Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hurricane IKE Blowing Into The Northwest...

Emails have been trickling in from my friends in Houston, all having survived Hurricane IKE, thank goodness. A bit worn for the wear, but alive.

This weekend, I received an email from my friend, Skeeter, alerting me she was alive and semi-well in the heart of H-town. She also casually mentioned she had purchased a plane ticket to come to Seattle and visit this week.


Skeeter and I have been friends since the early 90's...as a matter of fact, she just recently VISITED Seattle/me on the heels of my sister's visit in July, coming to the area to attend a conference. We had a very nice visit and had talked about the possibility of her returning for a few days in September. One has to understand my friend at this juncture...we talk a LOT about things that never pan out...and, after not hearing from her for well over a month, I had made the assumption a return visit was just that...talk.

Panic set in this weekend after reading this email. As you know, I have not been feeling well at all and I've been under considerable work/personal stress. I felt I could not possibly deal with ONE MORE THING on my agenda, dear friend or not. I was frustrated my friend would just *assume* I even remained ALIVE without having had contact for over a month let alone capable of entertaining for five days (I hold a secret death wish that I might one day expire in my sleep, only to be found days later because my cat has clawed her way out of a wall and alerted the neighbors of my passing!). So, in a state of utter overwhelm and fatigue, I called Skeeter to let her know I simply wasn't "up" for a visit.

Her cell phone rang a few times before she answered and we exchanged niceties briefly...not wanting to jump right in with bad news of my own pending demise, I began the conversation inquiring about Hurricane Ike and any effects the massive storm may have had on her. Well...

Skeeter proceeds to tell me in a rather pressured voice that six of her trees have fallen, one on top of her home (a home she has spent the last 7 years remodeling with her own sweat and labor), she has had 6 inches of water flooding the entire house and "flood insurance" that doesn't cover RISING WATER, only FLOODING (WTF?!?), she is STILL without electricity and the weather is turning to 90 degrees on Sunday, and...she just needs a break and has to get away. She apologized for not contacting me sooner, but without electricity, she has had no Internet access (she went to her office where a generator is running power for the building to send me her email), cell towers had been down for several days and without an ability to recharge her cell phone, she couldn't make calls, and...she just needed to get away.

As you can imagine, by this point in the conversation, my heart literally hurt. On the one hand, I was having strong urges to take care of ME...I have such little reserve right now and feel as if the life is being sucked out of me by these recent MSish symptoms. And, on the other hand...she just needed to get away.

We talked for several more minutes (being mindful of not running down her cell phone battery) and I ended the conversation with, "I'll see you on Wednesday". Sigh. Double sigh.

Somehow I will find the energy somewhere to spend time with my friend...to invite her into my less-than-tidy home (I STILL haven't even gotten everything put away from the MS150 weekend!)...to feed her, give her a comfortable place to sleep in an environment that needs no air conditioning or electricity to stay cool, and provide a place to "just get away". It's just what friends do...it's just what MY friends would do for ME if I "just needed to get away".

Tomorrow (Tuesday), I meet with some mucky muck from Club Med to pound out the details of my Tysabri billing and hopefully not get arrested for any type of violent act. I have no pretense whatsoever how THIS meeting will go and I am prepared for it to be similar to the past month of contact with them...dealing with stoopid people who seem to think I am as ignorant as THEY are. LOL Once my meeting is over, I'll head back into work for my final shift before my brief furlough, return home tomorrow late night, try to find a few moments rest, and most likely get up Wednesday and begin SHOVELING OUT THE HUT in preparation for Skeeter's arrival.

I think after this next week, I'm going to "JUST NEED TO GET AWAY"...I only hope it's not via pine box casket! But I'll try to give YOU a few days notice before showing up on your doorstep...hehe. And you are not certain if I mean YOU right now, are YOU?!? (**checking past emails from CHEESE readers in Maine, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oregon, California...Moohahaha**)


Sara said...

your post today reminds of one of my favourite quotes:

"Be kinder than necessary 'cause everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

I just think it's so true, just cause you or I might not have a glaringly obvious "problem" it doesn't mean we aren't dealing/fighting with something inside. Who are we to judge?

I hope you have a fantastic visit!

Shauna said...

You're as bad as I am....hard to say no. I hope the visit will turn out to be one of those "blessings in disguise".
By the way, I have a couch that's usually available if you ever want to visit the other coast.


Anonymous said...

BC said:
"let alone capable of entertaining"
"...to feed her, give her a comfortable place to sleep"
"SHOVELING OUT THE HUT in preparation"
"...it's just what MY friends would do for ME"

Yes, if you showed up on my doorstep I would invite you in.

If I were mentally and physically exhausted I would scrape the laundry off the couch, find a clean pillow case and a spare blanket and call it good. I trust my friends to understand that I am not Martha Stewart. Or even Howard Johnson!

Also, Skeeter is arriving from a hurricane ravaged environment - that clean pillow case will seem like heaven!

When she arrives give her a hug and the keys to your car and tell her where the nearest grocery store and take out place are. After the last few weeks of being a stressed out 'victim' it will be a blessing for her to be able to help someone else.

Yeah, I know, it is hard for you to accept help. Get over it! You know how good it feels to nurture and care for someone (temporarily) so why would you deny others that feeling?????

As for 'entertaining' just sitting on the couch and chatting and dozing off is okay - and good practice for when you're old.

I'm feeling pretty good right now so if you (and Skeeter) wanted to come by for a visit (after the golf tournament please!!!!) I would love to have you and cook Mexican food for you and take you to pretty places.

See ya next week!

Anonymous said...

Those of us in Houston are easily entertained these days! I've been without electricity for 11 days now. We've taken to pulling up the lawn chairs where the privacy fence USED to be and watching the cars go by (praying for sitings of electrical trucks).

Bless you for (however begrudgingly) taking in one of us. It'd be nice to have someplace to go to! Sometimes just getting away and into someone else's normal life is all it takes.

Colleen/Pedestrian Crossing

Miss Chris said...

A true friend you are. Maybe you two can just hang around the house and reminisce. That way you can both relax.

hettie said...

Just rent a bunch of movies and don't worry about cleaning for your visitor. My daughter, also from Houston, surprised her brother living in Kansas City. He emailed me this morning that it has been the best visit ever for his family. Hope your visit turns out as well.


PennyAnn's got the right idea there. And if you ever come out to the DC area, I've got extra couches, pillows, blankets, and maybe even a shower.

have myelin said...

Oh sweetie, if you ever need a place to slump on, I will not only provide you with a couch but a whole bedroom.

No questions asked! :D

Spaz Attack said...

I agree with all your "Peeps" comments. RELAX...she's just asking for a safe place to land for a few days.I know I'm writing to your blind eyes, but listen, she's not asking you to entertain her or expecting you to clean house. Chill -- because I'm still letting you know Jesus ain't callin ya yet and it's going to be a LONG time before you get that pine casket! However, keep in mind the devil himself is just grinning with pleasure as he watches you cripple yourself!
(see, my mind can twist as well as yours!)