Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A hurricane? In Kentucky?

I've always felt reasonably safe from the threat of hurricanes way up north here, way west here--well, anyway, away from the coast. It takes us at least 12 hours to get from our home to the nearest beach, and many of the hurricanes that cause such havoc don't affect us, unless it's as rain. As a matter of fact, when we were in Chattanooga visiting with family and heard predictions for Gustav and Ike, I reassured my SIL that he was in no danger from hurricanes where he lived in Nashville. The nature of hurricanes was such that all the damage took place near the coast, and they pretty much "petered out" as they came inland.

Folks, I was wrong. If you don't believe me, check the news for Louisville and northern Kentucky. We had gale-force winds all day on Sunday, and over 100,000 people in Louisville are without power! I haven't tried to contact Louisville family yet, but I will...I am concerned, since a lot of the power outages seem to be in the Bardstown/Fern Creek area. I know that the family there will be watching out for each other, but you might want to pray for them. The latest I heard, it may be two weeks before power is fully restored.

Imagine this scenario: Your children are home from school on an unplanned vacation (this is the second day of no school in Jefferson County), and your electricity is out. Okay, during the daytime you can send them outside, but what in the heck are you going to do with them at night? And how are you going to feed those teenagers? Thank God that the infrastructure in this country is a little sounder than that in Haiti, where you see folks fighting over bottled water and whatever foodstuff that manages to get into the country, but still inconveniences are going to exist for quite some time. And help is not as readily available as it is after some storms, since this storm was so widespread. Utility companies from the tri-state area are really swamped, especially considering that some of their crews had been deployed to the coast.

No, we don't have near the damage that they had in Texas or Louisiana, but we are tasting a little of what those folks are going through. Georgetown and Lexington were spared the brunt of the damage, but even here in town--I was driving up town yesterday to attend a meeting and saw a tree that had fallen on a house on South Broadway. Not just a branch off the Bradford pear, but a whole tree. In Lexington, a huge branch broke off a tree near Henry Clay's home on Richmond Road and fell on a passing car, injuring the driver badly enough that she was taken to the hospital. And in Shelby County, a child was killed when a tree branch hit him outside.

Nobody told us anything other than to be careful when driving high-profile vehicles. Nobody told us to stay indoors until that danged hurricane blew through. Nobody told us to stock up on canned foods and flashlight batteries. The Louisville radio station that I listen to regularly was asking for folks to call in if they had seen a supply of flashlight batteries anywhere. You can understand that from now on, when a hurricane is predicted, we are all going to be watching the weather channel just a little more carefully, to see if it is going to "hit" Kentucky!

Take care--stay warm, dry, and fed. Love to all, and God bless.

Update: The Louisville folks are doing okay. They have power now; theirs was only out for two nights. Thanks for your prayers! We love you, and God does, too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Friendship Thursday

We started our Friendship year off today. There were five of us who rode together to Lexington to take charge of the nursery. On our trip over, we speculated about the number of babies who would show up. Since most of our babies last year were about to start walking, we were pretty sure they would be "moving up" to the toddler nursery. As far as we knew, there was only one little baby who would be there--we had a three-week-old at our last session in May, so we figured he might be back.

I had hoped to take pictures of all the little ones as they got settled into their classes and to give those pictures to the parents at a later date. Our first little girl to show up was Yuna, who had been in our baby class last year. Yuna seemed a little shy, but I did manage to get a picture of her.

And then the bus from Shawneetown (UK student housing) showed up. Just like last year, all our Chinese moms came at once. And just like last year, all their babies started crying at the same time. Not just crying, screaming. It was bedlam in the toddler room. There was NO WAY to get pictures taken--we were too busy trying to get tags onto diaper bags, to convince mothers that their children would be okay, and to attempt to convince the babies that they would be okay. I think some of them bought into that, because a little later in the morning, there were actually times when you could hear some of the musical toys, or maybe even a word of conversation among the workers. Not often, mind you, but occasionally.

Across the hall in the baby room, nine babies showed up. As I remarked to one of the workers, I don't know where those babies came from! She was surprised that at my age, I still didn't know where babies come from and offered to explain the facts of life to me. Oh, the facts of life--I have those down pretty much pat, but the facts of life as related to babies at Friendship--I SWEAR, there was no more than one pregnant woman coming last year, and I believe she was the one who gave birth to the three-week-old who was at the last session! I don't remember one other bulging belly! Normal nine-month pregnancies I understand, but how the internationals can conceive and give birth over a three-month summer vacation is beyond me!

The new crop of babies are delightful. One little fellow spent his first hour in the nursery nursing. He finally decided to let mommy go to her class. After she left, a worker remarked that he seemed pretty happy. Another one said, of course he was--he had been eating for an hour! We call him Henry I Ate, sort of a take off on Henry the 8th--get it? Probably pretty weak joke, but I'm tired. It's been a long day.

I think all told, we had 22 babies and toddlers. They tell me at one time, they kept all the little ones in the same room. I know that would be absolutely impossible now, and I wouldn't even want to try. Oh, and lest you think the five of us handled all 22 children with no help, that wasn't the case. I'm not sure how many workers we had, but it was enough that each cryer had his/her own worker--it looked like there were almost as many workers as there were children.

I hope you had a good day, full of God's blessings, and that you're enjoying each and every one of them, even the ones that cry! Love to all, and God bless.