Somewhere before noon I learned my Grandpa wasn't feeling so hot. Neither was I, but I wasn't in the hospital, so I gathered myself together and rounded up my children from various locations in the valley and we went to the hospital. I also learned there was a huge storm coming, but that would have to wait. I tell ya, getting to see my Grandpa was such a blessing. The last two times he'd tried to come see me just didn't work out, so there was no way I was going to miss being in town and not spending some time with him. He's not waking up much, has been fighting pneuomia, a staph infection and who knows what but that didn't really matter. I think he knew I stopped in. He opened his bright blue eyes a few times, fluttered his eyelids, and made a funny grin when I whispered to him that he had messy hair. I squeezed his hand three times in our traditional "I. LOVE. YOU." language, and he squeezed back. His skin was so soft and his face was newly shaved. He was still Grandpa to me, only crumpled up in his bed like one of my little boys. I love him.
In the back of my mind all the storm warnings were swirling around that we'd been hearing on the news. I didn't want to leave the hospital, but a nurse came by and said we had to leave for an hour so they could put in a PICC line. I think it was God's way of sending me home to take care of things here. We arrived home an hour later to dark clouds, blowing winds and a LOT of rain. We had time to make dinner and talk about a game plan before we headed out into the dark to start moving things to higher ground.
Thankfully it wasn't cold and pouring the whole time. It was windy though! First we flipped the trampoline. One year, we had to recover it from halfway across the field and that wasn't fun. Flipping it isn't easy, and especially when a huge wind gust hits it right in the middle of things! After that we relocated the outside dog (not the nice, warm dog curled up in the house, no not that one) to the front yard. We tied him to a tree because his kennel proved to be more of an umbrella sitting in a field. Wind gusts have picked that thing up and carried it away too. We moved the kennel to a more secure area on higher ground and then relocated the goats into their temporary housing. Thanks dog! The goat field is the first to get wet when it floods, then... the rabbits got their hutch buttoned down and filled with straw to keep the wind and rain off of them.
Somewhere in all of this, our neighbor showed up to see how high the water was, and it was already crossing our property. I'll try to take pictures later, because I can't find the ones I took from years earlier. Turns out, our cat ran from the dog and was on the opposite side of the new little stream coming across the field. It was only half-boot high, so Mr Nice Guy led me across to the
Four hours later, after locking all the chickens in, putting stray hens away and removing all sorts of odd floatable objects in the yard that were previously covered in snow, we headed indoors. The kids were briefed again on where to go if there was a fire or if that big tree finally fell on the house (sheesh, nothing like prepping for nightmares!), we stocked up on firewood, made sure the candles were in place and then we snuggled down for a long night of miserable sleep. As I write, all my babies are still sleeping, except my eldest left her bed during the night to check on the animals, no doubt, and is now camped out on the couch. Mr Nice Guy had to head in to work, and the river hasn't crested yet. It was expected to crest within the next half hour, but it's taking its sweet time. It has stopped raining for the moment, and the snow level has fallen which may save our bacon. The predicted flood level is currently at 20 1/2 feet, and anything over 20 feet means our laundry room gets REALLY wet! Just under 20 feet means our home is completely surrounded by water but nothing gets seriously damaged except the lawn. Right now, it's slowly approaching, and we're done doing laundry because the drain field is covering up.
Well, I know only my die hard fans read this far, so if you're still with me, just know that I am grateful for prayers right now. Being outside in the wet, windy air last night made whatever symptoms I'm having get really bad. I described it to someone earlier like it felt as if I was trying to breathe through a fleece sock! Yum! I'm glad it's a clean one at least. haha! *cough cough* Happy New Year! I'll hopefully post some pictures later, either that or the newspaper will.