Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina

It is almost impossible to believe it has been one year since Hurricane Katrina came charging onto the Mississippi Gulf Coast, changing the lives of many forever.


In Vicksburg, I was 4 hours inland of this storm. But, it's ferocity was such that it created havoc even here. DH and I restlessly paced the house as we heard the trees in our yard fall. I was more terrified that day than I have ever been in my home. It seemed as if the wind would never cease.


Fortunately, the damage to our home and property was minimal. We replaced fencing, had the 4 fallen trees removed, got our electricity and internet service back after a week or so, and life pretty much got back to normal.


Unfortunately, many of our coastal residents still live in a limbo of FEMA trailers, blue roofs, and hassles with insurance companies. My prayer is that they are able to rebuild their homes and lives before another anniversary rolls around.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Letters

Sam came over this afternoon as I was sorting through boxes of assorted "stuff" in my office. She pulled up a box, sat down, and proceeded to "help" me, primarily by taking some of this stuff off my hands!

One of the boxes contained letters written to me by my husband, Bill, when we were courting. We were both in college in cities about 3 hours apart. Sam asked why we wrote letters to each other during this time. I proceeded to explain to her that cellphones did not exist then and that home computers were a rarity, so e-mail was not an option. We also talked about the fact that Bill and I were "long distance" and such expensive phone calls between two "starving" students were not possible except on special occasions. Of course, now I have letters to treasure and re-read that I would never have had if all there had been were phone calls.

I could tell that this just blew Sam's mind.

Was 1982 really THAT long ago?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Disconnected

Grrrrrrrrrrrr


This is day three of limited connectivity to the internet and I am not happy.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are days (like today) that this is my only clear "voice" and my only way to interact with the world.


I am being the squeaky wheel. I have called Cablelynx repeatedly. They send the techs out, but they are not fixing the problem. I am waiting on a call from the plant manager. I hope my hair is not gray by the time I hear something.


I am reasonably certain that the core problem is with the equipment outside my house. But, no one wants to take the time to climb the pole and do the job properly. That seems to be the norm in most things these days.


So, I wait. I hope and pray my connection will stay long enough for me to post this.


Crossing my fingers...


Friday, August 11, 2006

BIBO

Just in case you are not familiar with this expression, it means BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT.

I have been doing a lot of this today. For the first time in 9 years and 2 computers I had to do a total system recovery.

I have to admit, this is one of the scariest things I have ever done. I backed up all my data on an external hard drive, printed out my receipts with registration codes for my downloaded programs, took a deep breath and clicked that recovery button.

It is a bit frightening to think of how much of my life is on this machine. I do everything from paying my bills to chatting with my friends here. The thought of losing the ability to do all that caused me considerable anxiety. I hold my breath as I reinstall each program. Is is going to work?

So far, so good. I got my internet connection set back up, my Microsoft Money back up and running, and after a couple of heart stopping moments, my Palm Desktop software.

My monitor settings are still not quite right and my mouse is acting a bit strange. But, I have survived. I can put the rest of the programs on a little at a time.

One of my weightwatcher threadmates (thanks Marla) assures me that this is a character building experience.

She ain't kiddin'.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Speechless

This morning I woke up sounding like Otis Campbell from the old "Andy Griffith Show." Myasthenia Gravis has robbed me of my ability to speak clearly this morning. It will most likely be back in a few hours, but for now, I have to pretty much remain silent.

I find it amazing how much this limits me. I can't call up friends. I can't return my dad's call. I can't call up the pharmacy and reorder my meds. My only clear "voice" this morning is my computer keyboard. I thank God for it.

Yesterday, we had a citywide Cablelynx outage. This is the primary provider to this area, so most of my friends and neighbors were in the same boat. I was surprised at how antsy I became. Knowing that my physical voice can leave me at times, losing my "virtual" voice made me extremely anxious. I was shocked at how helpless I felt.

Fortunately, yesterday, I still had my physical voice. I called up a good friend (thanks Bev!) and felt connected to the world once more.




Saturday, August 05, 2006

Midsummer Meltdown

I have officially hit my summer slump. Heat makes my neuromuscular disease worse and it has been hot in Mississippi this past week.

This is when I begin to go stir crazy. My mind is going 90 miles an hour, but my body won't keep pace. Just getting a shower can prove too daunting a task to undertake.

My husband does not complain too much, thank goodness. But neither does he offer any words of comfort or encouragement. Growing up with a chronically ill mother, he has little tolerance for sickness in himself or others. A hug or an "I'm sorry you're not feeling well" would mean so much. I have told him as much, but it is simply beyond him.

So, I look for other sources of support and comfort. My online Weight Watcher support group, my friends, and other family members give me most of what I need to get through.

And that has to be enough.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Here's to Old Friends

I had lunch yesterday with an old high school friend and her daughter, who is the age her mother was when I met her. Seeing this poised, confident youngster brought back memories for us. But, they were not of us being confident young women. The memories were of us being "band nerds."

I don't remember exactly how we all found each other. I met Becky, the girl who was to be my future sister-in-law on the school bus when I invited her to sit beside me because she was carrying a clarinet as well. She introduced me to Donna, who introduced me to Pam. We all played clarinet. We did let a token flautist into the group, another Becky.

As Donna and I talked today, we realized that our friendship was instrumental in getting us through the ups and downs of high school. We all came from dysfunctional families, but we did not even recognize that fact at the time. There was alcoholism, incest, mental illness, and abuse going on at home. But, at school, we had each other.

Today, we ARE confident women. Donna got her Master's and teaches art. The first Becky spent a number of years in agricultural missions overseas and is now a happy stay-at-home mom of a 4 year old. Pam is a successful professional musician. And, I found out today that the "other Becky" finally got the courage to leave her abusive marriage and take care of herself. I am pretty proud of myself for going back to graduate school in my thirties to earn a second Master's degree in counseling.

Better late than never for a bunch of band nerds.