Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Last Thursday

After I smudged at the end of last month, things seemed to even out somewhat around here.

There was the weather - bitterly cold (for us, here in the South) - and the whole maybe-it-will-or-maybe-it-won't ice/snow forecasts. 

I've tried to keep a positive attitude about it - it's Winter, it's supposed to be cold. If it wasn't, something would be wrong.
And, although sometimes it seems like it's been cold for so long, it really hasn't been but a few days all told.

Even though I realistically know that even if we get snow/ice storms, it'll be gone in a day or two, I still worry, and prepare for Major Winter Weather events.
Preparing helps to calm me.

The only thing I can't really prepare for/control is my son and husband having to drive to work in bad/icy weather conditions.
I try to, I try to get them to go into work early, the day before or hours before. But with so many hit-and-misses in the forecast, they get aggravated when they went in for nothing, and could have been at home, relaxing and resting instead. I can't blame them for that, I certainly prefer to be home.
So I try to not worry so much about it.
I remind myself that J drove to work in some pretty rough conditions last year and it was okay, and R got new tires on his 4-wheel drive Pathfinder, he'll more than likely be okay.

A lot of people wouldn't think it because I'm generally pretty mellow these days, que sera sera and all, but no, actually I'm a natural born worrier. I get anxious, suffer anxiety.
But used to I just worried, and that's all.
At some point I guess I figured out that I could do things to ease the worry. Either deal with/fix the issue, be prepared for the worst, or explain to myself why all that worrying is a useless waste of effort and energy.

No, it's not nearly as easy as it sounds, but I try.

Preparing helps calm me a lot.
I'm one of those nuts that everyone likes makes to fun of for making sure I have an extra jug of milk and loaf of bread if it's going to snow. I don't even know why that's so important, but it comforts me, so people can kiss my grits.

By last Thursday, we were on our about 3rd or 4th Winter Weather Advisory for freezing rain/sleet/ice/snow.
In retrospect it wasn't really much different, no better or worse, than the previous Advisories I don't think, but for some reason I took it a little worse, and prepared harder. I spent the day in the kitchen making a huge pot of vegetable soup, a big pan of cornbread and biscuits, and a chocolate cake...to get ready.
(Which, I even said at the time, was pretty silly, considering I have a gas kitchen stove - an older one, with a standing pilot light that doesn't require electronic ignition to work - so I could have cooked all of that even if it did get bad and we lost power.)

I guess, though, it had been a hard week.
Not for us, particularly, but our family(s), and other people I have a connection with, tenuous as it may be.

I can't even really remember all of it at this point.
My diabetic Uncle is having a lot of trouble with infections, and has to go to the hospital for IV antibiotics every day for 6 weeks.  (My Aunt laments this everyday on FB. Not that I can blame her, I'm sure I would, too! But we offered to help, to take him sometimes, and she won't call on us.)
Some of my fire wives and facebook friends were having health and home issues.

People were dying....I can't even recall who all has died at this point.
One of my fire wife friends lost her Aunt tragically.
An old acquaintance from high school whose husband had been battling cancer passed suddenly.

One of my Dad's long long time best friends passed suddenly, unexpectedly.
My Dad was(is) in a MC before I was born/when I was a baby/kid, so his friends were in my life as I was growing up, like Uncles.
This particular one was closer than the others, his wife was my Mom's friend and my Aunt's sister-in-law, their son was about the same age as me, we spent a lot of time together as familys, outside the Club.
He's the reason I have (had) good posture/stance (better when I was younger).
After I got older, doing my own thing, I didn't hang out with my parents or their (old) friends - (haaa, their "old" friends would have been younger than I am now) - and after I married and had kids of my own and all, I pretty much lost touch with most of his friends. I'd see them here and there, over the years, but rarely.
But even so, it felt like a great loss.

Mom had texted to tell me about him being found dead, and how upset my Dad was.
She said he'd lost another friend the weekend before, and one of her old school friends had passed away. I knew about him, my Aunt had gone to his funeral.

Then I was like, holy hell, my parents are at the age where their friends are going to start dropping like flies.

