My Week: An Amazing Desert Journey/The Great Deluge

Last Sunday was significant for two reasons. It was the day Vacation Bible School started and the one year anniversary of the Garage Guest. Guess at this point, he could be known as the Squatter. I did look up about squatter’s rights in Tennessee and it seems there’s no law. However, it also seems if the squatter has a good case, it will be heard. That has to be after seven years. Surely seven years from now…One never knows, though, does one?

One of my sisters had a birthday on July 6 and the other on July 10. The July 6 Birthday Girl can’t get on the Internet since the drop dead date of July 9. She can still email through Juno so I don’t know what’s going on. I think she’s enjoying her reprieve from being online because she’s in no hurry to get it fixed.

The theme of this year’s VBS was “An Amazing Desert Journey With Jesus”. There were canopies and tents ranged around the track at the fairgrounds and I had loaned 10 of my best sheets to be used as drapes. Someone else had donated fabric they didn’t want back and since it was sufficient for the job, my sheets weren’t used. There was also an “oasis” where the kids gathered after their circuit of the tents.

It was so hot and dry for so long, the desert theme was appropriate. Problem was, the music was deemed as a little too jazzy for the taste of some people so the leader had given copies to one of the musicians from a sister church. I saw her in Walmart one day and she was frantic. She plays very well—if she knows the song. She told me there was no way she could learn the music before it would be needed. That meant I was drafted just a few hours before the first session was to begin. On top of that, I was to play a keyboard I’d never touched, do it outside where there was a good wind blowing and after dark.

When I got the music and the keyboard in the same place, I started practicing in earnest. I went over and over the two songs they were to use that night until I knew I’d hear them in my sleep.

Everything was set up for me to start playing for the group. My cousin (my neighbor’s sister) held the music to keep it from blowing away and another lady had a borrowed phone with a flashlight app which she would shine on the music the best she could.

The music I was playing wasn’t the music the leader had heard on the CD. That meant she couldn’t sing to what I was playing and I couldn’t play to fit her singing. The next night she got a CD back that had been “remixed” to take out some of the livelier passages. I persuaded her to use it.

After I was no longer needed in the music department, I took up a post in the kitchen and did little to nothing to help out. That was Monday.

Dark clouds billowed up and bolts of lightning were flashing here and there. The tents were taken down and the kids were moved inside the large building where we’d had God in Shoes. I took one look at the sky and decided I would head home.

I’d barely gotten on the main road when the sky opened up and it started pouring. It was hard to see the road at times and when a car was coming toward me, it made it impossible. All I could see was a wall of water illuminated from both sides.

I can’t remember when I’ve driven so slowly. I crept along and when a car would come, I’d pray I wouldn’t lose my way. My angel had to steer the car then because I had no idea where the edge of the road was.

Finally, I got to my turn and made it to the house. The storm was parked right over me and the lightning was constant with loud crashes of thunder. I woke about 3:30 the next morning and later posted this on Facebook:

This has been a strange night. I left VBS a little early to try to beat the storm and drove straight into it. It was hard to see the road at times. I prayed my way home and didn’t end up in a ditch somewhere. I spent something like 30 minutes in the car after I pulled into the driveway because I didn’t want to become a statistic. There weren’t “flashes” of lightning. It was constant. I regretted the bottle of water I drank and those three chunks of juicy watermelon. The storm eased off far enough away that I felt safe venturing out. It wasn’t a surprise to come into a house without power–all the houses on this road were dark. After I fed Twinkle and tried to find a weather update on my windup radio, I went on to bed but haven’t slept worth a plugged nickel. Power came back on sometime so I got up and turned off the kitchen light. The modem had a red light and I could imagine myself trying to deal with AT&T today but, thankfully, it turned green. It’s going on 5 o’clock. Think I’ll go back to bed.

I tried to get in touch with the leader about what I could do that night. She was busy when she answered the phone and promised to call me back later—which ended up being after that evening’s session was over. I wasn’t upset I wasn’t there.

