I live in Nashville. Last Friday,  I went to Las Vegas for a software conference. The conference was productive and I had a good time getting to know colleagues from around the country. Vegas is a fun place for bonding with strangers. We had dinner at Red Square – a Russian place at Mandalay Bay that was featured on the Food Network. They have an ice bar that is very cool (that’s a pun for my mom). I had a drink that was called a Siberian Forest (Finlandia Wildberries Vodka, Triple Sec, Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice) that was very tasty. The food was expensive and while mine was good, most were unhappy with their meal. They said it was under-seasoned. Mine was not. SO, I recommend the roasted garlic prawns. The next night we had dinner on top of our hotel and the views were spectacular. The group was diverse, to say the least, and I’m sure others seeing us wondered what the heck brought us together. Then, on Monday, I flew to Florida (via St. Louis) to go work on the house we have not been able to sell in Boynton Beach. I have not been back to the area for three and a half years, so it was quite odd. I lived in that area for over 8 years, yet it feels very foreign to me. Things look so different yet still the same. And the fact that we had to pay for a hotel room right down the street from the home we own is more than frustrating. SH had been making repairs and painting while I was in Vegas. Needless to say he feels he got the short end of the stick. Especially since the air conditioning was out for two of the days. Man, I’m going to owe him for that one. I was in an air conditioned meeting room with food brought to me at regular intervals. I did, however, earn my keep on Tuesday. We had tenants in there for the past year and the four children were very rough on the house. I was very glad to see that the kitchen we had worked so hard to remodel was still looking good. My biggest fear was a destroyed kitchen and I knew I would not be able to emotionally deal with damage to that room.

Why so emotional? Well, while all of this was going on, we started to hear on Saturday night that Nashville was flooding. Not just normal flash-flooding, but find yourself a boat, son, kind of flooding. Jim Cantore is in town kind of flooding.

Our local grocery store

The area of town we live in is called Bellevue. We learned through online news reports that it was one of the hardest areas hit. Helicopter views showed lakes where lakes did not exist the day before. As Sunday proceeded, we learned that Nashville was now a National Disaster Area and had no idea how friends and neighbors had fared, much less how our home was doing. We were trying to get reports from people and find out if someone could get to our house to assess any damage. Bellevue was now apparently being referred to as “Bellevue Island” as no one could get in or out without a boat. We could not get through on the phones, but texts were flying. We were seeing pictures online that were scary. I got one text…”I lost my house.” My heart was broken for him. He was one of the taste testers from the first part of the Chocolate Episode. While I was flying to Florida, we found out that our house and our precious kitties were fine. Just a squishy back yard and possible water in the crawl space. We were relieved, but still upset by the pictures we were seeing. SH got a call to report into work (I’ll be there in 15 hours is not the response they wanted). I found out my work was not damaged too bad, but others we worked with on a regular basis had flooded basements. Most of the town was without power, including our house. LP Field (where the Tennessee Titans play) was flooded. Downtown was flooded. The Cumberland River was 19 feet above flood level and still hadn’t crested. People had died. The stories just got worse and worse.

We were very lucky. Again. You see, we moved from Florida to avoid more hurricanes. After 4 hurricanes in 18 months we were done. Yet here we are again. A National Disaster Area. It’s very draining, but I keep thinking – I’m fine. The only thing we lost was the contents of our refrigerator. Some people lost their entire home. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself and your ruined, formerly frozen turkey broth and turkey meat you wanted to use for blogging the “The Remains of the Bird” episode when others are throwing out their furniture, carpet and drywall and have no idea if they will be able to ever return to their homes. I can cook another turkey in my not flooded home. But that’s another post.

Pictures from www.tennessean.com and http://suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com/