AQ 16 - 3.27.10

Desensitization…The range of motion in my legs & feet is improving, but the physical therapist said “we” need to desensitize the right foot. We rubbed cotton balls over the foot. Cotton balls hurt. With repeated tries over a span of several days, my brain was finally able to communicate with my foot. “Only cotton balls here, not concrete,” & my foot believed. Now we’re applying other textures & reminding my foot that everything that touches it will not hurt it.

I’ll consider this as I weigh the non-physical issues of each day. I’ll choose what else needs desensitizing in my life & apply the cotton balls ….


On March 13 the weather changed in southern Connecticut. The bright, snowy winter turned dark & bleak. Strong winds forced trees to snap or be uprooted. I watched from a doorway in my parent’s house as three trees fell. One fell across the road. Two cars were traveling in each direction. Men got out of their cars & tried to swing the huge pine to one side. They made a path just big enough for the four cars to pass through. My brain was screaming, “Don’t get out of your cars in this wind!” Desensitization needed.

I didn’t leave the doorway between my parent’s dining room & den. I hated the sound of the wind &, of course, the cracking of trees. I braced myself for another earthquake-like experience. I was a little more afraid than I needed to be, maybe. Desensitization needed.

I saw a tree fall in our neighbor’s yard & on the wooded hill across the street. None of our trees fell, but large limbs broke off, &, the power in that wind tossed them like spears deep in the ground. We heard that some people were killed during this storm, by falling limbs & falling trees.

Dawn was in play practice at school where the electricity was never lost. Pria was at a friend’s house where the power lines went down. So did ours.

It was too dangerous to be out & driving. The girls stayed where they were until the following day.

Retrieving the girls was tricky. To the right of us a tree had fallen across one road, & a telephone pole, with multiple wires, had fallen on a car that then blocked the other road. To the left of us a tree had fallen across one road, & we were able to drive through five flood zones that covered a second road. A fifteen minute trip became a one & a half hour trip as we tried alternate routes coming home with the girls. This was not fun for Pria. She let us know that she’d had enough adventure for 2010.

No running water or electricity. We’d lived like this many times in tropical climates, but not in the freezing temperatures of the north east U.S. Sleeping through the cold nights that week gave me headaches. After two days & nights of romantic fire light my eyes & sinuses had had enough of fires in the fireplace. But, the raging winter winds did not care. They continued.

One hundred trees fell at the golf course. The hundred year old stone walls throughout the area remained intact while the fashionable new fences adorning the tops of the walls were torn from their hinges. It was hard to recognize the water fall, because the water table was so high it just looked like a bump in the river. Trees that lined the river bank lost their unique identity as their nobby & twisted bark was covered by the rising water. It reminded me of the earthquake when my landmarks were lost. Everything looked the same, flattened, & I didn’t know where we were. Trevor had the same problem from the air when he was helping to direct a pilot to a food distribution point.

The week of the storm, Dawn stayed with friends who hadn’t lost power. She was able to get to school on time as though nothing was amiss. I sure wanted to be a classmate of Dawn’s that week or have an opportunity to go to her play practices. They used blow dryers & curling irons & their makeup was perfect. I wore my knit hat all week, even to bed, & washing my face in icy water was torture.

Electricians & tree men worked around the clock. Some homes had power by the second day. We were without electricity & water for six long days. There was no motivated to do anything but stay warm. We hauled water from the river & ventured out to take a shower at a friend’s house & then eat at a Greek restaurant. Heavenly!

The storm is over, but the effects of it are not. There are weeks of clearing to be done. In Haiti there are years of clearing to be done. Here, debris has been turned in to wood chips & spread as fertilizer. In Haiti, rubble is being taken to the sea to build retaining walls against hurricanes. I drive through the streets well aware of the dangerously leaning trees here. I drove through the streets of Haiti well aware of the dangerously leaning buildings. They all need to come down. My eyes & heart are more keenly aware & concerned about these truths. My gut pushes me to respond in ways I’ve never yet responded.


Frank arrived from Haiti this week. I knew of his trip; the girls were happily surprised; & Latte showed her excitement in ways that would fascinate any dog lover. Frank looks far more handsome than he should for someone with his intense schedule of orchestrating numerous pieces & players. And, he has far too much energy for someone who’s had trouble finding clean water to drink & who’s been eating MREs in a mildewed apartment.

You may have noticed that I haven’t talked much about Frank. Now that he’s here to give me accurate details about him & World Vision, you will hear more from me shortly….


Answers to your questions:

I haven’t finished the AQs yet. You didn’t hear from me because the week-long storm slowed me down.

After I finish the AQs I’ll be writing some STs (from Surviving to Thriving).

Yes, you may share AQs with others. Thanks for asking.

Latte’s story will be one of the AQs. It’s almost finished.


Thank you all for your responses. You keep me writing. Thank you all for your prayers & well wishes. My hope is that you will see yourself in these writings & take the time to care for yourself & your loved ones more deeply & more often.


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