Next day (Wednesday), I emailed the person in charge of the kitchen and told her I’d bring yellow watermelon. She was happy with that. Later, I posted on Facebook:

Note to self: Have head examined if I not only promise to chunk up watermelon but ALSO _REMOVE ALL THE SEEDS_. [As with any seedless watermelon, the occasional seed may be found.]

I was amazed at the number of people of every age who had never heard of yellow watermelon! They learned something new that night.

Thursday, I donated an unopened bottle of mustard and that was much easier. That evening, VBS was over.

Friday, I’d planned to stay at home and not go anywhere but the place where I get apples has branched out and their peaches had come in. One of the men from church had been instrumental in getting a load of peaches from South Carolina. I’d gotten a box of those but the ones grown here on the mountain are extra special. I went over and picked up two peck baskets so I have PEACHES!!

I’ve made peach sorbet and eaten peaches, peaches and more peaches. My neighbors have been recipients of peaches, too. I love summer!

Sabbath, the pastor preached a sermon that was very good, complete with drawings. He should do those more often. I think it held everyone’s attention.

There was fellowship meal and I’d taken rice with “stir-steamed” veggies in a chili garlic sauce. Everyone seemed to like it, especially the pastor. He told me he will go to a Chinese restaurant occasionally and get veggies in a sauce like that one. He wanted to know where I got it. I told him I made it. He wanted the recipe and I had to confess I’m a “dump” cook. I just add things until it tastes right. I did agree to send him a list of the ingredients I used.

After I left the fellowship hall, I took a little basket of things to Genese. I included some of the dish I’d taken along with some toasted cashews to add for texture. There were peaches of different stages of ripeness, some of my garden cherry tomatoes and a Champagne mango. She seemed please with it all but she informed me she didn’t care for cashews. Later, she messaged me:

supper was delish… even the cashews.. guess my taste buds have changed in my old age.. thank you

During our more than two hour visit, I learned the canvas sling the nursing has to weigh Genese is too small and her leg was injured recently. The manual for nursing homes is online and I remember enough from my years of working to know that the residents’ needs have to be accommodated. To me, it’s within reason to get a sling large enough to weigh her without jeopardizing her life and limb. How expensive can it be?? She isn’t the only one who would be using it, either. There are others there who need a larger one, too. Not only the manual is online but the survey results, as well. I’ll be interested to see the next inspection published. They are PDFs of the actual forms.

At home, I was in the process of changing out of my church clothes when there was a knock at the door. It was the Squatter wanting to know if I had water pressure. Nope. I called and a main had broken. They had it repaired pretty quickly and by last night, the pressure was good.

It has rained every day since the storm hit last Monday. One of my friends remarked I seemed rather bored because of what I’d posted on Facebook. I asked for a “for instance” and she said, “Well, one day you said there was no need to water the garden…” It was because it had RAINED!!

During the intense heat we’d had, the hummingbirds refused to feed. I figured it was because the sugar water was too warm for their comfort. Now they’re back and I went out to watch them a little while after DD and I had our visit this afternoon.

Maybe I can get this done on time next week. Yesterday was such a long day I had no desire to try to do it last night.

2 Responses to My Week: An Amazing Desert Journey/The Great Deluge

  1. Mary Jane July 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Remembered tonight that I hadn’t read your latest blog, because I hadn’t been able to get on the internet, so I caught up. Must have been really scary to be in the middle of such a wild storm! Wish we could have some of the rain, though. It rains all around, but not here. We did have quite a bit last week, but the heat bakes it out of the ground pretty fast. We’ll keep hoping…and praying.

    • Tommie July 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      I was definitely going by faith and not by sight. What was miserable, though, was sitting in the car with the rain pouring down and needing desperately to go to the bathroom! Today is the first day for over a week that it hasn’t rained some, at least. There’s a 50% chance tonight so we may get some yet. Maybe these storms will move your way. I’ll pray for rain for your garden and others in your area that need it.

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