* The bit, the piece, the lead story is the historic and devastating flooding in my state (and other states in the midwest.) This article in The Washington Post covers it and there are more pictures here, in The Atlantic. My family was lucky, as was my town. Although roughly 8,000 people (a third of our town) were told to evacuate their homes (we didn't have to — we live two miles from the evacuation boundary), we didn't experience the devastation that many others are experiencing. To say that rebuilding and recovery will "take time" sounds weak and feels inadequate. Lives have been lost. It's horrible.
* I spent an anxiety-ridden chunk of Wednesday afternoon wondering if Atticus was safe. His school dismissed early (he has about a 20-minute commute, to a nearby town) but by the time kids left and he headed to his car, roads were quickly closing. Every route he tried was flooding and he was either told by law enforcement to turn back, or the water itself told him to do so. He told me later that he plowed through some water he shouldn't have, but his only other option at that point was to stay in that spot on the highway and watch the water come at him from all directions. He finally made it back to his school two hours later, and soon all roads in and out were closed. As that small town was flooding, too, the school was being turned into a shelter for those who needed to leave their homes.
* I don't like water. When I was seven years old, we moved to Alaska. My father had been stationed near Fairbanks, and we were temporarily living in a basement apartment until base housing became available. After much-higher-than-normal rainfall that summer, the Chena River overflowed. Fairbanks was inundated. I remember that we had to get out of our apartment (I don't remember packing a bag or even grabbing anything) ... I remember that we headed upstairs, to our neighbors (I don't remember their names) ... I remember seeing the water begin to flow over our feet in that upstairs apartment (I don't remember what my brother, sister, and I said to each other) ... and then I remember someone rowing us away from that apartment. We left our home in a boat.
* Wednesday afternoon was an exercise in both accepting and controlling my anxiety. (Thank you to my dear friend who listened to me cry when I imagined my husband out in flood waters.) Atticus was safe, he had made it back to the school. It was inconvenient, it wasn't perfect, but he was safe. That was all that mattered. I had just taken another deep breath (breathe in slowly through your nose, blow the breath out slowly through your mouth ... again, Karen, again, he's fine) when I heard the garage door opening. (What?) One of the roads out of the school's town had been opened for a short time. The principal told Atticus, "The road's open, at least for now — go!" He made it to the main highway, which was, while not dry, at least not flooded, and then he made it home. If it had been me in that school, I probably would have gone to the library, found a Harry Potter book, and curled up in a corner for the night. Not Atticus. He was going to get home to us as soon as he could.
* I don't like water. But we're okay. My family and friends are okay. Not everyone is, though. It will "take time." Weak and inadequate as it sounds, I'm praying for a lot of other people tonight.