Monday, August 14, 2006

Home Again!

Well, we're back! It was an exciting trip, all around. And yes, "exciting" is one of those words with multiple meanings and connotations.

First off...Scot, I meant to bring my cameras, really I did....we just simply forgot, so you'll have to rely on the pics of others (to be supplied momentarily).

If you want a good blow-by-blow description of all the action, check out our Minister of Music's blog: But I'll give you a nice summary.

The trip down was uneventful. I only entered the bus bathroom twice on the trip - once on the way down, and once to change later on in the week. I felt great most of the days, with only a couple of mornings of ickiness, and only a couple of all days of ickiness (close to the end of the week when I was tired and probably not drinking as much as I needed to).

We got down there earlier than expected (which made the hotel staff nervous), but gave us extra time to settle in and rest before the first night....well, except for VNB and a few others who joined the pre-production crew to finish getting the stage and site set up.

Each afternoon threatened thunderstorms (with several following through on their threat), but it only rained out one event - the main community festival on Saturday evening. Even that was just postponed to Sunday afternoon (we'd built in a little spare time, so we waited to leave for FL until later than planned).

While we were in the process of re-prepping the stage (after a short shower) just prior to Sunday's event, a gust of wind decided to fill the sail (the backdrop) and cause the light trusses to topple. I and another person were in the middle of the stage, while most others were off or on the outskirts. Fortunately, someone looked up just as the toppling began and was able to warn us all. Being in the middle of the stage with backdrop behind me, choir risers and railings to my left, people, instruments, and audio paraphernalia to my right, and stage falling forward, there was no way for me to safely escape, so I just watched where things were falling and avoided everything. My SCUBA "control your panic" training definitely came in handy in those moments. Even so, I took my time walking out of the rubble to keep my slightly shaky limbs from tripping over something. I think everyone else was far more concerned about me (and baby) than I was (especially those who saw me inside as the trusses fell)....but as I reminded Pastor D, I lived in Baghdad for a year and a half. This was just an accident. There, they're aiming for you. :) (That's a joke, btw....I never felt endangered while there and logical reasoning said that I was never a target.)

Anyway, so after a minute or two to collect ourselves (and with people starting to show up for the fair), several of us started the clean up, while the rest went on with the rest of the fair (face painting, moon bounces, hot dogs, hamburgers, snow cones, popcorn, etc.). About 20 minutes into the clean-up, VNB found a box lid, tripped over it, and ended up chipping the Radius in his left arm up by the elbow. Now, if you ever talk to _him_ about it, be sure you say that the story you heard was that he single-handedly held up the collapsing stage to protect his wife and unborn child. That's _much_ nicer for his ego than tripping over a box lid.

So....while the clean-up continued and the fair (sans musical entertainment) went on, VNB and I sent to the emergency room. We were literally in and out within an hour! And the only even remotely "sub-standard" service that we got was that they didn't give him a percoset or anything to tide him over until he got his pain med prescription filled. But even that was livable. It was definitely uncomfortable for him on the bus the next few days, but we both survived (I have yet to get a cast to the face during the night). Plus, it gave me a small taste of what it's going to be like with baby (except that with baby, I'll be able to sleep during the day too instead of having to keep going) - he was up frequently during the night, for more meds, to change position, etc., and he needed help dressing and bathing (at least initially).

The worst part was that, due to the pain meds, we decided that it just wasn't smart for us to take the equipment truck and drive to NC for his friend's wedding. So, the team stepped up and drove the truck for us, and we just went back with the rest of the group on the bus.

But God was good to us, and the trip was an unmitigated success. Really. Let me count the ways (in no particular order):

- All of the concerts that we performed were great.
- We were able to encourage the FBC Nicholson folks, the teachers at Nicholson Elementary School, and all other concert audiences (not to mention others).
- The gust of wind happened before the concert rather than during (lots more people on the stage (all with their backs to the parts that started the fall), and audience in the area onto which everything fell).
- Someone looked up just as things started to fall and had the presence of mind to warn everyone else.
- No one was seriously injured (one boy got a slightly bonked head and a skinned knee, but nothing serious or requiring treatment).
- My past experiences (and the grace of God) allowed me to not panic, which would have been the worst thing for me and for baby.
- We had removed the heavy stage lights prior to that point (they would have made it all fall faster, giving people less time to get out of the way, not to mention the extra glass clean-up and huge expense of replacing all of the bulbs).
- An awning was there to shade the audience chairs, and it graciously sacrificed its life to provide an extra couple of seconds for the last people to get out of the way.
- The whole experience spooked our minister of music enough that we didn't set up the stage/backdrop at the other churches we went to, reducing set-up/tear-down time and aggravation. :)
- VNB's arm is "just" chipped, and chipped in a spot that isn't serious.
- VNB and I are married now, so there was someone around to take care of him (he'd be in serious trouble otherwise - pants don't button themselves, you know).
- He didn't break his arm until I'd gotten over the worst of the morning sickness, making it so I had the energy/lack of nausea to take care of him.
- The rest of the choir was gracious to help us out with getting the equipment truck back and unpacked, even though VNB could only give directions, not help physically.
- Instead of coming home Sunday night and having to be back at work the next morning, we had Friday through Sunday in which to rest and recouperate from the trip.
- While we didn't end up getting to see his family (since we didn't go to the wedding), my folks were able to join us in MS and Daddy even got to sing with the choir!
- My folks being there meant that their pop-up trailer was there and was available for use as an air-conditioned spot for the pregnant and otherwise infirm of the trip (well, and as our Min of Music's "green room").
- We got to see through the testimony of one of the youth on the trip how God is already being glorified through Jay's death.
- It allowed our Min of Music and fam to be with his extended family as his 10-yr-old niece undergoes surgery to remove an egg-sized tumor from her brain stem (today - Monday, Aug 14th).

No comments: