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#Inspiration, Hope, and Courage in the Heat of Turmoil

#Sunday Stills #Towering Turmoil #Lens-Artist Challenge #115 Inspiration

To be quite honest, these two challenges are polar opposites. I’m not sure how I am going to weave them together but I will try.

First the Inspiration

Seder with Elane Geller

Elane Geller, Holocaust Survivor and my dear friend, passed away last week. She inspired thousands of students, their teachers, and the thousands that heard her speak at the Museum of Tolerance. Thank you for sharing you life with me, Elane. I was blessed by our friendship.

Then the Turmoil

Our lives have been plagued with minor towers of turmoil for the last four months. Remember our May air conditioner woes? Before two weeks passed after the July installation of the new furnace/AC, the the foot of the bed in the spare bedroom felt wet. I thought maybe Scardy had an accident, so I didn’t tell Vince. Scardy didn’t inspire confidence.

Last picture of Scardy – RIP little guy 9/14/2020 Love you forever. Thanks for 19.5 years.

Scardy inched his way to lie down on the floor, “Always blaming the kitties! I didn’t do it. Maybe the sky is falling.”

A day later, after I had cleaned and changed the bed, both the carpet and the bed were dripping wet. WORSE TURMOIL! Looking up we found that the ceiling was starting to separate. Maybe Scardy had been inspired and the sky really WAS falling.

That situation (end of July) required immediate and ongoing remediation. It started with dehydrators which ran 24/7 pumping out air as hot as 125 degrees into our two rooms, which by now had no ceiling.

“Ho Hum.” Nutter Butter’s calm response to the turmoil was a great inspiration.

Then the demolition crews brought the air purifiers which weren’t blowing hot air, but roared twice as loudly. These machines droned day and night for about a week until we thought we were going to go crazy.

Finally the carpenters who replaced the ceiling started working.

I was inspired by how thoughtful, kind and efficient everyone from ServiceMaster was.

Vince also suspected that if the AC installers had been so careless about the condenser pipe, they might also have ruined the roof. Sure enough, their shoddy workmanship required us to call another company to repair that damage.

“Are you still bellyaching? Surely you can do better than using me for inspiration. Cut out the photos, would you? I’m sleeping.”

My Towers Start to Fade

Last night our neighbor took me out for dinner. She wanted to tell me all about her trip with her nursing buddies to Oregon. They had been fighting COVID 19 non-stop for months (that’s inspiring) and needed a break. She had lived in Grants Pass, but had never visited Crater Lake or the Oregon dunes in Florence.

“I wanted to take my friend there. Those are inspiring places.”

“The sky is so hazy. It’s usually crystal clear,” I critiqued looking at her phone as she swiped through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

“It was inspiring.”

I held myself back from further comments, my memories of Oregon were dimmer than her fresh ones. I wanted to share all the towering turmoil that had happened in my life since I saw her a month ago. But when we got to the restaurant, she was still only at the second or third day of her vacation story.

“We were ready for bed when when fire alarm that went off. What the… was going on? We had no clue. We evacuated from the hotel.”

I was all ready with my matching New York City Hotel story. But luckily I kept my mouth shut.

The Hairs Stood Up on My Arms

“As it turned out the fire was outside instead of inside.”

“OH NO!”

I didn’t have a matching story for this. She was talking about THE OREGON FIRES. Her towers of turmoil had grown to immense proportions. She was about to embark on the scariest journey of her life. (and mine, truth be told. )

Four nurses, four phones, no information, no connections driving into burnt orange air. (Sorry it’s sideways. I did say nurses who were scared out of their gourds, not videographers)

“We had to get out of Brookings. Two of the girls had to go to work the next day. I wanted to take Highway 101 South along the coast, but it was closed. So we headed northeast via 199 to get to Cave Junction to catch Interstate 5 South into California. I was driving. This is what it looked like at one in the afternoon. We still didn’t have a clue. There were cars coming the other way, so we figured the road was open.”


“You must have thought you were going to die.”

“We did.”

“We made it to Grants Pass at about three in the afternoon but Interstate 5 South closed. Cars piled up in the parking lots. All the hotels filled up fast. We’d call, listen to their COVID 19 spiel, and by the time they got done the room was gone. We finally checked into Sleezebag Hotel and rented a $63 room for $150. On September 10th, the Oregon governor had something to say about that!”

