Monday, March 13, 2006

A Weekend to Remember

What a glorious weekend we had! It started so perfectly, well almost perfectly…

As I have posted before, you know that Saturday is our day to do the big breakfast thing. This time I opted for sausage gravy and biscuits (one of my favorites, if I have to have a breakfast). I even remembered to take the sausage out to thaw over night. I was with it for once!

Mr. Right and I have a deal. I make the gravy; he makes the biscuits. So I got up around 7:30 (sleeping in for me – I have early rising kids) and decided to start in on my part. If I get the gravy out of the way, I have time to sit on the back porch and listen to the birds and sip my coffee gingerly because it is a perfect spring morning. Warm, slight wind, birds in the trees, sun lightly playing among the branches... This weekend had “relax” all over it.

I cooked the sausage, added my spices, made the roux and went to add the milk. Not enough to make the gravy! Or the biscuits! Arrg! Why didn’t I check the milk?!

Okay, I still had time. Kids were still playing downstairs and I hadn’t taken coffee up to Mr. Right yet, so I could run to Wally World to grab it and be back in 10 minutes top. I got the milk, plus they had strawberries on sale – oh that sounds so good! – so I made it out quick as a flash of lightning. Yeah! Gravy not scorched, so we are doubly good. Coffee can still be had in relax mode.

I took a cup to Mr. Right to get his lazy bum out of bed because now I 'm actually hungry for breakfast. Gravy’s good, ripe sweet strawberries washed, cut and assembled on a plate – begging to be eaten, kids were still playing and coffee and chair were calling me. I went outside, set myself down to relax while Mr. Right did his thing.

And then it began…

“Hey hon… Are we out of wheat flour?” Mr. Right called from the kitchen.

“Just use white flour this time. I’ll get some wheat later.” I respond so sweetly. Ahhh, I’m brilliant. Another trip to the store deflected!

“Uh, babe… we’re out of shortening. I can’t make it without shortening…”

So help me! I guess peace, tranquility and back porch can wait… again. Wal-Mart twice in the morning before 8:30 AM… and here I thought I had my act together. (You know the saying “Do you know how to make God laugh? Make a plan.”? I’m feeling that about now…)

Eventually we had a great family breakfast within the hour. And I got my coffee and down time outside.

This day was made for vegging and that's just what I'll do. (Think "These Boots Were Made for Walking") Look at that lazy bum, no shower, hair a mess yet as happy as a lark.

It was such a beautiful day that I decided to actually lay out. Fortunately for you, no pictures were taken of that little scene, but it was heavenly for me. (I think I’m a cat in disguise… I love being in the sun.) Afterwards, the kids and I washed the car. You know that they say about washing the car though. Don’t do it unless you want rain the next day. And boy did we get it!

This week is Spring Break for the kids. The kids love it because they get to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I love it because… well for the same reason, plus I don’t have to pay for it! A whole week with no kids to bathe, feed, settle petty arguments… it’s a vacation for me too (even though I know I’m going to missing them come Wednesday.)

So needless to say the kids were excited because their bags were packed, they were going to see their friends at church and we were going out to eat afterwards… life really couldn’t get any better in their minds. Well actually being with the grandparents would be the topper, but they knew that it would happen later that day. So it was all good.

At 8 AM, all the sudden the warning sirens started sounding. I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t just test the sirens at 8 in the morning on a Sunday. This raising of the alarm could only have meant that a tornado had been sighted. I checked the weather site on the computer. Sure enough for our zip code the weather bureau had issued a tornado warning.

How can this be? It looked beautiful outside. There were clouds and a little wind, but no dark skies, hard winds, rain, hail or anything associated with tornadoes.

My daughter the worrier is freaking out in a very calm way. You know, she tried to stay calm, but she kept saying that she was scared. Her brother just wanted to know where the siren was coming from and could he press the button to make it go.

I felt like I had just entered a movie. (Cue eerie music)

I walked out and stood on the front porch. The wind blew my hair softly. There was a calm peace all about me. I heard all sorts of tones in the sirens, so there was definitely warning for all areas. Wind chimes were tinkling musically around me. The light gray clouds looked anything but menacing to me. Other neighbors had walked out to question the scene as well.

I turned my head to see that my daughter had joined me on the porch. She too was looking around the neighborhood. Not a sound out of place. Well, except for the birds. They were too quiet. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I had heard an animal since I had walked out. Strange and disquieting, indeed.

My son joined us on the front porch, clutching his teddy bear and blanket he was taking to Grandma’s. He was unusually quiet and he seemed to be trying to understand it too. We three stood looking out at the serene surroundings, a perfect backdrop for Twister or The Day After.

My mind is starting to categorize: decide if we should head to the basement. Do I have supplies? Where are the candles? Water? Is it really in our area? Where had one been sighted and what destruction has happened because of it? How long can we stay down there without chocolate and a great bottle of wine?

“Mommy, I’m scared,” my daughter said in a low voice.

My son, with a dead serious expression, whispered, “Maybe it’s aliens.”

Both my daughter and I turned our heads slowly to look at the boy. No shred of a smile on his face as he stared out at the sky. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. Now that was some much needed comic relief! He smiled when he realize that he said it out loud and we really found him hilarious.

It was something like you would hear from the movie Signs. Unsettling yet a perfect explanation to it all. Out of the mouths of babes.

That’s all it took to get us going. We had decided that since the warning, according to, said it would last until 8:45 AM, we could still make it to church because if the world was going to end for me that day, I would prefer be at church singing praises to God when I bite the dust. It reminded me of the story about Paul and Silas singing right through an earthquake while in prison. Really it couldn’t hurt to go out with the extra oomph if I am going to meet God… it’s like bonus points on an exam.

As you can already deduce, we are all safe and sound. The walls did not tumble down around us, church was wonderfully inspiring, and our trip to meet the grandparents to get rid of… pardon me, I mean pass along – the kids was very uneventful and smooth.

Speaking of which, Mr. Right and I drove back to town, talking the whole way. We decided to start the date time right away. We were going to go out for dinner, but when we arrived back in town, the clouds were black and threatening. Hail was being predicted, and we weren’t sure how long the conditions would remain. So we opted for a Chinese takeout (Yum!), making it a dinner and a movie night at home instead. Just as pleasant as an evening out on the town in my opinion, especially when you know for certain that there will be no interruptions from the kids.

Before we ate, I ran inside and grabbed the camera, trying to capture some of the beautiful “lightworks” in the sky. I was able to get the tail end of a couple, but really what I need is a faster digital camera. It wouldn’t take when I pressed the button. Oh well. Below is one I could get out of the 20 or so pictures I took. I gave up because my stomach was starting to growl and there was a man waiting patiently inside. Mainly I didn't want him to eat all the wok roasted chicken.

(I'm no f-stop steve, but it turned out okay.)

And a special thanks to f-stop steve for asking if we were okay. When I got into work this morning, he emailed me to see if we were in any of harm’s way. That’s what I love about this blogging stuff… friends can be made over long distances without ever leaving the state.

People still caring about people… isn’t that what it’s all about?


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