Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Girls and Five Guys

On Friday, in what proved to be a foreshadowing of the creativity that would be required for the weekend, my coworkers baked chocolate chip cookies in the parking lot. Yes, it was that hot out. Just as I was enjoying some of the car-camping crispy, chocolatey goodness, I received a month-old weather alert about a tornado warning. My friends and I chuckled at how weird and random that was, and merrily went about the business of going home for the weekend. Little did we know.

After dinner, the still descending darkness was ripped by what sounded like a train barreling between the houses. No locomotive, it was merely the wind, tearing around the neighborhood at 80 miles an hour, destroying trees, flinging debris everywhere and causing windows to bow and doors to slam. We high-tailed it to the basement, where we watched in the distance as exploding transformers lit up the night sky.

Saturday morning Maura came to my place and we walked to Cups for coffee, where we met up with Lizzy. After getting ourselves appropriately caffeinated, we walked a bit, looking at the neighborhood and surveying the aftermath. Despite having huge, hundred-year-old trees uprooted and blown around the block, houses in the neighborhood seemed to be spared. Power was out everywhere beyond a six block enclave of civilization including my house; we had power, but most of the rest of the known world was in the dark. Of course, the next day was the hottest of the year, breaking records all over the state, and most of us who were sweating in the shade had no power for ceiling fans, let alone window units.

The D&D group saturday enjoyed the air-conditioning immensely, and they seemed quite engrossed in their fantasy realm as The Girls and I headed off to go rock climbing after verifying that the center had power. The ride out was an impressive display of debris, downed trees and an abject lack of electricity. My heart went out to the folks who were working day and night in the heat to get power back to us all, and it seemed all of 460 and Lynchburg proper was without power until we finally got a few blocks from the climbing gym.

We spent the first 30 minutes or so training to belay, then up the wall we went, in rounds. I had a great time, and I continue to find it fun and exhilarating in equal measure. Best part? Rappelling: my childhood fantasies of being Batman have been realized. Three climbs were about our limit, and we hit Five Guys on the way home, each wolfing her burger in decadent silence. We split an order of fries and the salt and protein and carbs [and malt vinegar] worked their magic -- we were nearly human again. On the way home, Lizzy read us the details of an upcoming climbing venture at the New River Gorge. It sounds thrilling, actually, and I'm hoping I can attend. I'm a little nervous and a little thrilled to be thinking of climbing a real rock gorge, and I'm looking forward to trying it out with the girls. I feel really good about it being a women's event, and of course I love looking at gear. I have no idea how much of our own equipment we will need to bring to the event, so that will be a definite factor. [As of this writing I have exactly nothing for rock climbing gear. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.]

Maura & Gunny stayed at our place again Saturday night, and we were glad to have them as their power was still off. Sunday morning was the requisite relaxing time. I read more of The Drifter's Curse and played an online game of WordFeud with Ethan before heading off with the girls to Pilates. Erin taught the class this week, and it was a doozy of an hour, a beautiful time exploring strength and flexibility [and how I could use a little bit more of both!], and man was I worn out by the time we headed to gelato. Two weeks ago, we were introduced to the roller; this week it was the Ring Of Fire. [Careful inspection reveals that these implements are suspiciously similar to interrogation enhancements that were employed by the Inquisition, but that's not important right now.] I am pretty certain I sweated and shivered my way out of another pound. [One of these days I really am going to have to replace my scale.]

At home again, I found Johnny visiting, and when Gunny arrived we all enjoyed a dinner of pasta and red sauce. I was beat by then, and when the boys left with Phillip it was all I could do to wave. Johnny and I stayed up talking, washing yet another load of dishes, and watched the first episode of True Blood, season 4 before I crawled into bed for a much-needed rest, one of the most peaceful I have had in weeks. [I'm thinking the exercise is paying off in the quality of my rest, and am interested in what the effect of three times a week of regular activity would do.]

Phillip is without power, and the boys are miserable, so they are coming back this evening. None of the children's programs had power this morning, so I was scrambling around trying to figure out which way I was headed in order to get into work, and it all got smoothened out soon enough. Graeme's program won't meet Tuesday or Wednesday, and Vivian will be out then, too, so we might as well throw Ethan into the mix and at least keep him cool. I'm not certain exactly what we are having for dinner tonight, but I can promise it is going to be quick and easy. [Read: Probably pizza from Grace's.] I'm considering taking us all out and signing us up at the gym after work, but before pizza. We need a place to go wear ourselves out.