Monday, June 23, 2008

A Night Like No Other

We were thrilled to be invited to the High Hopes Garden wind turbine dedication/music bash/party Saturday night (link here). What a fun evening - - when we left, I just felt like my spirit had been renewed. And it was a great opportunity for DD and I to get our "chicken fix."

Update on Salem UMC, home of Walk to Emmaus, here. I am just sick about it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Miss Independent

DD is getting to be so independent these days. We live a 1.5 blocks from the community swimming pool and she is able to walk up there, spend a couple hours, and walk home all by herself. Before I freaked out, I had to remind myself that I was doing the same thing at my age. And then I still freaked out. She loves the water, but knows her limits. She's taking lessons the next two weeks and I'm excited to see her progress.
DH is working at the college for a couple weeks on some unfinished projects. Then, hopefully, we can get back to work on our new house (all progress has stopped for the last 5-6 weeks due to the awful weather). A typical day goes like this: it rains, mud and water flow into the open basement, DH cleans it up/pumps it out, and it rains again. Frustrating.

One bright spot is that we have lots of free time. I never knew what that was until now. When we were on the farm, there was always a garden to weed, grass to mow, chicken chores, home improvement projects, etc. Now, we sit on the deck and sip lemonade, I take naps on the weekends, I read and take walks. Must say, I'm getting a little spoiled, but it's a nice break.

DD has shown interest in softball, so our friends Chris & Jenn loaned us a couple gloves and balls to try out. She loves it and DH has great patience.
You'll notice that Tucker the dog got his summer haircut. He's so much happier! And then DD found the ace bandages and occupied herself for an hour or so wrapping herself up. Like I said, lots of free time.

Water everywhere...except our home

Thank you for all your calls and emails regarding our safety. Fortunately, we have not been inundated by the flood waters and tornadoes that have plagued our neighbors state-wide. We have had our share of rain, wind, and hail the last couple weeks, but nothing compared to Parkersburg (tornado May 25th), Cedar Rapids (photos below), Des Moines, and Iowa City (river is expected to crest today).

Out of Iowa's 99 counties, 83 have been declared "disaster areas."

Sixteen storm-related deaths since the tornado of May 25, including one in Linn County, six in Parkersburg, two in New Hartford, one in Hamilton County, one in Wright County, one in Palo Alto County, and four Boy Scouts in Monona County.

More than 2500 Iowa National Guard
200 Iowa State Patrol
1,000 Iowa Department of Transportation Employees
Sandbags: More than 4.8 million
Pumps: 114
Gallons of water distributed: 180,930

Photos of downtown Cedar Rapids:

And this is another photo of downtown Cedar Rapids. Salem United Methodist Church is behind the Dairy Queen. Salem UMC is the home of the Cedar Rapids Emmaus Community. I had planned to sponsor two people this coming weekend. Needless to say, the event has been postponed.
This is an excerpt from an article in the CR Gazette:
"A church is more than a building, flooded congregations reflect
By Cindy Hadish
The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Rev. Linda Hansen Bibb used water from her dehumidifier to baptize 1-year-old Keaton Schooley on Sunday morning.The baptism and church service took place at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church after floodwaters swamped Bibb's church, Salem United Methodist Church at 225 First Ave. SW."New life is what our city needs to think about," Bibb said. "So having our baptism as scheduled was one of the best things we could do."Bibb used the dehumidifier water to help conserve Cedar Rapids' dangerously low water supply."For us, all of God's water is holy. All of his creation is holy, so there was no need for me to have special water," Bibb added. "Having it from a dehumidifier or from the roof in the form of rain wouldn't make any difference. For us, it's a symbol of his blessing."Katon's father, Brian Schooley, said the change was just fine with him."She used the resources she had to make the moment special for us," he said.He said it was important for him and his wife, Lesley, to be at church Sunday, where Bibb's message was that the church is just brick and stones. The congregation, he said, is a family, and everybody in it is safe..."

Not only were cities affected, but all low-lying areas near the river valleys - - can you even begin to imagine:
[all photos courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Gazette]

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
~ "It is Well With My Soul" Horatio Spafford