Monday, January 23, 2006

There and Back

I feel like Lois Lane at the end of Superman II, after Superman has erased her memory and she sits down at her typewriter and says, “What’s happening in the world?” The new year is off to quite a start and I don’t even know where to begin.

I came back to work on the third, after eleven glorious days off over the holidays. A short week was even shorter since I took a half-day on Friday the sixth so N. and W. and I could go the annual weekend-long scrapbooking event in Gettysburg. We had a great time again this year, our second year. N. stayed up all night the first night and I think W. stayed up until 4am both nights. I only made it until about 1am both nights, but I accomplished a lot, getting halfway through my 2005 family album (January through the beginning of July). This time last year, I was finishing H's first-year album. Since then, I've completed my 2004 family album and an album of our honeymoon.

Being away for the weekend throws off the whole schedule and I was planning on catching up as the week went on. My birthday was on Monday the 9th and we celebrated with cupcakes that H. picked out at the grocery store. Then on Tuesday, everything changed. Just before lunch, there was a small explosion at work and we all had to evacuate for a couple of hours. It wasn’t very serious – the sprinkler system extinguished the fire before the fire department even arrived – but we spent the rest of the day following up on the incident.

We skipped tumbling class that night since I left work later than usual. Around 9pm, M. was out in the garage and heard an announcement about an explosion at work. That couldn’t be right; they must have been talking about the incident from the morning. And there was nothing on any of the TV stations. He heard it again while I was trying to find out more information, but I didn’t believe him. Finally, I called the fire department and they confirmed there was a second explosion, much worse than the first. So I spent the rest of the night on the phone until the 10 o’clock news, when I saw the first pictures of the fire. Based solely on those pictures, I thought there would be nothing left. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well Tuesday night.

I talked to my manager on Wednesday morning and went in to work at 10am to a satellite office we had established down the road. Amazingly, no one was injured in the fire and damage was contained to a small area, only about 5% of the entire facility. The next few days are a blur of crisis communications plan implementation. I worked until 8pm on both the Thursday and Friday after the fire and went in for a little while on Sunday, too, writing press releases and updating our corporate website. I had to call my mom and have her come over on Saturday to help me because I was feeling so overwhelmed. I was behind after the weekend away and now I was really behind. She helped me get our very dry, fire-hazard of a Christmas tree down and I was able to catch up on the laundry, too, plus put the rest of the Christmas decorations away. Last week was a little better, although we couldn’t return to our offices until Thursday and we still have to carpool from a satellite lot for a little while longer. I also had to go to a funeral viewing on Tuesday for the mother of a friend of my mom’s, which messed up the tumbling schedule again, so we did tumbling on Monday and Thursday to make up for the two missed days.

By this Saturday, I was completely wiped out and I think my body was trying to tell me that. I spent all day yesterday on the couch with a fever of 102 and could barely move. There was nothing else wrong – no stuffy nose or sore throat. I think it was just sheer exhaustion. I felt completely back to normal this morning. So now I’m back and ready to resume regularly scheduled blogging. I have a book entry I need to post about my first two reads in 2006 and some outdated pictures from the holidays, plus this weekend will be a busy one with a concert, work party and baby shower - all in less than 48 hours!