September 17, 2013


Just write. And go visit Heather, because she’s awesome.


And also? If you could ignore the fact that half of this piece is in italics for no reason, I’d be grateful. Something wonk happened and I tried to fix it in the normal ways but it didn’t work and I thought about worrying about it but then I remembered that this is Just Write.


Oh, Readers.

I am so lucky.

So very lucky.

Who knew that last week’s Just Write about a scary, sneaky, whiplash-speed storm was only the the beginning of something much, much bigger?

How smug was I, confidently assuring those children that all would be well? How easily did I dismiss their alarm and concern?

Why did I assure them that they were safe and that, if anything, the only insult they’d endure was a pair of soaked sneakers?

Do children have that same spooky instinct–that same sixth sense–about storms as animals do? Those 7-year olds howled and shrieked and paced and worried. They knew something wicked this way comes, but we of large stature shook them off.

We of large stature be morons.

I thought about this, as the waters clashed and bellowed through the streets of my hometown, overturning cars, washing away homes, splitting highways in half and extinguishing human breath. How did they know, those kids? How did we, the people who promise to protect and care for them, get things so wrong?

I’m not sure why.

But I’m telling you, those kids knew.  They did.

I’ve been thinking (almost constantly) on it, and all of my hypotheses are wobbly and most likely blarney, but my racing brain won’t stop..

For days, I’ve paced in front of the television news and filled containers with currently uncontaminated water and phoned loved ones about their well being and studied routes out of town.  I had a lot of race time.
I thought about animals and the eerie way they can conjure a storm hours before humans bear witness. We’ll catch our furried or feathered brethren acting skittish or downright nuts, and laugh at them, but we’re the fools.
Animals know things on different levels because they can’t talk. They learn to trust their instincts, to hone them, because they have to. Life depends on it.
If you think about it, kids aren’t much different.
Children do, eventually, possess the power of the spoken word, but even when they can speak, do we really listen? How many times do we ignore or pacify or shut down what they say?
More than we’d like to admit, I gather.
So kids, like animals, focus on other senses–and those senses become taut and strong and muscular. Speech doesn’t serve them well, so they turn to other means.
And we big, brawny bastards just keep chattering away, oblivious to what’s really happening, impressed with the sound of our own voices.
….. Told you it was probably bollocks.
*Yet another awkward segue*
I don’t have answers but I know that over 500 people in the flood zone are still unaccounted for (current figure). I know that kids my girls sit next to in school and jump rope with at recess don’t have a home any more. The parents of those children don’t have jobs any more because their place of work no longer exists–it’s rubble running down a stream somewhere. Stores are dangerously low on bottled water and roads are impassible. Some people have raw sewage (that be shit water, folks) shooting out of their sinks and toilets and bathtubs like a Yellowstone geyser.
And then there’s us. I saw a farmhouse just down the street that is no longer…there. Seriously. But us? We still have power. We still have water we can drink and warmth and dry blankets. An accident of geography. Of elevation. Of…heck, I don’t know, but we are somehow spared.
Somehow, I get to be the lucky, selfish bitch who wrings her hands because the kids have a week off from school and major roads are impassable, so everyone’s climbing the walls. People are sleeping on the floors of shelters and churches and I’m praying the power holds because otherwise, I might have to light candles and play CandyLand or (the Horror!) Monopoly with the little one.
I am that lucky, selfish bitch.
And I’m so grateful.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby September 17, 2013 at 5:24 am

You’re not selfish. You’re grateful. And I’m so grateful you guys are okay, while keeping everyone else in my thoughts. XO


Nicki September 17, 2013 at 5:27 am

So glad you are safe. I’ve been thinking of you but figured the last thing you needed were a lot of people trying to find out how you are.

On a separate note, when waters recede, be careful. Help your neighbors if you can – laundry will be a big thing for those who still have houses that were filled with water. Bleach will be non-existent so try to find some and donate it to people cleaning up. Plastic gloves will become necessities.


Alison September 17, 2013 at 5:46 am

Oh gosh, I saw the flood devastation on the news. So glad you’re safe.
You’re not a selfish bitch. You’re grateful and fortunate and lucky. Not selfish.


Amy Jung September 17, 2013 at 5:51 am

Wow. I don’t know what to say. I stumbled upon your blog today through the Just Write link-up. I listen to the news but I got a better feel for the sad realities of the flooding through your blog today. Praying for you and your community.


Gibby September 17, 2013 at 6:29 am

Was thinking of you this whole time, glad you are safe!!


Shannon September 17, 2013 at 7:23 am

I am so glad you are safe and so sorry for your friends and neighbors. It is not selfish to be grateful for your own well being. Or to detest Candyland.
Sending love to you and your community.


Alexandra September 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

I’m thinking of all of you, watching the video on the news and it is unbelievable.


