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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Answering the Call

It is never good when your phone rings at 10:30 at night, and last night was no exception. I was out in the living room reading, while Doane was trying to sleep, in preparation for his early morning wake-up at 4:30 a.m. to go to work. I hear his phone ring, and I come running, to see if I can answer it before it wakes him up. No dice for me - he's already on the phone.

So I'm listening to him, trying to figure out if it's someone in our ward, needing a blessing for a sick family member or something, or maybe (with our luck these days) someone in our family has had a bad accident or passed away. No dice there, either. I hear the dreaded four words that freeze my heart, and plummet it to the floor - "So, we're all activated?" YIKES! We haven't even sworn in our new president yet!!! How could they be activated, and where are they going? Visions of arranging daycare, quitting my job, having a nervous breakdown are swimming in my head. What am I going to do??!!!

I try to keep the tears at bay, shoring up my strength to support Doane. After all, I was behind him 100% in his decision to sign up for the National Guard, and behind him 110% in his decision to re-up his contract (we kind of depend on that income). I can't whine about it now (I know, I know, I still whine a lot.....I'm only human!!!). So I put a smile (maybe more of a pained I'm going to throw up look - not sure which) on my face, and wait for him to get off the phone.

Finally he gets off the phone, gets out of bed, and starts looking around for something. What's going on? When are you leaving? Where are you going? Too many questions, so I settle with "what's up?"

He tells me that his unit has been activated to go up to Spokane to help with the snow removal. IS THAT ALL???!!! Sheesh, I was giving myself a coronary pity party, and he's just going to Spokane???!! Aaaahhhh, big sigh of relief!

But wait, it gets better. They have to be in Spokane today (Tuesday) at 6:00 p.m., with all their cold weather gear, and they'll be there for who knows how long. Doane was supposed to go to drill this weekend anyway, but maybe they'll cancel that, depending on how long it takes them to "remove" the snow. Dangit! I requested this weekend off, so I didn't have to find babysitters while he was gone. I could work Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and he would leave Friday night for drill. Now what the crappola am I going to do? Who can I get to watch my kids on short notice, late into the night some days, and have the boys be okay with? I can't POSSIBLY call Becca, because she always watches my kids. And I can't call Mindy, because she watches them a lot, too. I come up with a genius plan for Thursday, and have that covered. Then Becca volunteers to watch my kids on Tuesday - all day, bless her - so that's covered. But I've still got Friday. Hmm, who to pick on now? So I resort to Kathy, who I don't call that much to babysit, and she says yes. Yeah! The day (or days) is/are saved! Thank heaven for good friends! It's the pits to be so far away from family, to not have them to rely on. But great friends and a great neighborhood come in handy in a pinch!

So here are some pictures of what Spokane has been dealing with lately, and why they need help!

An article in the Seattle Post Intelligence said this, "The winter storm that has paralyzed Spokane set a record for the amount of snow dumped in a 24- hour period, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

The weather service recorded 17 inches of snow at Spokane International Airport in the 24 hours that ended at 4 a.m., 4 inches more than the record of 13 inches set in 1984. Records have been kept since 1881.

More than 3 inches of additional snow had fallen on the city since 4 a.m., the weather service said, driving the total to more than 20 inches.

The city has declared a "Condition Red" snow emergency, meaning crews will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they complete a full city plow. The city also was hiring private contractors to help clear 967 miles of streets.

"We've deployed all of our snow removal equipment and are calling in more from the private sector to efficiently and effectively open our streets," Mayor Mary Verner said. "This is our priority."

Okay, okay, so I guess they need some help. I mean, 20 inches of snow? Wow, that's deep!

According to the local NBC new station, "The Spokane County Emergency Operations Center is announcing that between 100 and 200 Washington State Army and Air National Guard troops will begin clearing snow off school roofs Wednesday.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire approved the use of the National Guard today, Jan. 6, as a result of resource requests and emergency declarations by Spokane County and cities within the county."

Currently, Doane's unit is staying at their armory, which isn't the largest building to billet them. But, for it's age, it's held up pretty well. I talked to Doane tonight, and he said that they might get moved over to Fairchild (the Air Force Base) in the next day or two. Hmm, would you want to stay there? This happened this morning around 7 a.m.

The section of the roof that collapsed was 100' by 100'.

Anywho, to make a long story short, if you want to get a good night's sleep, DON'T ANSWER YOUR PHONE!!!!


Lori said...

OOhh bummer! I'm home in the days if I can help. (Unfortunately busy in the evenings....)

Emily said...

Holy crap, I had no idea things where so bad!

By the way except for Monday's and Tuesday's I'm available at night and Friday's I have no school, so you can also add me to the list of helpers

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh man...I was just waiting to hear where he'd get sent. Spokane is doable.

Laurel said...

Wow! You know a call after 10 is never good news. Thank goodness he's not too far away.
I won't complain about our clear streets and sixish inches on the lawn.

hennchix said...

Holy Hannah Beka, you had my gut twisting there for a minute! If it is any comfort, I just got back from Spokane 3 hours ago, and it really is not that bad up there. Even the doc we were seeing was a little mystified about all the hoo haa. I am sure Doane will be home soon. I could help out too- give me a call if you need a sitter or whatever.

April said...

Whew! Only snow! Sounds like the whirlwind that goes on in my head. I've seen the news down here about the snow up there. Send some down to us in Cali, we can always use more!

Korbi said...

What the heck? I have that little thing on my blog that shows me when people update and the i click on the new ones and read from there. So I though tonight, "man, she hasn't posted in forever," so I decided to check anyways and look at all that has happened! Crazy! It must not have been showing when you updated, silly blog stuff that I don't understand... :)