We are on day two of no power and day two of no school since a tornado or macroburst or whatever the heck it was came through and completely destroyed our town.
It will still be a while before power is restored to our town, so we are at my parents’ indefinitely.
And that’s fine by me. I’m super happy to have showers and internet and a working fridge and stove and television and wifi and a hair dryer and chargers and also my parents (who are both retired) to help out, especially with the kids home from school.
Swim team is still having practice, THANK GOD, because the team they swim for is a couple towns over and while that town was also damaged pretty badly by the same storm, the pool was not, and they have power.
So at least the kids can get some exercise and blow off some steam.
But from my parents’ house it’s about an hour-and-a-half drive to get to the pool right now because practice is at like the worst time ever to have to drive on the highway.
Normally we would take back roads and bypass the rush hour traffic, but with the storms, the back roads are all a disaster with trees and power lines still down, so that’s not an option.
So a drive that would normally take 55 minutes from my parents’ house takes more like an hour and a half.
Tonight Number 3 and 4 only have practice.
Number 5 and 7 don’t have practice on Thursday nights, and Number 6 doesn’t swim on the team at all, and on the nights they don’t have practice, I like to let the younger three stay home so they don’t have to do the drive.
So tonight one of us was going to take the kids to practice and somebody else was going to hang with the other three.
It’s been two nights and about forty hours since we’ve been at my parents’ house.
It’s a 1300 sq. foot, three bedroom house, and while we are all super grateful, it’s a little bit of a squeeze with 8 of us in the house. Much more of a squeeze than at our house.
Number 4 and 7 are sharing a bed and Number 5 sleeps on and air mattress in one room and Number 3 is in a bed with Number 6 on an air mattress in another room, and my parents are in their room, and I have been sleeping in the living room on the couch. (My husband has been at home manning the generator which has the fridge and a freezer hooked up to it, doing a little clean up, and going to work).
The kids have been pretty good considering their routine has been completely thrown out-of-whack. But it’s tight quarters here at Grammy and Papa’s house and they don’t have all their stuff and the weather has been crappy and raining so we haven’t been outside all that much. We’ve been watching movies and playing games and coloring and abusing electronics privileges, but it’s understandable that the kids are getting on each others’ nerves.
And I’m used to all this, but my parents’ lives have also been upended. They love their grandkids but they are used to their space and their quiet time and things being neat and tidy and now they have five kids who appear to be starving to death at all times, who argue and bicker and whine and are tired and irritable and make a mess with the speed and intensity rivaling that of the tornado that ravaged our town.
Our laundry baskets and swim bags and bathing suits and blankies and sleeping bags and bodies have taken over their house.
So when I looked at them this morning and said, “Do you want to do the drive to practice or stay here with Number 5, 6, and 7?” they both looked at each other and then looked at me and said in unison, “WE’LL DO THE DRIVE.”
I’d drive an hour and a half through rush hour to get a break from the kids, too.
My parents are troopers, and I just wanted to acknowledge that.
Now I’m gonna go wash some dishes, do some laundry and cook some food so I at least earn my keep and we don’t all get evicted from Grammy and Papa’s house.