Friday, December 30, 2011

2011.... a year of battles and bounteous blessings

     As I write what is probably the last post of 2011 I want to reflect upon what we have been carried through.  Norm had several issues with GI Bleeding, most of which were from his diverticulosis.  The worst was during Hurricane Irene where he lost so much blood that he passed out falling against the bathroom sink and knocking it off the wall. 
     In June and July Nicole and I took a couple of road trips to visit colleges.  It was a lot of fun seeing the campuses and spending time together.
     During the summer we had our bathroom redone.  It was a much needed renovation as the old clawfoot tub was costing too much to maintain.  Unfortunately before we could quite finish, Tropical Storm Lee stepped in with all its fury.  
     T.S. Lee was the epitome of a wolf in sheep's clothing.  It came in quietly on the heels of Irene and no one thought much of it.  Unfortunately it caught everyone completely by surprise.  The water rose so fast and so high no one was prepared.  Our town was completely surrounded by water and basically cut off from any type of help.  I don't think anyone even knew we were in trouble at first as news of flooding in Hershey hit the airwaves. 
     I was watching the rising water with a great deal of concern.  When I realized how close it was to our sump pump pipe and was still rising I made the decision to get out.  Till I threw together clothing for the 5 of us, our medications and supplies for the dog, we were completely surrounded by water.  I assisted Lexi over and then Nicole, Ty & I carried our bags across the rising river that used to be our street and then went back for the dog.  I forced him into the water where he swam to the other side to safety.  The neighbors had all been standing on their porches watching us probably thinking we were crazy but in hindsight, I was glad we left when we did. Norm spent the night helping the local EMA in shelters while the kids and I stayed with my parents.  
     In the end, the water completely flooded our basement and was 18 inches in the first floor.  We lost so much!  And what hurt was not the good dishes but the memories from our kids....the precious gifts friends and family have blessed us with.....the sentimental things.  A blessing:  Many grabbed our scrapbooks and photos and dried them out and saved a lot.  
     So many gifts and donations poured in.  It was overwhelming how much people wanted to help.  Even up until Christmas.... two churches bought us gifts.  We were given furniture, food, appliances, gift cards, two Christmas trees.... etc., etc., etc.  A house to live in.
     The worst part was dealing with all of the phone calls from flood insurance and FEMA.  It was getting to the point I cringed whenever the phone rang.  Eventually it got to the point where whenever one would call with more bad news, I would hang up and just cry.  We were also having issues with the phone company since the flood as well stress trying to get a computer running for awhile.  We were blessed when a friend surprised us with a new computer.  The worst part for awhile was communicating with FEMA and the flood insurance without a computer.
     Norm had his surgery to remove part of his colon in November.  After two weeks of complications, he was finally home.  
     There have been other stresses as well.  My girls both having stress issues related to the flood....and the dog as well...... having to pick out kitchen cabinets and flooring and this choice and that choice.  Simply overwhelming.....
     A few good things that came out of it.  We are enlarging our kitchen, we are getting rid of the furnace monstrosity that was in the floor to our living room..... we replaced the stove that was not working right all summer.  I think the guy who was trying to fix it was happy about that too. LOL.
     I am looking forward to a new year of promises for a hope and a future.... I am hoping it will be less chaos and more peace.... we could use some peace. LOL. However my daughter is a senior and so we are starting a new chapter of college next fall.  Guess I better get my seat-belt on in case it's another bumpy ride.  Blessings to all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Norm is finally home

Norm came home today after two long weeks in the hospital.  He ended up in ICU, went back to the regular floor, started to recover again when he  got hit with a large hernia at his incision which required more surgery.  He is finally home and I hope to stay.  He is still in a lot of pain and discomfort and has a slight fever.  I just pray for a complete recovery.