Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Glug, Glug, We're drowning

This week’s “severe” weather has finally moved on and the sun is peeping out. We’re once again scraping up in the detritis of more storm damage.

It’s another bleak day in the Tulsa for insurance adjustors. We were awakened again at 2:30 a.m.., Monday night, by tornado sirens and the reverb of gunshots on the roof. Persons of a military ilk, would have a better description of the size and caliber, but this sound was not like the familiar sound of branches breaking during the ice-storm, (one big cannon blast with a long shimmy and then followed the echoing, reverberating thump). This time it was more like machine gun fire blasting the roof, the windows, the skylights.

Dia snuck out during a lull in the ruckus and salvaged a hailstone. It would have been the perfect size to shoot 18 holes. Our roof could be a 9 hole course. And, yup a sky light is blasted out. The one in the boys bathroom has a big hole and the roof guy says that rooves (plural like hooves) one quarter mile on both directions from my house are totaled. Yay, hurray, one more thing to add to the repair list.

The trees ravaged by December’s ice storm had just about recovered, so it was only fair that they should again be annihilated. There are no blossoms left, and the ground is piled with pollen and whatever branches remained.

However in better news, the hackberry sustained no collateral damage. We’ve spent $1500 on it in a slow and methodical amputation process and now with one trunk and one auxiliary branch, cabled together with state-of-the-art prosthetics, it should be good from here on out.

I spent yesterday pumping eight inches of flood water off the pool cover as it had collapsed in onto itself. The cover filled up and sunk in because all of the water bladders that held the top taut were punctured by hail. Not pinholes but circular rips the size of golf balls.

The black car has $6,700 worth of hail damage. We’ve had it two months and the damage has again exceeded its 60% market/replacement value and may again be totaled. Dia is two for two now, “I can’t believe this storm totaled another car!” *@(*&)(*%$* or nasty words to that effect. (as profane as Dia gets).

The last car was totaled one day after the other ice storm. With Dia’s vehicular luck, she really should consider moving. (Oh she already is?). These have yet to be her fault and she struggles with the no-fault, but total misery anyway learning curve. Her windshield is smashed also, and Dia has renamed the lovely pittance, (referring to it’s current value and it’s pittedness) the black pox. We had put on the car cover, but mere fabric is no deterrent for that size hail. Only one side got pelted, to the east and the truck was against an east fence so it got hit less.

The truck has some damage, but not enough to matter, after all it is a 4x4 Ford and in Oklahoma that much damage can result from one good off-road mudding.

I’m getting ready for the next deluge. The roofers and insurance guys will be pummeling me again. I wonder how much more of a pelting I can stand. Wednesday and Thursdays storms overflowed every saturation point and the school one mile away was closed. Buses can’t drive through two feet of water. There are cars swept away, major intersections closed and the bridge down my street sank (or sunk).

Water, water everywhere. The attic is most and soggy and Dia can now shower outside her shower under the air vent. In my experience, the deluge doesn’t stop just because every crevasse is full and overflowing. I don’t need emails saying, So move.” I’ll let you know how things go when the pits dry out.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Childrearing Secret

My friend had a difficult child.

At three it was apparent that he was bright, but would have development issues. He couldn't follow three simple instructions in a row, his mind wandered from task and the mother was constantly berating the child for his inability to perform basic functions, simple tasks that should have been age appropriate. He had impulse issues, disassociation, it was sad. He was just too flighty, forgetful and hopeless.

Over the years their relationship deteriorated and by the time he was seven she despaired that he could ever "turn out normal." The parents invented treatments, saw therapists and psychologists, changed schools and made every effort to fix this kid. Then something changed.

They gave up.

That was when she and her husband made one change in the child's treatment and it affected everything. What changed? One basic thing, a hug. They learned to participate in the hug that the child had once upon a time so desperately offered whenever he goofed up. It seems that his cousins (the best counselors) had decided that as a group they needed to hug their grandparents more often and so the child decided to set aside the previous years of rebuff and took it upon himself to reach out and hug his parents more.

Almost instantly, that dysfunctional relationship changed. He is now adaptable, confident, yet still different. While he still struggles with bein different every day of his life, he is happy, comfortable and I love him more than ever. (oops, the mother loves him) This bumbling teenager is sensitive, enthusiastic, exciting, interesting, challenging, brilliant and insightful. And did I mention Happy?

Need another testimony? My close girlfriend was having danger moments with her teenaged daughter. She saw behavior that was life threatening and worried about what to do. She prayed and was told, Hug Her. She did in spite of the physical rebuffs, she persisted lightly and over time things changed. Withholding touch is cruel, yet it is a common punishment. We tell them, "Go away, and leave me alone."

I promise you that even though it is so hard to learn to love an alien, it is not impossible. I know that babies separated from human touch die. How could I not understand that basic principle for humanity, children, teenagers, the elderly? Hug. Hug. Hug. How many times have you hugged your child, your husband, your mom today? Find a way, Institute a law--once a day--HAVE THEY HUGGED? If not, they have to get out of bed to hug someone! Be bold! Start and even though they may push you away (trust is hard to regain) keep hugging! ! ! ! Institute group hugs! It will make all the difference.

Speaking as a former non-hugger, consider yourself hugged today, Terina