Sunday, January 22, 2012

organization is the key

The key to what? Most people it's one of the first habits that successful people adopt to keep their shit straight. Seeing as how I've failed miserably at both success AND organization, I'm mighty proud of the state of my desk at the moment. Who would have thought that my mother's bright yellow keyboard for visually impaired typists would be a lifesaver for me as well! The bills are all in one pile and the organizer is open to the current week. Income tax filed and accepted this time. My to-do list for days off is to get my parents' prescriptions straight and my head, not necessarily in that order. After an intense neck massage and two days of a tens unit, my upper half is sorta wobbly and tender.

One of my old work friends met up with us for lunch the other day and the talk turned to our parents, naturally. Hers live behind her house and have help. Pretty much the same as our situation. Were it not for those two factors, the whole thing simply wouldn't work for either family. Most times, it doesn't and the elderly are forced by disease or finances to leave the homestead. I thank Big Ernie every day for every exasperating minute I've experience during the past five years with them. Their 58th anniversary is on Valentine's day. Gotta love that kind of devotion.

Living in tornado alley, I learned at an early age that it's never too late or too early for severe weather in this part of the country. Equal proximity to cold air masses sliding in from the east west and warm soupy globs from the gulf can get very interesting, even in January. One of the worst that I remember was in late January and it demolished the Methodist church in Halls. There are stained glass chimes hanging in my kitchen...a testament to the power of hope and rebuilding crafted by church members to raise money for the new one.

Quite a few people have lost their lives here lately due to twisters. The storms always fire up in Missouri and gather steam crossing the Mississippi to smack us from Boothspoint all the way to town. The high school was almost destroyed once, as well as one of the bigger industries. It's totally random though, which is scary. The worst was about (uh) six years ago when a big one ripped across the hill where the cross overlooks highway 78 and tore out big sections of nice housing, plus another Methodist church. Almost 20 people were killed and countless others lost their homes.

My most vivid memory is of the night when my brother and his girlfriend were working for Memphis station watching the radar as one headed for my house. They called the old landline and I was oblivious, drinking beer and cooking. Hmm. We headed for the basement but never quite got down there before it hit. Curiosity is one of my weaknesses, so I tried to open the back door and couldn't. About that time, total blackness.

One of them called back and said that it had wiped out a motel about a mile from my house after roaring through the golf course and Thompson's hill. We were pretty freaked and once it died down a little, jumped in the car to drive to SOMEWHERE other than here. Driving in the dark is eerie enough but imagine seeing live wires hanging down as you dodge the trash trying to get out. We made it, of course. And I went back to a dark house where I stayed for one night and then parked in other people's houses for a week. And it rained and stormed every damn day of that week too. If you don't believe me, ask Tommy. He was broadcasting by generator for the Jackson station that was his employer at the time.

Let's hope and pray that being aware and alert is enough. It's really out of our hands, ya know?

^j^ Note to self: She was in Memphis, he was in Jackson.

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