful but I'm about 50 hours of CEUs behind right now. No reading for pleasure until I do my homework.

Have you picked up the pups yet? How are they doing? Are you getting the cold shoulder?

Carol said...

Interesting squirrel info Chloe. Thanks. Hope I don't run into that 3 ft squirrel. Probably not unless I go to Asia.

It's bad enough that I'm still looking for the giant beav. Only a few of you might remember that quest.

Carol said...

And Chloe a good many years back I went with a couple of friends to Washington DC. They were on a business trip and I tagged along.

We went to the White House and the squirrels there were really mean. One tried to eat my shoe. I guess the squirrels there are as obnoxious as the politicians.

Ivy Green said...

Carol,
Yes, the puppy dogs are home now, all bathed and brushed. Settled in right away, but I'm a little worried about Meg. She's ten years old with several health issues, including diabetes. After supper and a big bowl of water, she retreated to her bed and is breathing fast. Is that a sign of distress?
Well, the other two are romping, and Meg just came out to see the action. I'll keep an eye on her.

Ivy Green said...

Carol,

That book is a slim volume...it wouldn't take you long.

Ivy Green said...

How is that hyper-link function going? Now that I'm home, I need to learn how to do that.

Carol said...

Ivy, Can you check her blood sugar. High blood sugar can cause her to hyperventilate. If it is a type I diabetes she can go into ketoacidosis, due to inadequate insulin. If her acid level is high then she will hyperventilate to blow off CO2. That lowers the acid level through the lungs.

Without being able to check a blood sugar you won't know what's going on.

Carol said...

When people are stressed their blood sugars can go up because of the increase in glucose production by the liver. Your being home may have stressed her. Good stress is still stress.

Carol said...

Ivy, it wouldn't work for me the other day. I did everything right and it showed up like it was supposed to in the New Post box but when I published it, it wouldn't show up. I tried in the comment box also that morning just like I've done before and it didn't show up there either.

Chloe made it work later that morning. This blog has a mind of it's own.

Carol said...

Ivy, drinking a lot of water can also be a sign of elevated blood sugar.

wayfarer said...

Ivy, welcome home. I hope Meg is going to be ok. Our Lobie (she is my pic ID here) is 11 years old. Meg may just be excited you are back to explain her breathing fast -Lobie has done that when she was stressed. I too am interested in your book, Year of Wonders. It is great to hear that your friends are happy with their health care situation. Strange they did not know about Cheney.

Renee, When I retire, I want to take weaving lessons - they offer them at the University as non-credit courses. I think a woman who is Navajo teaches one of the courses. I have a small Navajo rug I bought 30 years ago.

I love New Mexico - but did not like it that much when I first moved here in 1979. At that time I missed tall pine trees and grass and didn't like having to water anything to get it to grow. Now I love it. I don't have any more grass - don't like to water or mow it. I do have a really big shade tree in front and some trees in the back too. We have plants that require little water. I love that every morning is cool enough for a brisk walk and that it warms up almost every day.

Carol said...

Jan, Renee does some pretty fine work with her weaving. If she wants to I will add her to the author list and she can do a post with pics of her work.

wayfarer said...

Carol, sounds like a great day fishing. How interesting that your big pine tree that fell down years ago landed in just the right spot to not cause any damage. The Virgin Mary was watching out for your house. I remember your house and all the trees. So glad it was spared by Rita.

Carol said...

She also has bears that visit her house. Well, I think I remember her talking about them getting into her bird feeders.

wayfarer said...

Renee, I would love to see some of your weaving. Great idea Carol. Renee, Please take some pics and post.

wayfarer said...

Renee, I have not been in New Hampshire, but have been in Vermont. I bet you have some beautiful scenery.

Ivy Green said...

I didn't see ANY squirrels in Scotland, not even on my nature walk in rural Aberdeenshire. I was hoping to see the native Red Squirrel. They are endangered, being as they are threatened by loss of their habitat to an aggressive invader, aka the American Gray Squirrel.

Ivy Green said...

I got started posting about my experiences with bears because of Renee's posts on TM about her bear.

Carol said...

There was 4 ft between those two boats. The top of the tree with all the branches was much wider that 4 ft.but the trunk fell in the 4 ft span and the branches actually held much of the weight of the tree off the boats. It was weird but appreciated.

There were many stories of people who had trees surrounding their homes and each tree fell away from the house. Many were not that lucky or blessed.

My camp had the tops of two trees on the roof but they didn't do any damage. The wind blew 1/4 of the roof off my big room here. It was the room where I had done most of the work right after I got the camp. I only had it for about 4 months when Rita hit. All in all I didn't have too much damage between both places. Much less than most people.

The town looked like there had been a war here. I guess we were lucky that it had been almost 50 years since the last major hurricane, Audry.

Ivy Green said...

