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Song Lyric of the Day:

So keep your eyes set on the horizon / On the line where blue meets blue / And I would let that silver lining / Where I know it’d find you soon

Rachel Platten / “1000 Ships

I’m writing this at 11:30PM because this is the first real free time I’ve had all day. That’s pretty much how things have been going lately, at breakneck speed. The Relay for Life went really well. I made it through the night, which was a bit more challenging for me this year as it was my first night away from Coraline (at 267 days old). Sure, I was still in town, but I wasn’t around for her evening playtime, bedtime ritual, or morning wakeup. As it turned out, after being up for almost 24 hours straight, I only managed to quasi-nap for about three hours when I got home the morning after the Relay. The rest of the day I would essentially pass out anytime I sat down or got comfortable. Made for a long weekend. This year it took me about three days to feel like I’d fully recovered from the Relay — sucks getting older sometimes.

The week after the Relay was a doozy. Rich went out of town for work for the first time in ages, the first time Coraline and I would be alone in our new house. Rich was only gone one night, but that happened to be the Night the Lights Went Out in Knoxville. No sooner had I put Coraline to bed than a massive storm moved in, causing our lights to flicker a couple of times. I managed to find flashlights and candles just in time for when the power fully went out. I managed to get a few messages out via Twitter/Facebook using my cellphone, but since I don’t have a smartphone (just a semi-intelligent one), I couldn’t receive any responses in return, save for a few Twitter direct messages. The next day my sister came to my and Coraline’s rescue: She brought big bags of ice to try and save food we had in the freezer and then dropped us off at our parents’ house across town so I could work and we could enjoy air conditioning. When Rich got home later that night, he bought more ice to try to keep the stuff in the freezer as frozen as possible. The power ended up being out for four full days, so we lost everything in our main refrigerator in the kitchen as well as in the secondary fridge in our downstairs kitchenette. Rich managed to pack the freezer items into coolers and get them to his parents’ house’s freezer just in time. I can’t tell you how happy I was that he got stuff over there when he did, since I had frozen bags of breastmilk I was in danger of losing, which would have devastated me.

We spent the next couple nights coming home from work to a hot, dark house. Thursday night another massive storm hit, which woke me up at 1:45AM and had me up and terrified all night that a tornado was going to hit — it was that bad.  The next night, Friday, we packed up for our friends’ house in Sequoyah Hills; they’d invited us to stay at their house since their power had been restored the day before. Coraline and I spent two nights sleeping in air-conditioned luxury there, while Rich took one for the team and came home to sleep at our house for the dogs’ sakes and for protection (the security system’s battery backup had only lasted the first 12 hours of the power outage). We were so grateful to Don and Fran, Coraline’s honorary grandparents, for welcoming us into their home, particularly since their grandson Thomas was visiting at the time. We had fun swimming in their pool that Saturday afternoon — Coraline’s first time in a real pool — and eating yummy burgers after. It was a little while after that dinner that our next-door neighbor’s son texted Rich saying “I think I saw lights come on in your basement.” Turns out Abraham was right and that our power had been restored; his family, however, would be without power two more days as a tree had fallen and ripped the power lines from their house. Rich went home that night and left Coraline and I at Don and Fran’s since it would be hours before our house would be fully cooled off again. He came and picked us up Sunday morning, and it was glorious to go home and have power again.

So what lessons did I take away from the Great Power Outage of 2011? First, that we have awesome friends and family who stepped up and offered us places to stay (our friends’  house is much closer to our house than our parents’ houses are, which was the deciding factor for us staying there). Second, reading by candlelight/flashlight is highly overrated; it was really just an irritating pain in the ass to try to read like that. Last, I can manage without AC. I can manage without the Internet. I can manage without TV. Just not all at the same time. I was again reminded that I am NOT meant to live without modern conveniences like electricity and air conditioning. I am now convinced that had I lived in pre-electricity, pioneer times, I would’ve been one of their first recorded suicides. Give me air conditioning or give me death.

Once everything got back to normal, I of course got sick. I went to the express clinic by our house two Saturdays ago, where I was diagnosed with pharyngitis, which has turned out to be hands-down the most irritating illness I’ve ever had. I didn’t even feel that horrible, but I sounded like shit (there’s a reason pharyngitis rhymes with laryngitis), couldn’t talk without wheezing and losing my breath, had a horrible sore throat, and was so congested I felt like I was suffocating 24 hours a day. And it had been going on for weeks. Work has been ridiculously busy lately (job security!), so I only managed to get to the doctor again on Friday, when I was prescribed an antibiotic and another steroid. I am now no longer congested, no longer have a sore throat, can get through a sentence without wheezing, and have stopped coughing up my lungs. Thank God for those last two prescriptions.

So that’s what’s been going on at Casa Lee of late. Fun times. Fun times indeed.

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