Thursday, May 13, 2010

Here a Meerkat, There a Meerkat

We spent several April days hanging with the monkeys and such at Nashville Zoo. I like it for the shaded walkways and picnic areas; the boys love it for the animals (duh) but even more for the 66,000-square-foot Jungle Gym and adjacent Tot Lot, a soft play area where they can roll and fall to their hearts' content. Bryce's most common request when it comes to seeing animals is the crocodiles, much to my surprise. He is also quite fond of the meerkats.
I think our $75 annual zoo membership paid for itself just in the month of April, thanks to the nice weather we had!

Speaking of weather, May greeted us (and the rest of Middle Tennessee) with torrential rain. The first two days of May we got more rainfall than we usually get in a quarter of a year. The flooding that followed devastated the city, causing more than $1 billion in damage and killing nearly 30 people. Some of the hardest hit areas were the Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills and the Grand Ole Opry, the communities of Antioch (close to where we live) and Bellevue, and downtown Nashville.
Manuel's workplace, the Wildhorse Saloon, was completely flooded in their basement prep kitchen, storage areas, freezers, locker rooms and dishwashing areas as well as the first floor, where they had a beautiful hardwood dance floor. As I write this, Manuel is still not back to work there yet. It took more than a week for power to be restored and the Cumberland River to recede enough that water could be extracted from the building. We don't know what the future of the Wildhorse is yet. It has been Manuel's lifeblood in terms of work for the past 11 years and he is their senior cook. We are hoping it reopens soon.
On May 1st I called Manuel home from work because the usually calm creek behind our house had turned into a rushing river. The water crept up under our shed and towards our house inside our privacy fence. I never thought I would be thankful for our $700/year flood insurance policy, but I am now. We did not see any damage to our home. The water only weakened our fence and shed foundation, so we were some of the lucky ones.
I took a few pics of the water coming up and it got even worse than this. But I didn't want to go outside again because we were hiding out in our bathroom from the tornado warnings that were blaring on the TV.

For several days following the flood, we were urged not to drive on the roads, so we went a little stir-crazy at home. It's amazing what you can come up with to do when you can't leave the house. We built Lego towers, stayed in our p.j.s, Bryce helped me make brownies, and I made my first-ever blackberry cobbler.
Apparently floods aren't good for my waistline. But I choose to live by the words on a trivet my sister lovingly gave me some years ago (see pic below).

Until next post ...