“Price gouging.”

“Exactly. Just south of there, the towns of Talent and Phoenix burned. Total population about 10,000. Firefighters were not able to put fires that crisscrossed the freeway out. Even so, at one-thirty in the morning the freeway reopened. We were back on the road within fifteen minutes. We didn’t check out in case we had to come back.”

Driving down Interstate 5 at 1:30 in the morning, the road looked like this.

They still didn’t know very much. Nothing was coming over the channel 15 on the radio that usually gave traffic information. They saw a semi-truck abandoned on the shoulder. It had fire damage. They just drove for ten hours.

They arrived safely home exhausted and frazzled to tell the granddaddy towering turmoil story of their lives.

“Still not inspiring, all y’all.”

Thanks Terri with Sunday Stills and Tina with Lens-Artists for taking the time to host your photo challenges.

Mark Your Calendars for October 5

It’s the start of the annual Rodeo Flash Fiction Contest at Carrot Ranch.

Image courtesy of Lisa Kilburn taken by Bud Kilburn

Always Write to Host Week Three

31 replies »

    • Thank you Roberta. Elane was a special person in my life. And yes, these fires in Oregon are unprecedented. No one expects them there at least at that level of concentration.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh wow, Marsha. I’m pleased those nurses got home safely. That is huge turmoil. I am sorry to hear of the passing of your friend also. Sending virtual hugs. Look after yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • On a larger scale, I think we all thought it couldn’t get any worse. But frankly, we have a great life in spite of difficulties. As Terri put it, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” My friend Elane, when she first came to live in America at 9 years old, her new American friends could not understand why she didn’t cry when Bambi died. “It was nothing to cry about. Losing half my family to the Nazis was something to cry about.” I feel that way when I complain. I know my complaints added all together are nothing but mosquito bites. Thanks for your lovely comment, Susan. Hope you are doing well Miss Musin’. I’ll be over there soon. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, Marsha, what is going on in our world? Firstly, I’m so sorry to read that Scardy left for the Rainbow Bridge and your dear friend passed. He had a wonderful life with you. I can’t imagine losing a good friend at this stage of my life. Secondly, your roof, water leaks, and prepping to move? Wow, what a ride you have been on. We could write a book on “How to Awkwardly Leave California.” I’m sorry to read about your friend and getting through an evacuation. What an ordeal! I don’t think anyone will miss 2020. Let’s pray for peace and wisdom to get through these times. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but that towering wall before us can seem insurmountable. Glad you and Vince are well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We could do justice to a book about our Awkward Departure from CA. Wish we were moving closer rather than further apart. I enjoyed our time together. You have such a positive attitude in spite of all the struggles. In spite of all my complaints, we have a great life both in California and out of it. Vince checks out houses in Prescott every day. He’s getting excited.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Marsha – I cannot imagine you found time to post with all that’s going on in your life! First I must admit I re-read your post 3 times and still haven’t seen that Scardy passed away. Sorry for you loss of both your little one and your good friend. I loved her comment about Bambi, a perfect sense of proportion will help us get through our minimal trials for sure! Thanks for sharing your troubles with us, hopefully all’s well now. When and where are you moving???


    • You are so funny, Anne! I hope it was calming and tasty. I had a Tylenol and a glass of wine. I’m not a big drinker, but I had a procedure done on top of all that and it was much more painful than it should have been. I came home to my husband who had found about a 5 oz baby kitten with eyes matted shut and bugs everywhere. Treating his boo boos took up so much time I forgot I had a Zoom meeting for Kiwanis tonight. I’m feeling no pain now. πŸ™‚ I could sure use some of that Ovaltine, though. LOL Have a great night, Anne. Don’t get carried away with too much Ovaltine! πŸ™‚


  4. Wow those photos of the ceiling etc really brought home the disaster that your airconditioning guys brought into your life – it would have been an absolute nightmare to deal with – especially in the heat. It’s one of those situations where you don’t appreciate how pleasant your life is – until something so unpleasant descends upon you – so glad you’ve got it all sorted and on the way back to normalacy!

    Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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