To get the bad one out of the way first, we had a tornado last week and several days of insane rain. While the tornado didn’t hit us, our basement flooded in multiple areas. Thankfully we had already pulled apart most of the basement for this remodeling project (so there was easy access to see leaks and not much was damaged). Unfortunately, several of the leaks were in the one part of the basement that was already finished (the boys’ bedroom) and some things were ruined, plus we had to pull down finished walls. (Side-note: Why would you put paneling over drywall, and use regular non-moisture-resistant drywall in a basement in the first place? Spoiler: we found lots of mold.) Anyway, things are drying up and we have some idea of how to fix everything now that it’s drying out.
Now to the good reason for my absence: My very good friend Stephanie flew up to visit for the weekend! For me, this little mini-retreat started the day before she arrived. Her flight was set to come in super early on Friday, and the airport is two hours from us, in Minneapolis. I booked a hotel and drove there the day before to just make this whole thing much easier. And that turned out to be perfect, because Jenna from JMill Wanders was traveling through and also staying in MN, and the two of us got together with Julianne from Outlandish Lit for an evening of books, Indian food, walking, and playing with Julianne’s very cute kitties!
The next morning, I picked Stephanie up from the airport and drove us the two hours back to middle-of-nowhere, WI. We picked the absolute worst weekend to plan this mini-vacation. The obvious: house torn apart, basement flooded, boys in makeshift rooms upstairs, the entire house smelling of cats and mold and damp. Then Stephanie also came down with a cold the day before she had to fly, and Jason’s work dropped an emergency problem on him that he was forced to spend the entire weekend working on, and it rained nearly the entire time she was here. The upshot that was in-between trips to kitschy shops and walks along the lake that were way too cold and damp, Stephanie had to accompany me on errands like grocery shopping.
Still, we had some fun. There’s not much to do in my area, but we visited the kitties at the Humane Society, walked at the community center, visited the mini-library here, saw the lake, visited all those weird shops and a mini-bookstore or two, and spent a lot of time at home doing puzzles, watching Downton Abbey, and playing silly phone games together. It was a totally laid back weekend. Stephanie got to meet my in-laws’ chickens, and of course my little Nimi, who joined our house only a few months ago. (Nimi loved Stephanie to pieces, giving her several baths over the course of her stay.) So despite this not being the best weekend for anyone, we still had fun. It was sad to drive her back to the airport in MN on Monday.
This little weekend-of-joy was exactly what I needed to get my mental health back on par. I’m so grateful for my friends. I’m already looking forward to and planning my next mini-vacation. Hopefully next time there will be no tornadoes involved (as both this trip and my trip to SA back in February were proceeded by a bizarre spate of tornadoes in the vacation destination just a few days prior!).
PS – Between dealing with storm damage and having neglected just about everything (online and in real life) for a week, I might be a bit absent from the blog this week as well.