I need to spend more time on that hyper-link procedure. I haven't been able to sort it out. I wanted to post a link to the Red Squirrel and have it link to the site, but here it is for cut-and-paste in the meantime.

www.scottishsquirrelsurvey.co.uk/

wayfarer said...

I have a story about my travels to New Mexico. The first time I came to New Mexico, I was 22 years old and had 2 little boys. I came with my first husband to visit my in-laws who had just moved to Santa Fe. I did not like what I perceived as the barrenness of NM and swore I would never live here - ha!
The next time I came to NM was with my 2nd husband when I was about 40 years old and those 2 little boys had just finished high school. I liked it much better that time because we had just left Montana where I almost froze to death. So compared to Montana I was tickled to be in warmer country. One 2 week period of time in Montana - the highest temperature was 15 below zero. So NM looked really good to me. I moved away after living in NM about 6 years. When I moved, I left those 2 boys and their families - they stayed in NM. For 20 years, I came back to visit my sons a couple of times a year - and each time I liked NM better. So when I moved back here 6 years ago, I was ready to stay. Now I can't imagine living any where else. By the way, I brought my 3rd husband this last time to NM. Each time I left NM I got a divorce. I am not moving again.

Ivy Green said...

Got to head-to-the-barn shortly. My body clock still on Scottish time. It thinks it's 2:30 am.

Meg perked up when it was time to go out. Carol, thanks for that info. I need to be more informed about Meg's diabetes and its effects. It's not a thing to be trifled with, I know. The vet staff had her on a morning insulin shot routine. We will need to ease her back to our normal evening schedule. Meg's "drinking problem" is what first alerted us to her condition. That was about three years ago. She still goes through gallons of water, even with her insulin shots. We have to restrict her especially at night.

wayfarer said...

Carol, some amazing stories about Rita and her devastation. I just cannot imagine. I guess the flooding in Georgia and other southeast states is causing much damage now.

Ivy Green said...

Jan,

Sounds like Lobie is doing pretty good at 11 years.

wayfarer said...

Well, I am off to watch a little TV and relax.

Ivy, hope Meg does well. Great to have a nurse-practitioner on here. I never think of a dog having diabetes.
Night all.

Ivy Green said...

Jan,

That excessive rain was happening here in Alabama while we were away enjoying unusually balmy weather in Scotland. My college-student daughter was filling me in on her weather-adventures while she was looking after our house. No damage here, thankfully.

wayfarer said...

Ivy, she is doing pretty well. She limps when she first stands up after lying down and I found a cataract in her left eye the other day. She has definitely slowed down. She still loves her morning walks.

Ivy Green said...

Catch you tomorrow, Jan.

wayfarer said...

Ivy, did not know you lived in Ala. although could tell you lived somewhere in southeast. So happy you did not have any damage.

wayfarer said...

Nite again.

Carol said...

Ivy, are you going to do some posts on your travels?

For the hyperlink in comment box, use that link Chloe gave us. Copy and paste that example and just erase the appropriate part of the example and put in the link you want. Play with it.

Carol said...

Ivy, I bet your clock is all screwed up. It may take a while to get back to normal. How long did it take when you got over there?

Carol said...

Nite Jan.

Ivy Green said...

Carol,

I only just got used to the time change the day before we came back! I read it takes one day of adjustment for every hour of time crossed. We were only six zones away, so it should not have taken ten days!

I was going to try to post some pics once I get my bearings back. Sadly, it will all be old news by then.

Ivy Green said...

Do you know on which thread Chloe's instruction is posted? I will have to go back.

Ivy Green said...

Carol,
Today was a busy day of unpacking, laundry, and catching up with daughter.

When I unpack from a trip, I start the re-packing for the next one...the refilling of travel bottles and miscellaneous stuff that's only for travel. It makes the unpacking go slower, but saves time next time, and won't overlook what I need for the next one.

Carol said...

This is it. I'll just paste it here.

http://exonous.typepad.com/mis/2004/10/creating_a_hype.html

You can copy and paste.

Carol said...

Let me see if I can do it.

hyperlink instructions for comment box

Carol said...

It worked today.

Carol said...

Do you have another trip coming up?

Ivy Green said...

Ivy Green said...

Carol,

That "nothing" above is the result of me trying to hyperlink. Not a rousing success.

We are supposed to go to Hawaii soon, but that is up in the air at the moment.

Ivy Green said...

text you're link from

Ivy Green said...

redsquirrel

Ivy Green said...

Even on sleep deprivation...too bad I'm a slow learner and a quick forgetter...

Ivy Green said...

I'll practice some more tomorrow... 'nitey nite.

Ivy Green said...

Did you know...?

"Squirrels can swim - and they are either right or left handed."

(I did not know that.)

wayfarer said...

Carol, I just watched the pilot of the new show, Modern Family. It was so funny. My favorite part was bringing in the baby for everyone to see to the tune of The Lion King. A great show to watch before bed. A good laugh!Thanks for recommending it.

