Here I sit. I’m at my in-laws’ house, 4 hours from home, working on their Apple computer (I’m a PC). The baby is at my feet, smacking me with purple and pink plastic spoons from a hand-me-down princess tea set and sucking on the cord to a desk lamp. Yes, I’m a good mom.
The other kids are occupied: C is playing Plants vs. Zombies on my old laptop and A is playing something on my old Droid phone. J is MIA. The TV is blaring some inane toddler cartoon to occupy the baby, who has now moved into the kitchen and is picking up Rice Krispies off the floor and putting them into her bowl. Yes, I’m a good mom.
Just found J: she was in a back bedroom trying her darndest to destroy Steve’s Kindle case. She was pulling the Kindle to see what was between it and the case, and managed to bend something or other, which has ticked Steve off. Yes, I’m a good mom.
Anyway, we are here because there’s a wildfire at home. We live in a forest and we are in extra-super over-the-top drought this year, so we actually live in a ready-made disaster movie. The fire started at 1:00 pm Sunday, June 26, and burned as much land that first night as the major fire 11 years ago burned over 2 1/2 weeks – 47,000 acres. That fire also burned 400 homes. We’re now up to 60,000 acres. Current disaster movie: Las Conchas Previous disaster movie: Cerro Grande Fire
We voluntarily evacuated Sunday night at 10pm. This was after we had the 3 big kids pack up some of their clothes and 2 important toys. Then we tried to put them to bed while we finished gathering up stuff: digital media, photos, several computers (yes, we’re techno-geeks), a couple of loose hard drives, the cat (can’t forget her), and the kids’ artwork and other handmade stuff. Just the cool handmade stuff, though. I left my wedding dress.
We’ve been here for 24 hours now. The only necessities I had to buy when we got here were a couple of sippy cups for the baby and a new littler box for the cat. Because who wants to travel with a used cat box? Ick. o.O
Last night our father-in-law took us out to dinner at Furr’s Cafeteria. I like going to Furr’s because of the dessert. I love chocolate dessert; doesn’t matter the form – pie, cake, brownie, cupcake, etc. So after I ate my pittance (grilled chicken, cole slaw with vinaigrette, a roll), I started grazing on the kids’ stuff. Fried catfish, mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak, cornbread muffin – why didn’t I choose these things? I finished with my German Chocolate Pie. Then I finished that off with hot apple cobbler a la mode. Then I finished that off with a healthy dose of guilt for all of the calories I had just ingested.
The cafeteria is in a strip mall, two doors down from a grocery store, so in order to avoid further grazing, I grabbed Baby Grumpy Britches who had long-since finished her dinner and was demanding to get down, and headed out to the store. We needed milk and prune juice. Baby Grumpy Britches gets REALLY grumpy if she doesn’t get her daily prune juice. It’s like she’s laying an ostrich egg.
So we set out along the sidewalk to the grocery store and past the gym that’s sandwiched between the cafeteria and the store. It used to be a department store, and they left all the glass windows, so we watched people working out as we strolled past.
Then I had a burst of inspiration. Or indigestion. I popped into the gym and asked the fellow at the desk how much for drop-in visits. He said $5. I said, “We’re just in town for a few days. We evacuated from Los Alamos.” Those were the magic words, apparently. He gave me a 3-day pass for $5, and told me that if I came back that night, he’d throw in a 4th visit free. So 4 visits for $5. Good thing I tossed in my running shoes and sports bra.
After we got the kids settled into bed, I went to the gym. I ran on a treadmill and had complete control of the nearest TV set. I ended up on a local station watching the information about the (now mandatory) evacuation back home. I felt a tad guilty. Then I felt super guilty when I glanced out the front of the facility (totally glass, remember?) and saw rain. Not just a sprinkling, but big fat drops coming down fast.
When I finished up, I had to sprint to the car. I’d forgotten what it felt like to be outside in the rain, since it’s been so stinking long for a drop of moisture to fall out of the sky at home.
Agenda for today: grocery store. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m going to take the 3 big kids with me while Steve stays here with Baby Soon-to-be Grumpy Britches. Nap time approacheth.
So I’m signing off now. The baby needs a new diaper. She’s been up for over 2 1/2 hours and I don’t think she’s been changed yet. Yes, I’m a good mom.