The rain is even heavier today. Our cul de sac fills up, waves lap across it, crashing on our yards.
It is hot. They say a cold front is on the way; that’s what caused this rain, not the hurricane.
The rain stops midday. MIL, The Husband, The Boy and I go outside to begin clearing away all of the branches. It takes several hours to drag branches into a pile in front of the house, break up smaller branches, rake up and bag tons of pine needles. “It smells like Christmas,” notes The Boy. Except for the rivers of sweat rolling off us.
We finish up and make plans to take showers, washing off not only the grime, but any possible traces of poison ivy.
A neighbor comes over, offering us the use of his gas-powered chainsaw. He and The Husband discuss its workings – I heard snippets about “the choke” – and The Husband goes out again. I stop him and tell him that his safety goggles are on his tool bench. He promises to use them and further promises not to cut off anything that is attached to his body. I tell him I’d appreciate that.
I head into the shower. While in it, Bo Peep comes and tattles: “Daddy’s not wearrring his goggles!” I tell her to tell her grandmother. I finish up my shower with cold, cold water to keep the heat at bay.
Through the living room window, I see The Husband, wearing goggles. MIL explains that she went outside and told him all about when she had the torn cornea that lasted 3 months, worst pain ever, including childbirth.
A mother-in-law on your side is priceless.
The Husband finishes and comes inside.
All showered and clean now, we move as little as possible, reading books, listening to the radio, as people call in from all over the city, telling their stories to the tired deejays. With a flashlight, I begin reading Little House on the Prairie to the children. By the time we reach Chapter 5, they are asleep.