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Thursday
Jun232011

A Whale Of A Good Time

Wednesday
Jun222011

With Love To Minot

Today a city gave up. An entire city gave up.

The residents of Minot, ND put down their shovels, left the sandbags scattered about, grabbed as many of their possessions as they could, and they left their homes. 12,000 of the city's 40,000 people evacuated, most realizing it is the last time they will ever see the walls of the homes where they have raised their children, lived their dreams, and shed their tears.

The battles have gone on for months. The flooding first started in April, relentless rain and excess snow taking the blame for overwhelming the intricate system of waterways and dams that protects so much of the United States and Canada. Many of the 12,000 people already survived one mandatory evacuation less than a month ago. Homes and business were damaged, but life continued on.

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Today life stopped. The people who don't ever give up did exactly that. The people who watch out for one another in a way that isn't seen anywhere else in the country looked at one another and said, "This is it." The Mayor of Minot had delivered the news that changed the course of history. Instead of continuing to build levees and dikes, it was time to leave. Officials in Canada had been left with no choice but to release water from a dam, the floodways and reservoirs are full, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop the water from overtaking the city within the next 24 hours.

As the people drove away from their homes, they faced a river that had already reached the highest point documented in history. The city was forever changed by a flood in 1969. River banks were wisely made higher and wider in the aftermath, with the hope that the city could then handle another flood of that magnitude. Now a flood of that magnitude surrounds them, but there is another eight feet of water headed their way.

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There's nothing they can do. They had to give up. They had to leave.

And now they wait. And hope.

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As the water rushes through the streets of Minot, it will wash away many of my childhood memories. The Girl Scout camp where I learned about Campfire Bananas is gone. The State Fairgrounds where I worked countless hours to save enough money to move away from that city is already under water. The swimming pool where I spent many lazy summer days is no longer recognizable. The bank parking lot where I met my husband will soon be submerged. Many friends' homes will be washed away.

The heart of the city is being washed away.

But the people won't be. People from Minot don't quit. They are far too stubborn to give up. They will be back.

Tuesday
Jun212011

De-Grumpification Guaranteed Or Your Money Back

Any second now Alexis is going to wake up and she's going to be six inches taller. I know this because I think I may have finally found a swimsuit that will fit her (I don't want to talk about how long that took until after the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder starts to wear off a bit.). I also know this because she's been walking around with her foot wedged sideways in her mouth for several days now.

Any time the kid has gone through a particularly venomous phase of cranky, it has been because she was in the midst of a wicked growth spurt. Earlier this spring when I wanted to duct tape her to the ceiling and make her watch as I dressed all of her Barbies, she grew an inch in one week. She went from wearing a toddler size 8 shoe (she has always had freakishly small feet) to a toddler size 11 like *that.* The only hint we had as it was happening (besides the obvious and sudden inability to find any clothes or shoes that fit her), was that she kept saying stupid stuff and reacting ridiculously to various things.

And, hey, if you throw a full out temper tantrum because your mom tells you there isn't a "d" in "father?" YOU MIGHT BE OVER REACTING.

Mr. Husband had to work Sunday, so I was left to play verbal volleyball with the kid myself. It was . . . what's the opposite of pleasant? Misery? No, that's not strong enough of a word. Let's just say that I kept eying the duct tape. Longingly. 

Around the fifth time she tried to convince me that she wasn't doing anything I told her to do unless I took her to Build-A-Bear, I'd had about enough of the terrorist thinking she had any power over me. I had a choice that needed to be made. Either the kid needed to go to time out for the rest of her life, or I needed to find a way to distract her from her self-destructing ways.

I opted to let her wash away the cranky.

I threw her into the Water Stairs on the North Shore, which is the same place she has been calling "The Beach" for years now.

It takes time to wash away all of the grumpy.

But once it's gone, WOW is the kid cuter.