Wow! So much has happened this month; where do I begin?
Well, to begin with, I am now using my very own, brand new laptop to write these blogs….which means I can sit in my recently air-conditioned bedroom in the comfort of my very own bed to write them!.
Which is kind of where things started……
Turn the dial on the time machine back to June 29th…..
The last time I had air-conditioning was in the 2 story home I lived in back in 2007….Something snapped this year and we started getting unusually high heat early in the season….It’s like we skipped spring and went straight into the hot, humidity of mid summer….What the heck. I’m working now so why should I lay upstairs in bed sweating?
Target came to my rescue….they had a room size air conditioner for $96….Well, once I had my checking account for over 2 months, I applied for and received a Target Red Debit card….unlike their Red Visa card, the charges are directly withdrawn from my checking account; and I receive a 5% discount on anything I buy…..Since my husband works for Target, I get an extra 10% team member discount…..so before I went to work that Friday, I bought my “cool air” for around $88…..I carried the relief out and had it in my car at work that day when a severe Thunderstorm ripped through our state.
Around 5:30 p.m, the lights in Wal*mart begin to flicker….and all the cashiers and managers knew it wouldn’t be long before the power went out….Furiously we tried to ring up as many customers as we could to get them out of the store before the storm hit…Then all hell broke loose…..the power shut off! We had 30 minutes of back-up power to continue running registers….we worked in the dark as fast as we could….Very few customers left without what they came for, but some did get stuck with cart loads of things they couldn’t pay for.
Outside, the storm showed it’s fury. We had a large tent in the parking lot full of clearance items. A heavy flower cart went air borne and hit a manager in the head. The tent ripped, the poles bent and collapsed and merchandise dotted the parking lot. Potted plants became missiles. Mulch from around the trees relocated to the sides of the building and the sidewalks.
Inside, all available staff started cover all the open coolers and meat cases with tarps, plastic sheeting and duct tape to preserve any cold air and keep meats, cheeses and vegetables cold. Then we went to work putting away the 25-30 cartloads of merchandise that did not make it through the checkout lines…..Within the hour, the power came back on an business went back to normal….at least in Wal*Mart……
Outside, the storm ravaged the entire state….over 1 million people lost power….thousands of trees were uprooted or snapped off
……cars and homes looked like they had been through a tornado….amazingly, no one was killed in our area. But the worst was yet to come…..Some people would get there power back within hours….but most had no power for days….some even went 7-9 days with no power. My new air-conditioner would sit unopened in my living room for 4 days, and even after I braved going upstairs in the dark in 100 degree heat to put it in the window, it would remain unused for another 3 days before it would feel the electricity course through it’s wiring.
The Fairgrounds became a “camp city” for electric power workers, trucks and Tree trimmers….Portable showers and semis full of bunk beds 3 high along the walls were brought in. The trucks went out early every day and came back late every night…
.Slowly lights came on a few houses at a time….sometimes only 3 or 4 per street…Trees were removed from streets, houses, cars and sidewalks and became mulch.
Ice, coolers, batteries, camp lights and oil lanterns were flying off the shelf faster than trucks could deliver them. Charcoal, lighter fluid, grills and bottled water were snapped up by the cart loads. The hum of gas operated generators were the only sound in the night….the only exception was when the sun went down and people came out of their houses to enjoy the cooler (90 degree) temperatures.
The break for everyone was the July 4th parade and Fireworks. Everyone lined the streets to watch children collect candy, cold bottled ice water and freeze pops. The churches turned on hoses to keep those in the parade cool along the routes….
Then everyone flocked to the fairgrounds to eat Fair food, ride rides, play games and wait for the fireworks.
my power was out for 7 days….the people across the street were out for 9 days, as were some of the people on the same side of my street just a few houses down….It’s been 21 days and all over the city some trees still remain on houses or on the ground in yards.
Life is slowly getting back to normal. People flocked to local agencies for disaster relief…..Families with children and the elderly (over 60) received food vouchers to replace what was lost in their refrigerators and freezers….but it was a drop in the bucket for most.
The storm wasn’t the only news….
I became a “full fledged” Wal*Mart employee on June third after 90 days with the company….The manager has given me extra hours for the past 3 weeks putting me at almost 4 straight weeks of over 38 hours each…
Throw in a baby shower for a niece, a car wreck that killed a third cousin and her unborn child and left the husband in a coma, battered and bruised, unable to bear his own weight for the next 3 months to grieve and try to rebuild his body and his soul…..the death of my husband’s only remaining uncle….and his brother who was diagnosed with skin cancer….My son lost his best friend because of rumors and lies…..another son moved from New Mexico to North Carolina where he now has 2 of his 3 children with him after years of trying to get them….My oldest grandson got a job in Florida, My oldest Grand-daughter, now speaks to me and she got a job in North Carolina because I was able to send her a copy of her birth certificate that her mother wouldn’t give her, and my youngest grand-daughter is now a licensed driver and a High School Graduate..
And football is just around the corner…..I went to the first sign ups,
and I will go to the second day of Conditioning next Tuesday….then it’s practices until August 25th when the first games are held….My store manager has already approved my amended availability to allow me to attend most of the Saturday games before 5 p.m….and told me that when I volunteer for 25 hours a quarter, I can get a $250 donation from Wal*Mart to the team/league.
I have my new spirit wear, and will probably buy more.
The good with the bad…..I will buy the things I’ve always wanted, even if it means putting things on layaway for a couple of months….
I love my job, the hours, the pay, the managers and the people I work with.
But most of all, I love my family and all of my friends, like you….that read my blogs, leave comments, pick me up when I’m depressed, make me laugh, cry with me and laugh with me.
Hugs and Love to all of you!