Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We're still here...physically, atleast!

What a hellish couple of days. Our power went out Sunday afternoon and did not return until late Monday evening. It doesn't seem like very long when you think about it, but the past two days seem like they lasted two weeks! We hunkered down Sunday night with a fire in the fireplace. The house was still relatively warm from having had the heat on all morning. Monday morning, I got BabyBoy up and off to school. Thankfully, his private school was still in session. Only later did I discover that the city schools were closed and therefore BabyGirl did not have school. Bummer!
So, we hung out at the house all day trying to keep the fire going and the house warm. Not very successfully, I might add. It was 32 degrees outside and 50 degrees in the house. We headed over to a friend's house at around 4:30pm and they were kind enough to feed us. Got home around 7:30pm and discovered we still didn't have power. Dr. Daddy was, of course, at work.
At that point, I wasn't too concerned because a friend had loaned me her mini generator and I figured I'd just plug in the portable heater to that and the kids and I would all sleep in my room together.
Then I realized that the generator didn't have enough juice to make the heater work. Then....I lost it. Called Dr. Daddy...where the F*^K is the ceramic heater? I think it will work with the generator. Of course, he hasn't a clue and is thoroughly UNCONCERNED that we're freezing our asses off. Just go to my Dad's house, he says. Uh, NO. I don't want to drag the kids all the way out there and then how will I get BabyBoy to school. I don't have school tomorrow, BabyBoy says. Parent teacher conferences.
F*^K, F*^K, F*^K. By now, I'm screaming at Dr. Daddy that I don't care if he's on call, I'm pretty sure that one of his 38 partners that DOES have power wouldn't mind coming in to take over for him. No dice. So what does he do? Calls our best friends and I'm sure pretty much tells them that I've lost my sh*t and they need to come help me. Some pioneer woman, huh? So my friend calls me and says I need to pack the kids up and take them to her house for the night. It's only around the corner and they have power. No, I say, it's a matter of principle. And then....I start crying. Awesome. Too much wine at dinner, too many crying children, too cold, too pissed at Dr. Daddy and really just pissed at the world at this point. So, I let her come over, she helps me gather the kids and we head off to her house. The kids are so happy to have a warm bed they're out in seconds. Then I had three more glasses of wine. Needless to say, I have a wicked headache this morning and NO motivation to do anything.
Oh, and as we're loading the car to go to her house she says "Hey! You're lights are on!" Great. Now the kids are all psyched to go have a sleepover so of course we stay. It took a while for the house to heat back up anyway.
What a week! And it's only TUESDAY. But, just when you think you have it bad, try to remember how bad it really is for some people. My dad forwarded me this email from an Army General.

From: Riley, Don T MG HQ02
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:00 PM

Gentlemen, I have been asked by several if I would not mind forwarding
to you the below email that I sent last week to my family. Apparently it
has made its way around to some of you and, although I did not originally
intend wide distribution, I certainly have no objections to forwarding
to you or for you to forward to others as you wish. It is always worthy to
remind others, especially those who have never served in uniform, of the
daily sacrifices of our great men and women now serving us so very well.
Gratefully, Don

All, I am presently returning to DC in a Blackhawk helicopter from a
mission at Dover Air Force Base on the coast of Delaware. I thought I
would describe to you how we welcomed home five of our fallen heroes.
The Army designates a General Officer to meet every airplane that
returns home carrying the remains of our Soldiers - a "repatriation of remains".
I received the duty, and honor, today, getting the call early this morning
as the contract Boeing 747 lifted off from Ramstein Airbase in Germany,
with the remains of five soldiers killed in Iraq this past weekend.
We quickly arranged for the helicopter to take the Army Honor Guard
(from the Old Guard, the unit that guards the Tomb of the Unknown) and me to
Dover where we arrived to greet the 747.
As we waited, the Air Force Honor guard mounted the arriving airplane,
ensured a new and unblemished American flag was draped and secured
properly over each "transfer case" (not yet a casket); and then loaded
them individually, in a slow and dignified manner, on to a loader to
lower them to the tarmac.
When they were ready, the Army Honor Guard then marched to the plane,
and the Deputy Air Force Wing Commander escorted the Chaplain and me to the
plane's steps. We then entered the plane, moved to the flag-draped
transfer cases, and the Chaplain offered a prayer. The Commander and I
then returned, in step, to the tarmac where the Army Honor Guard was
waiting.
As we all stood at attention, the Honor Guard moved to lift each case.
At this time the Commander and I saluted (ceremoniously - a slow, three
second move) as they moved the case to the open doors of the hearse. We did
this for each soldier being honored. Then one last salute as the hearse
started to drive away.
We all then followed, in step, the slow moving hearses back towards the
morgue where they will process the soldiers' remains for transport home
to their final resting places. Further, when the cases arrive and depart
the morgue, all the morgue workers come outside to stand at attention and
salute as appropriate.
The deceased were all from the same company in 1st Battalion, 8th
Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division and were killed by an IED attack and
ambush last weekend. There were no media, no family present (although
they are invited, few come, as I suspect they are both grieving and
preparing for the homecoming), no cameras, and no outside viewers
allowed.

It is all a brief and small, but most dignified gesture to honor the
fallen. The men and women at Dover are impressive, and they carry a large burden
on their spirits for the Nation, as they see this all too often.
When I get back to the office I'll write down, as I have for past
missions, the names of those I welcomed home on a small card and place
it in my notebook. I don't want to lose their memory, not do I want to
forget the honor I have to participate in this mission.
We don't know why their lives were taken so early, but we do know why
they served - because they were called by their country and th ey answered the
call. They served, knowing they would see danger and they would be away
from family and home, but they did it selflessly.
Please pray for their families and friends back home, that God will
comfort them in their sorrow, knowing that these five soldiers did their
duty well.
Love, Don

11 comments:

magnoliabelle said...

I've had those days like yours...I hope today is better for you.

Thanks for sharing the letter..I got chills as I read it and it was a great reminder that life ain't so bad in comparison.

Kate said...

That email breaks my heart:( It is an inevitability of war - but still...so tragic.

Impoverished Preppy said...

Glad to hear you made it through your power crisis, and your hangover.

Thanks for sharing the message about the fallen soldiers, I was moved.

lizziefitz said...

Chills ,tears and a pit in my stomach. Thank you for reminding me of our fallen heroes.

Etiquettely Correct said...

Glad you're okay. Thanks for reminding me of all that I have to be thankful for.

Stylinmama said...

I grew up in a house that ALWAYS lost power, so I feel for you. My dad just got a permanent generator installed this year!

Thanks for sharing that email, truly heartbreaking and I wish more of this was made public in the media.

Mrs. Decker said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. We've all had days like this. Today is our 2nd snow day in a row and my first thought this morning......Oh God No! I am a mom....I never claimed to be a perfect one.
That email is heart breaking. It should be required reading.

workinthatpreppy said...

i say...thanks for just being real...happy vd day!

Karen said...

Glad you have your power back on and some heat. Thank you for sharing that letter, may each of us remember and pray for our soliders and their families.

Karen

Steph said...

Wow! What an email!

Paula said...

That letter just breaks my heart to read.

Glad you survived your power outage. I guess those winds on Sunday knocked down a lot of trees and lines. We were on 81 on Sunday and the wind really was scary.