Arnebya September 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

You have absolutely every right to detest CandyLand. That shit is devil-borne. And I keep watching the video of the firefighters I think? In the high ass truck? And the water is at the windows? It is unbelievable. And I’m glad you are safe even if it means you might have to play Monopoly by candlelight.


Biz September 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I still can’t believe all the pictures I am seeing on the news – so crazy. After a car accident, drowning is my second least favorite way to die. I know, I am weird that way!

Hugs that you are safe!


Katybeth September 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

More than one game of candyland would make me want to go out into the rain and open my mouth. Being grateful is a thank you to a universe and a blessing to those who have lost so much…selfish is not noticing the grace you have been bestowed.

Glad you and yours are safe and sound!


Contemporary Troubadour September 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm

SO GLAD you are okay. I saw the photos and thought of you. That be some scary $h!# indeed.

Did Aria give you any crazy behavior before the storm?


TKW September 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm

CT (love you–what’s shakin;?)

Aria howled and howled and howled–2 days before the real deal. And then she howled non-stop and hid under our shitty, falling apart couch (and graced it in a similar vein). After 24 hours of steady rain, she got restless and paced and wanted to go outside; when I opened the door, she recoiled like there was something nasty out there.

Anyone want a cat? She is a pretty good meteorologist.


erin margolin September 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

you are not selfish. you are lucky. and you need not feel guilty or agonize or apologize over it. it was the same with my mother and Hurricane Katrina. Her neighbors at the higher end of her block ended up taking her in for months while her home was being rebuilt. They were the lucky ones. But so was my mom—because others offered her a helping hand when she needed it most….which I know you can and will do once the waters recede and things get a bit more settled. No, you might not be able to offer room and board, but knowing you? You’ll do whatever you can to help. You already are by posting this and bringing more awareness and sharing.



TKW September 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm


Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. We’re sticking together. We donated clothes and (kill me now, it’s so sad) “lovies” to kids who had to leave so quickly that they didn’t have time to grab things. The girls ransacked their rooms and donated any stuffed animals or soft blankets so those kids can at least snuggle with something.

The girls and I spent the afternoon at the local animal shelter because they have over 100 displaced animals with nowhere to go. Very vocal and sad cats, kittens and dogs. Miss M.’s birthday is October 4, and after visiting the shelter, we decided that donations to the shelter are better than gifts.

All of these acts are small potatoes. but you do it. In any measure you can.


jacquie September 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

I agree with abby you are not selfish but rather grateful. Glad you and yours are safe. hugs OOOO for you and the minxes (if they let you)


Gabba Guy September 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm

MaryJane and Gabba are glad that ya’ll are ok. go out and help someone.


Nina September 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

So glad to hear you are safe. And NO! You are not selfish!!!


Privilege of Parenting September 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hey KW, just sending love to you, yours and all those lashed by the storm who we don’t even know how to possibly hold fully in our addled hearts and minds.

Hugs nonetheless


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri September 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm


Glad to know that you and yours are safe.
Thinking of those who weren’t so lucky and sending strength their way. xoxo


Jamie September 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I felt like such an ass-hat, after commenting that I was jealous your girls’ schools were closed on your fb. I had no idea that the storms would become so serious! Hopefully you love me anyway (even if I constantly have my foot in my mouth.) So glad you and the fam are safe!


TKW September 18, 2013 at 7:47 am


You know I love you! I didn’t think twice about it!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes September 18, 2013 at 2:12 am

So happy to hear you are allright. My heart goes out to those afflicted. Floods are terrible.


Heather September 19, 2013 at 7:36 am

It’s awful and the world just keeps turning with most of us grown-up bastards just oblivious to your neck of the woods. This was so good, the beauty of your writing and the reminder to be grateful.



Erica September 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

I must watch the news more often so I’m not so clueless. Thank goodness you and yours are safe and dry. Someone put a big bubble of love around your home to protect you. The beautiful thing is that you realize just how lucky you are. Stay safe. xoxo


unicorn September 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Witchy, so glad you are all ok. I whipped out my address book to make sure I wasn’t crazy that you lived *RIGHT THERE* in flood zone. Yup, *RIGHT THERE*. Stay dry, and you might want to boil your water just in case… I know too much. Relieved to see you posting.

Big hugs to you and the minxes.


Caitlin September 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

i was wondering if you were in the area in colorado that was hit! i’m glad to hear that you are doing ok and pray for the families in your surrounding areas!


Tiffany September 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Isn’t it eerie how wise kids are? So gld you are all ok.


Jennifer September 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm

When we came home after Hurricane Rita, every home around us in a circle was damaged. Some major, some minor, but every home. Except hours. I don’t know how that works. What I do know is that tragedy brings out the resilience in people, and that faster than you can imagine things will return to normal, a new normal, and rebuilding will occur. Just hold on. The good is coming.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me September 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I am certain that I’m reading these backlogged posts on my reader in the wrong order. Argh. Sorry I’m so behind…can’t tell you how many times I thought of you and your gang while seeing headlines. So glad you are safe and well.


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