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the mommyhood memos: pack your bags

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

pack your bags

What would you do if you were given three hours to pack up whatever you could fit into you car and told to leave for higher ground?

Thousands in my own state had to answer that question today.


Two weeks ago we returned home from our amazing white Christmas holiday in America. And as great as it was to be in the comfort of our own home, we came back to a very unwelcome visitor: Mold. On everything.

Mold had crept it’s way over our walls, attached itself to doorways and furniture, covered bedding, infiltrated clothes, freckled Levi’s toys, ruined curtains, smothered picture frames, and found it’s way into more things than I can list.

Welcome to life in the tropics. (There's nothing glamorous about the rainy season folks.)

And for the last two weeks we have been bleaching. Scrubbing. Washing. Vinegar…ing

It was the great Adriel vs. Mold show-down that was sure to go down in history as one of the monster battles of our time. (I mean seriously, just a few days in I ceased counting at 13 loads of laundry, and I’ve probably almost doubled that since.)

To say I was irritated by the attempted mold coup is an understatement.

My distain was ugly, my resolve was fueled, and I was determined to have the last word.


Today as I watched the unfolding news of floods literally taking over entire neighborhoods, communities, suburbs, and cities in the central and southern parts of Queensland, I felt foolish for my level of disturbance at my own little mold battle.

I felt foolish because I have en entire house full of stuff and I was upset by having to clean and sort and salvage it all. And by "all" what I really mean is all that stuff that I probably don't even need.

And I realized that as I was aggravated by having to care for all of my stuff, there are people a few hours away from me who have lost entire homes, properties, and livelihoods. And still others who are dealing with the tragedy of death amongst it all. (It is reported that there is a death toll of ten and counting… and that 78 people are still missing. Officials say these numbers are bound to rise.)

It's shocking. It's riveting. It's frightening. It's surreal. It's terrible. It's heartbreaking.

They’re calling it "the full wrath of a perfect storm".

Suddenly that epic mold battle shrunk down to its rightful size: a teeny weeny, itty bitty, tiny little mold disturbance.

Needless to say I’ve gotten my attitude in check. I’ve reminded myself of my priorities. I’ve counted my blessings.

Because really, in the grand scheme of things, what I treasure is here:

And if these boys were with me bundled up in a car headed to higher ground… that would be enough.

Sure, I’d like to grab my hard drive (full of precious photos and years worth of writing) and my stack of hand-written journals. I’d like to grab my few remaining photo albums and maybe my (completely replaceable) laptop and camera and bible.

But if I couldn’t grab those things… life would go on. It wouldn’t go on as I’ve known it, but it would go on. 

Of course it would.

I don’t know how I would cope with packing up my car to flee to the hills. But I do know that if my precious husband and son were right there alongside me, I would count myself among the lucky.

I am blessed.

And today I’m reminded of that in a very poignant way.

Dear friends, when is the last time you really took stock of your life and what is precious to you? And please, would you take a moment to remember and pray for those who are right now dealing with the loss of loved ones and life as they once knew it - here in Queensland Australia, but also in countless other places and situations around the world?

with both heartbreak and immense gratitude,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
do not reproduce without written permission

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At January 11, 2011 at 10:02 PM , Blogger cooperl788 said...

My heart goes out to everyone dealing with the flooding. I've been in your shoes. Not with the mold problem - ours is that every time the wind blows, we lose power. When Georgia was a week old, we lost power in our home for 9 days. I was so angry, so bitter at why the electric company couldn't just fix the line. But it was quickly replaced with shame and embarrassment; people died in that ice storm. People lost their homes. And here I was, with my home in perfect condition with my perfect new baby and my hubby in a warm hotel. It was a humbling experience.

At January 11, 2011 at 11:32 PM , Anonymous Jamie said...

It's hard to be humbled sometimes. I hadn't heard about the bad weather over there. I hope things improve for everyone.

But...I'd have been SUPER frustrated about all the mold too. I might have cried. And thrown things. That's a HUGE task to try and over come.

At January 12, 2011 at 3:07 AM , Blogger Mandy said...

I feel for those people losing their homes, their possessions, and in some cases their loved ones. Such a terrible tragedy. And you're right, it's times like these that forces all of the rest of us to count our blessings. We need to be doing that more often!!! Every day.

At January 12, 2011 at 3:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks for reminding me!

At January 12, 2011 at 5:39 AM , Anonymous Rachel said...

But aren't you under a cyclone warning? My sister is stuck in Caboolture and can't get parents are on flood alert in Lismore (but they're high on a mountain side so they'll be fine) brother lives in the Tablelands where the cyclone is supposed to sweep through...I'm stressing out! Its making being away all the more difficult!!! Nothing like some bad weather to put everything in the right perspective hey?!

At January 12, 2011 at 6:13 AM , Blogger Emma said...

It's all so horrible isn't it? My best friend lives just outside Brisbane but thankfully on higher ground so they aren't affected just yet but a lot of the places that I was visiting at this time last year have been affected! It really does make you realise how grateful we should be for what we have! x

At January 12, 2011 at 6:22 AM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

I am so sorry to hear about what is going on there with the flooding! So awful that people are loosing everything and some are losing their lives. Yes, in light of disaster, everything else seems quite trivial aside from having the ones we love safe and with us. I wish we could carry that mentality all the time and why does it so quickly flee our minds? A great reminder though. Sorry about the mold though. That would be exhausting to come home to!

At January 12, 2011 at 6:54 AM , Blogger Amy said...

What a great post Adriel! Great perspective amidst all that annoying mold. I saw video on the news about what's happening there. Stay safe!

At January 12, 2011 at 7:18 AM , Blogger Lindsey said...

Wow, thanks for the reminder. We'll be praying for those suffering from the floods.

At January 12, 2011 at 7:36 AM , Blogger Katherine Wilson said...

Hey Adriel,
We are in Toowoomba and were hit with a flash flood on Monday - and are so grateful were weren't down in the CBD when it happened. Our little home sustained a bit of water damage that will be fixed...and our garage flooded but thats all. A few streets away water went right through their house. We only have a small glimpse of what it was like to be a part of flooding, and yet it has challenged us greatly. What do we deem as important? I'll be posting a similar post to you soon...thanks for yours :)

At January 12, 2011 at 1:15 PM , Blogger Kerry McCullough said...

I was actually thinking about you today when I saw an update on the news- you're the only person I know in Australia... but I'm so glad to hear that you all are ok. And thanks for reminding me how blessed I am with all of the good things in my life. I can't complain :)

At January 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM , Blogger Heather M said...

Wow, Thank you for the beautiful post and for reminding me how truly blessed I am! I'm praying for those families!

At January 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I can't believe all that is going on there. I will be thinking of you and your family and hoping you won't need to evacuate. Take care.


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