Goshen News, Goshen, IN


July 22, 2013

Snow White's friends visit during daylong power outages

It happened, of all crazy things, two nights in a row. A storm blew through, lightning crashed and the lights went out.

The first night, they came back on somewhere before dawn’s early light. And then late that night, it happened again. Thunder boomed, the wind whipped up, and a pole snapped right in two, putting live wires on the ground. The neighborhood went dark, and at the Schrock residence, the action commenced.

The in-house live wires who are always on the ground (when they’re not on the roof or up a tree) got busy. Out came those blasted little Maglites, and there went the headaches. Again.

Flashlight wars in the black of night will throw a mother straight to grumpy in the time that it takes to click one. As Little huddled beside me, frightened, his brothers lit things up, strobing each other’s corneas — and mine — with what appeared to be klieg lights.

It’s hard to administer justice when you’re reeling like a drunken sailor, eyeballs throbbing, with yellow spots dancing on the backs of your lids. It is. When I couldn’t catch them to apply some stiff maternal pressure to the lobes of their ears, I did what I usually do. I called for their dad (“Come quick! Save your kids”) and went to bed.

A person learns who their true friends are in times of need. “Two words—no power. Two more—no coffee. And two others — that stinks.” That’s what I told them when we awoke to a house without power the next morning.

“Two more,” said an aunt. “So sorry.”

Then one friend offered to deliver, and another one said she’d coffee me up if I stopped by her office. While their kind offers ministered to my sagging spirits, the fact remained that it was a jungle out there. Literally. And I was decaffeinated. Involuntarily.

Yes, in the seven-dwarf lineup, I was leaning hard toward Grumpy and right on the way to a family nomination of Grumpy, Sleepy and Dopey if I wasn’t careful.

Hey. You try clearing a jungle with that cocktail, OK? The backyard was a mess. The storm had ripped a portion of a large tree down and had thrown a small forest of other limbs and branches about the place.

Little Schrock, I noted, had morphed into Happy, another one of Snow White’s friends, at the prospect of a family workday. Caught up in the spirit of a common purpose, he trotted around the property, hauling branches and picking up sticks with all his might. Seeing him, I nearly burst into a chorus of “Whistle While You Work,” but it was too much for my decaffeinated state, so I settled for a feeble wave.

Mr. Schrock, on the other hand, had turned into Paul Bunyan. No ox, no ax, but a chain saw.

What was it about power tools that made a man happy? The more it roared and the more fumes it threw, the happier he was. Or that’s what the 32 teeth gleaming brightly above the Husqvarna’s blade told me.

For a girl, it took other tools to do the trick. Appliances like Keurigs and curling irons, things that didn’t roar or throw fumes. Those would put a girl solidly in the happy camp. That’s what I thought that day in the yard, bangs going roughly six directions.

Hopefully those NIPSCO guys up the road had done some serious business with Mr. Coffee before they came. As in espresso shots straight up. That’s what else I thought as I peered up the road, looking for signs of espresso-like actions.

It was later in the day, during a break from the cleanup, that I learned what made a lineman grumpy. “I don’t mind heights,” I heard one of them say as they installed a new pole. “It’s the falling I don’t like.”

Aha. That would do it, I thought. Tumbling from the top of a utility pole would make a fellow grumpy for sure, no matter what his bangs were doing. Taking a swipe at my own unruly ones, I went back to carrying twigs.

From grumpy, then, we jumped right to happy when the power came back on. There went the air conditioner. There went the water. And there went the Keurig.

What relief. Yes, that capable crew had done their jobs, restoring the power once more. Heroes, they, right up there with the fellow who’d invented the original air conditioner and Mr. Epidural and his syringe who’d shown up at key points in my life. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for the yo-yo who’d invented nylons. That was a dopey idea, I muttered darkly while straightening my curling bangs.

As I inhaled the steam arising from the mug, I forgave Dopey. Then I gave thanks for those who make our lives a little easier. For those who make us happy.

After being grumpily decaffeinated, Rhonda Schrock reports that she is, indeed, herself again. In other words, she’s back to being “one small, caffeinated American mom.” Happily — and thankfully — so.

Text Only
  • Vegetables need blanching before freezing Rain at the right time and cool weather is making for bountiful gardens, whether it be your own or produce that you buy at many of the local vegetable stands. While I am at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, I know from past years, I will have many convers

    July 23, 2014

  • Briefly Translation to XTAGS failed

    July 23, 2014

  • GROUNDS FOR INSANITY: Schrock boys could add some excitement to White House EDITOR’S NOTE: Rhonda’s Schrock’s column normally appears on Mondays, but was moved this week due to fair coverage.What a wonderful time of year. As I write, a summer rain is falling. Instead of bundling up in layers, tripling my normal circumference

    July 20, 2014

  • Puppy in perilfrom parvo Dear Dr. Weldy’s: My neighbor’s puppy is sick with parvovirus. Are my dogs at risk? What can you tell me about this illness?Dear reader: If your dogs are current on vaccines, they are at very little risk of contracting this virus. Parvovirus is a com

    July 20, 2014

  • SHADES OF GREEN: Educating future leaders in environmental issues is important Thinking about my future year at Goshen Middle School, I found this essay I wrote in 2009 that I will read often while working with my 12-year-old students.***I’ve had many mentors who have led me down my path of education. Ones who have inspired; on

    July 20, 2014

  • GN140720 whole family 01 A special memory on graduation day Today I get “pinned,” a nursing-school version of a graduation ceremony during which we say a pledge to take good care of people and grin goofy-like — I’m sure I will — as our favorite faculty gift us roses, handshakes, and a little gold broach.Oh, a

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Staycation' a simple, but fun alternative One of the column topics that I get a lot of comments, compliments and feedback on is when I write about my vacation adventures (or should I say, misadventures?).Since I took a spring vacation this year and didn’t have any other plans to travel, I de

    July 19, 2014

  • Calls aboutlarge, green June bugs increasing The caller was a bit frantic as she described huge bugs flying all around her backyard, seemingly chasing her around as she tried to investigate what was going on near her garden. She described them as shiny green, and shaped somewhat like a Japanese

    July 18, 2014

  • GN140718 dirt on gardening grubs DIRT ON GARDENING: Grubs, left untreated, will continue to cause damage Bugs are a gardener’s worst nightmare — or seemingly so. Every year we are confronted with these pesky critters that enjoy eating the leaves and vegetation of our prized landscapes and vegetable gardens — sometimes even the vegetables themselves.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly ELKHARTRep. Neese appointed to recycling committeeIndiana State Rep. Tim Neese has been reappointed to the advisory committee of the Indiana Recycling Market Development Board by Indiana Speaker of the House Brian C. Bosma. Neese is one of four legis

    July 18, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims Leave Ukraine Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results