Monday, January 25, 2010

Aftermath

We were so cozy in our home during the big storm, I was completely oblivious to the destruction that was happening elsewhere.

Throughout the state of Arizona there were dust storms, high winds, tornadoes, severe floods, and heavy snowfalls that created a lot of damage.  It was so bad that last Thursday Governor Brewer declared a state of emergency for the entire state. 

We still haven't returned to school.  There's no school tomorrow, either, although on Wednesday the high school expects to reopen.  Grades kindergarten through eighth may be closed all week.

Sarah took the photo at left of her brothers and their friends sledding at the country club on Saturday.

Today it was beautiful and clear with blue skies.  Sarah, Dylan, and I took the opportunity to pick up a few things at WalMart before running a few other errands.

We stopped by the water company to pay this month's bill.  It's one of those bills that isn't available for online payment, and since I drive by their business nearly everyday, it's easy to save myself a stamp.  Sarah thought the icicles on the building were beautiful.

The water company is intact, but the roof on the Pinetop Fire Department caved in during the storm.  We didn't drive all the way to Pinetop to get a picture of it, but we did drive around Lakeside to check out some of our other buildings.

Of course, we already knew the church building was okay, since we attended all of our meetings there yesterday.  I think snow-covered churches are so Christmas card-worthy.  It just needs a bit of sparkles added.

We cruised by the high school.  This sign is in front of the district office, which is barely visible on the right.  In the background is the high school's main campus.  It was our only campus and the location of my classroom for 18 years, until just a year and a half ago, when the new middle school/junior high was opened.

One of our assistant principals told me tonight that a water main burst somewhere in the high school, plus the print shop flooded when rain and melting snow seeped in under the door.  Many cases of paper were destroyed.  I guess these are the reasons we're still not in school despite clear skies and well-plowed parking lots.

This is the East Campus of the high school, where my classroom is currently located.  It used to be the junior high campus, the one Sarah and Jacob attended not so many years ago.  Dylan, of course, will start junior high in the new building this coming August.

The East Campus is also where the print shop is located, just down the hall from my classroom.  I hope we don't end up with a mildew smell!

From there we drove on to Dylan's school building.  The left half of the building is the Middle School, grades 5 and 6.  The right half is the junior high school, grades 7 and 8. 

Major flooding here is another reason for the delay in returning to school.  The company that built the school cut several corners, which the district has been battling to rectify.  One of those corners was not raising the school's foundation enough, even though it was built upon a known flood plain.

At WalMart I ran into Dylan's former 2nd grade teacher, Brian, who now teaches Spanish at the junior high.  He'd heard that the junior high offices and the library were badly flooded, about 6 inches of water.  When we drove by, we could see rolls of new carpet padding being taken into the building.  The front door was ajar, with fat hoses snaking inside.

Apparently we also have to wait for air quality testing to be completed before the younger kids can be allowed back in school.  So Jacob and I may be returning to school on Wednesday while Dylan continues to kick back at home.  Life is not fair, but that's okay--I'm a professional!

While we were driving around, we noticed a strange light in the sky.  It almost looked like an oddly bent rainbow, but then this bright glow began to appear behind it.  At first I thought it was the sun behind the clouds producing this strange beam, but then I looked over and realized that the sun was actually behind those trees on the right. I still have no idea where that brilliance came from.

This is a random thought, but whenever I see something like this, I always wonder what we'll see in the sky at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Will I recognize what's happening?  Should I turn down the radio and listen for the sound of a trump?  Above all, will I be ready?  With all the turmoil in the world today, and with the trials of natural disasters happening all around us, that day may come sooner than we know.  If we open our hearts to the needs all around us and serve as Christ would, I believe we will be prepared and we'll welcome that great day.  As I said, just a random thought!

1 comment:

Jill said...

See, it's all in your great planning Mary! What is that scripture..."if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." Must be nice too, to have some cozy time at home with your kids.

I've been thinking about your last paragraph since I read it yesterday...it really is about looking out for the needs of others isn't it? Like my mother use to say, "The only real safety we have in this world is in keeping the commandments." Like you said, in being Christlike, is the best way we can be ready. I need to be reminded of that every day!