Erin came into my room some time later.
"Mom, the power is out," she said, and climbed into bed with me.
Ugh. First thought: no coffee. Then subsequent things: the toilets, running water, the fridge.
I knew I would be sent to go get takeout coffee.
"There's a limb in the driveway," Shane told me. I went out to see it, and it covered the width, split from a nearby giant. At least there wasn't further damage and it happened when the kids weren't out riding bikes.
I began to send out text apologies to neighbors that we were firing up a chainsaw at seven in the morning. (The electric company was on the way and needed access, and I knew, again, I would be sent out to get coffee.)
"Get me a large," Shane said.
"I'll get us two larges each," I replied.
But then, the neighbors I texted started showing up. At seven in the morning. One offered to bring us coffee. Others prepared to lend a helping hand to drag off the cut pieces. One neighbor in his wheelchair brought along his teenage son. We had cleared most of it, and stood around talking. All of us sleepy-eyed, morning faces.
"Thanks for coming down to check on us," I told them.
"That's what community is all about," one said. He said some more things, and his wife reiterated later by text. But I'm going to keep those words as treasure in my heart.
Erin started making books about her characters Elmy and Bambam. She is a hoot. She wants to sell the books.
"They are one dollar each," she said.
I bought one. I don't really keep cash on me. But then I wanted all of them because she is hilarious, so I bought another. Again. Low cash.
"Are you going to buy any more?" she asked, before she takes it to a larger market.
"I really wanted another one, but I ran out of dollars," I said.
"Well, I forgot to tell you I'm having a sale. They are buy-two-get-one-free," she said. So she let me pick another.
Last night Erin and I read books on the couch. We've been reading this really awesome series about Christian missionaries, and they are amazing stories. Real page turners. Thought provoking. Emotional. One quote I have up on the fridge brought me to the brink of tears as I read it out loud. We are starting a new one about Nate Saint. But last night, she brought in Mr. Putter and Tabby, and a Henry and Mudge book.
I love reading to her. She's old enough to read to herself, but she likes to cuddle up next to me and hear the stories. (Seriously--I'm not about to pass that up. I saw a friend's picture of his daughter asleep in the high chair and I thought how it was just YESTERDAY Erin was doing that too. Then, you know, I realized it was more like seven years ago and this ride is one non-stop blur.)
"Where are you?" she'll ask if she loses her place as I read. But with these easier readers, she keeps up.
We read about Mr. Putter's adventures with his neighbor and Erin howled at the illustrations. Then in Mudge, she laughed at his antics so hard I had to wait for her to recover. She has some real wit.
"I think that's my new favorite story," she told me.
The pool is open for the season. The kids had their first splash today.