Monday, October 5, 2009

Ivan and Weston

It's almost Weston's birthday, and I've been thinking about the time just before he was born. We were living in Pensacola and Lloyd was gone. Usually when I tell this story I'm all vague about where he was so everyone will feel sorry for the poor hugely pregnant military wife who was abandoned and left to fend for herself in the face of a hurricane while her husband was off fighting for freedom and democracy or some BS like that. But you know I never lie on here, so the truth is that he was elk hunting in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, where there is no phone service of any kind. Also, as it turns out, no elk, but that's Lloyd's story to tell, if you can stand the swearing. Luckily for me, my lovely Aunt Ina came to stay with me while he was gone.

When you evacuate in advance of a hurricane, there are many items you should take with you in your hurricane evacuation kit. Some of the commonly recommended essentials are cash, a battery operated radio, non-perishable food and water, prescription medication, and blankets. We were a little tight on space and had to prioritize our supplies, so we couldn't be bothered with a lot of that crap. Here's the more important stuff we had instead:

Salami sandwiches
One extremely large pregnant woman
One lovely aunt who despises hurricanes and dogs
Two large dogs
Directions to hospitals with NICU facilities in three states
Infant car seat
Dog food
Cocoa butter

Alas, we didn't have room for some other vital items, such as Georgie and Sandy, our two little rabbits, and Bella the cat, who you may recall from yesterday's post. We put Georgie and Sissy in the bathroom with tarps on the floor and loaded it up with hay, rabbit pellets and water, and left Bella to roam the house with bowls of food and water in every room and the laundry room filled with boxes of litter.

The trip was about exactly what you'd expect. The first day it took us all day to travel from Pensacola to Birmingham, Alabama, a distance of about 250 miles. The next day, we went to Memphis, where we stayed in a ratty dogs-allowed motel on the bad side of town for a few days. We had a nice visit to Graceland, where the photo of me above was taken. If you look carefully behind my enormously swollen body, you can catch a glimpse of the dead cat tote. After we spent a few days there, we decided we might as well keep going, since we had nothing better to do. So we went to Branson, Missouri, dogs and all. We took in a few shows and saw the sights while we waited for news of how Pensacola had fared after an almost direct strike from Hurricane Ivan, and for Lloyd to come out of the woods. After about a week, Lloyd flew in, sans elk, and Ina could not leave fast enough, shaking off the dog drool and coarse brown hairs as she went. You would think she would have learned her lesson, but I guess not, because several years later she came to stay with me again when Lloyd was gone and I was hugely pregnant with Shane. That time Lloyd really was in the sandbox, though. Before she came, she made me promise no hurricanes, no babies, and no snakes that time. Two out of three isn't bad, right? Because Shane was born in the early morning the day she was leaving and Lloyd was coming home. Sucker!

Anyway, we loaded up the now-filthy Honda with supplies from WalMart and headed back home. Seriously, it looked like the whole place had been carpet bombed once we got within 100 miles of Pensacola. We even had a hard time finding our way home because the street signs and landmarks had all been destroyed and it looked entirely different. We only had minor damage at our house, but a major mess. The cats and rabbits were fine, and the power came on shortly after we got back after having been gone a little over a week. Weston was born two weeks later.

Happy Birthday, Weston! And Ivan, may you rot in hell.


Wendy Hawksley said...

Wow, what a pre-birth adventure! Happy Birthday, Weston. I hope this is a wonderful year for you!

Anna Jane said...

Awww, Happy Birthday, Weston! Look at his little chubby cheeks, I could just smush them (aren't you glad I'm on the other side of the world?!)

Lauren said...

Yay Weston! Happy Birthday! And holy moly, what an adventure!

C Mike said...

Good historical post! I want the record to show that when the debate occurred re what Weston's name should be I suggested "Harold Kane". This way, when he became a world famous athlete his moniker would be both accurate and strike fear into the hearts of his opponents: "'Harrycane Daggett' is coming; we better get outta here!" This idea was not accepted. But I didn't pout and vowed not to bring it up ever again, especially at birthday celebrations and such. And I never have.

C Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

Happy Birthday, Weston!!! We wish we were there to celebrate with you. ;0) You were an absolutely gorgeous little mite. I'm sorry your mother is totally insane, but I think you'll get used to it (or just have a lot of good stuff for therapy.) I don't suggest you ask for any pets for birthdays though...cats in particular. It won't end well.