The hospital J's Dad was in called and told him they'd moved him to ICU because he had fluid in his lungs, so that Thursday, J and his brother went up there to visit him, while I tried to assuage my worry over the weather - particularly R having to drive in it - with cooking.

J texted later and said they'd thought his Dad had had a light heart attack. I was like, Oh, hmm, but not especially concerned because light heart attack. People have major heart attacks every day and survive. Light heart attacks aren't big deals these days, are they?

At some point that day, my fire wife friend who'd lost her Aunt, came home after the funeral to find out she'd lost her job without any warning. Holy crap. Who does that to someone??

Then....a guy I'd gone to school with, hadn't seen in 30 years, or probably spoke with either, but we've been "friends" on FB for a couple of years....he did something terrible, didn't say exactly what, but broke his wife's trust to the point she threw him out and his kids aren't speaking to him.
He's tore up, broken hearted, crying, wondering why he doesn't just end it all, begging forgiveness, etc etc. all on his FB page.
If he did what I think he did, I don't want to have any sympathy for him, but he's just so darn pitiful.

At this point, I was literally crying for all these people and everything. I don't cry easily.
And, I hate to cry.
So I decided it was time for a facebook break awhile.
Whooooo weeee!

I got in my pajammies and took my kindle and was just crawling under my electric blanket when I heard J in the livingroom talking to someone on the phone. Nothing unusual about that, but then it sounded like, from what I gathered from his end of the conversation, that it was a nurse or someone from the hospital where his Dad was, and she was asking him to make a/some decision he didn't want to.
He said, "He wasn't that far gone when I was just up there earlier," and, "I'll just come up there. I'll be there in about half an hour."

I was already getting dressed when he came in here, knowing it was bad.
He was in denial. He lives in denial pretty much most of the time, but I guess I assumed with him being so "medically trained", even he would see when serious was serious.
His Dad was all but dead when we got there, and I can't imagine he went from "Okay" to that condition in the few hours since they'd visited him that day.

He passed away about 3 hours after we got there.

Then we had to plan a funeral - or as I call them, torture sessions - over the weekend.
With potential snow/ice weather coming.

Luckily the weather wasn't bad after all, and we got through the torture session funeral.

A distant cousin of J's had passed away on Saturday. We didn't really know him, but his daughter is with the local Forestry unit and works with J and also R out here on big brush/woods fires, so J went to pay his respects last night.

Yesterday the weather prediction was for freezing rain/sleet/rain.snow again overnight into this morning.
I wasn't too worried about it....until it actually started sleeting.
Even then, the temps were above freezing, and it alternated with rain, so no big deal.
But every time I tried to go sleep, ice pellets would start hitting the window.
Around 2'ish am I gave up and got up and sat in the recliner and read until it was time for R to get up at 4am.

The temps were still right at freezing at that point, so I was pretty sure the road temps would be warmer and wouldn't be icy. R texted when he got there and said it hadn't been any problem.

I went to bed after that. J got up, he had to work at the ambulance today. He woke me up later to tell me it was snowing, it was accumulating, and he was leaving early to make sure he had plenty of time to get down there.
I may or may not have grunted at him.
Anyway I woke up later to a dusting of rapidly melting snow/sleet.

Which brings us to Round 3. The Good One, they're saying.
(No, not compared to Up North..but for around here, where snow is generally atypical.)

We're under a Winter Weather Warning this time, starting tomorrow at 10am, through Thursday at 10pm. Expected to get anywhere from 2" to 6-7" inches of snow out of this one.

J & R are both off tomorrow, so that's a good thing.

R called while ago, leaving work, and asked if he needed to stop and get 4 loaves of bread and 16 jugs of milk.
I said, well, I felt like I needed him to.
Even though I already have milk & bread.
Apparently the actual milk & bread itself isn't the....thing. The soother. I don't know.

Anyway, he's not stopping to buy more, and (unless I break down and send J in the morning) I may be making it through this big weather event without buying more milk & bread.

Then I just have to not fret about them making it to work on Thursday.

Or wondering who's going to die next.

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