Ivy Green said...

I had the new "Jay Leno at 10" show on for the first time. Had been looking forward to Jay's new show, but it's got some kinks that need working out. They did a "bit", Carol, that was a send up of a fantasy new show where law enforcement and the hospital must work in the same quarters due to budget cut backs. It's called "Cops and Docs" or such, and it was broad parody and slapstick funny.

Ivy Green said...

Click here for Think like your dog too see how

Ivy Green said...

I may be out of Scotland, but the Scotland is not out of me. I have been awake since 4:30 am (doing laundry).

That is a beautiful story on your thread head, Carol. Your "Mother Mary" was keeping you safe.

I was not surprised to hear about the inmate who said he wanted to "call his Mommy." Don't we all feel like that sometimes? Who else loves and cares for us unconditionally? I would like to think his mom is a good mom who did the best she could, and is not responsible for the poor choices her son made. Whatever the case, I'm sure there's a story behind it, and another story behind that one.

Carol said...

Ya'll were still going after I konked out. I bring lappy to bed and lay down to watch Comedy Central. When I lay down, it's all over, especally since I was awake at 3:30 yesterday morning.

Cops and Docs, works for me Ivy. Your showing off now Ivy, with you little linky stuff, but don't get too cocky because just when you least expect it, it won't work.

Yes Jan, the Lion King part on Modern Family was just as funny as the first part on the plane but I'd already gave away so much. What was weird was that they just aired that show the day before and they showed it again the next day. It was so funny, I guess people needed a second opportunity to see it if they missed it.

I think the two guys are going to be the best part of the show but the others were funny too. I'm glad you also thought it was funny. I have a friend who never finds what I find funny to be funny so I'm always wondering about my sense of humor.

Carol said...

Ivy, I have a secret. I talk to "Mary" when I need help and I need something watched over. If things are not going well at work, I ask her to sit on my shoulder and help me out. It works.

It seems Ivy from my experience with bad boys, that boys seem to take forever to grow up. I'm not sure why except that maybe, mothers/grandmothers are enabling them. I've certainly seen that a lot of that even in my own family.

My mother enabled my nephew all the time and he didn't start to grow up until she died and he was forced to. I would fight with mom about it but she would say, I'm old, I'm dying, I'll do what I want. How can you argue with that?

Carol said...

Many young people today are taking this, play now, pay later attitude. Is that a good one? That is a good ponder.

As the pro for that case, some of us have been paying since we got out of high school and may never make it to the play part. As for the con, it's harder to get to the pay part when you are spoiled by all the playing. And all that playing without any paying lands many in jail, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

Ivy Green said...

Carol, it works best for me, not to judge. When I am critical of the choices someone else makes, or way they handle something, God makes sure I get to walk a bit in their shoes. So I've been focusing lately on my own bare feet.

I love this tried and true Native American proverb: "Don't judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”

Ivy Green said...

Carol,

You Mom probably found some comfort in believing she was "helping." Maybe that eased her final days. I'm glad your nephew straightened up whatever it took. Like Dorothy in Oz, he always had the power.

Carol said...

And Ivy, when I see all these old mammas, and grandmammas hobbling in to put much of their little money, they worked so hard to make, on thier son's books for commissary so they can eat junk food, I want to cry. I want to go beat their kids. "Mary" holds me back.

I often try to be the surrogate mom/dad. I take up for thier parents when their parents are trying to do this "tough love" stuff. I tell them how much their parents love them to do that. Then their parents call me to chew me out for not wiping sonny boy's ass.

It's often a no win situation. That's why I took the day off yesterday and I'm pretty sure that's why it was such a perfect fishing day yesterday, overcast and cool and I even caught fish and I fried some of them up last night and the house smells like grease this morning.

Carol said...

But I'm not walking in their moccasins Ivy. Most have bad athlete's foot. I know, I treat a lot of it.

Carol said...

And I wish you would have brought back one of those red squirrels and mailed it to me. They are cute.

Carol said...

I watched your dog video and I think I'm going to play that hide the treat under the cup game with Maggie later. She's has a great smeller. I think she might be able to find the treat.

She loves this guy who lives down the road. He often will come over to visit in his little golf cart. When he leaves, she can follow the scent of that cart exactly where it went. She may have a little blood hound in her.

Ivy Green said...

I posted a castle for you, Carol. Enjoy the beauty, and don't think about the parts that served as a jail. :)

Ivy Green said...

Carol,

I was thinking about the Moms' and Grandmoms' moccasins. Like your Mom, the only thing they are guilty of is caring...not too much, but in the wrong way, or at least in the way that has proven not to work.

Ivy Green said...

I discovered this quotation in my e-mail vacation backlog: "I stop in the middle of an old answer, an old habit, an old way of thinking and ask myself: 'Is this really the best way, or is there a better one?' "

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