JoplinIn Joplin, some wheels have started turning. I know of a City Meeting tomorrow (Monday) at 6:00 PM at the local University's basketball arena. They have encouraged anyone who experienced damage to attend, and if that actually occurs, it means that the traffic and seating will be atrocious. Nevertheless, they are supposed to have some paperwork there that property owners (me) can sign to give the city permission to start clearing the land. That's good. I have heard that the Army Corps of Engineers is supposed to be coming to help clear it, and that the Federal Government is funding 90% of the cleanup costs (as of last time I heard, it hadn't been determined if the city or the state was covering the other 10%).
I have also seen some construction beginning already - but it was in the fringe areas that were damaged, not in the center of the destruction; after all, until the land is cleared, there won't be any construction that can begin. Oh, right, and the city has started to smell bad in the parts that were hit. Lots of frozen turkeys and other kinds of meat that are suddenly in 95 degree weather instead of the freezer - you do the math.
Finally, city news related, the official missing persons list is now down to zero people. Everyone that was on the list has now been accounted for. Unfortunately, I hear rumors of people that they keep finding that weren't on the missing persons list. It's very unfortunate.
JoshNow for what's going on with me. We spent a couple of days last week looking for a place to call "home." Lots of people have asked us recently what we need, and first and foremost, we need a place where we feel like we belong - and not just as guests. Don't get me wrong, the family that I'm staying with has been beyond accommodating, but after a couple of weeks, you really start to feel like it would be better if you found a more permanent place to stay. Fortunately, I think that things are going to work out so that we have a garage apartment that is mostly furnished that we can rent starting in early July. That will be nice. It's a bit of a drive from Joplin (30 minutes to work instead of the 5 that it used to be), but that's probably for the best right now as it is very depressing to drive through the city at the moment.
At some point I'm going to have to go back to work. "Life goes on," right? Well, I have been hemorrhaging my vacation time since this started, and so I'm hoping to go back to work sometime next week. I can't honestly say that I'm excited or looking forward to going back (though I normally don't mind my job), but either way I need to return. Maybe it will give me a sense of normalcy in all of this. But I don't honestly expect to experience that until July once we've moved into the apartment.
On the insurance front, things seem to be going well. We have received our payment for the house, for external structures, our first check for personal property (we should get more once we send them the itemized list of what we owned - yeah, everything that we owned), and a check to cover a year's worth of rent. Though, honestly, we probably won't spend most of this money for a while (aside from obviously having paid off the mortgage). Our current plan is to wait a few months and then try to decide what we want to do for long-term living arrangements; whether we want to buy a new house in Joplin, or whether we want to move somewhere else.
Since my car got totaled, Anna (my wife) has been asking me what kind of car I want to buy to replace it. I honestly have no idea. I've never been a car guy (which is ironic, as this is one of my Dad's primary hobbies), and so I've always just driven whatever I wound up getting for cheap. This often meant whatever my Dad was able to find a good deal on. Once I go back to work, getting a car will probably become the most pressing need, as I will need it to drive back and forth to work without leaving Anna stranded at the house.
Board GamesThe most exciting part of my week this week has been going up to Changing Hands Book Shoppe (where I am receiving most of my mail) and seeing what packages had arrived for me in the mail that day. So many of you have been sending board games to help replace my collection (and to be donated to the church), that I normally have at least one thing waiting for me when I get there. It's been a blast to see what people have sent to me - this week I know I've received a couple of games from Numbskull Games and Zombie State Games, I've also received Vegas Showdown that someone ordered for me from Boards & Bits, I've gotten Amun-Re, Dixit, Settlers & Seafarers of Catan, Star Wars:CCG Cards, and about 9-12 other games for me to donate to the church! Thank you all for making this happen, and for bringing me so much joy! The response from the board game community has really made me proud to be a part of it.
With that said, hopefully this will be my last Tornado-specific update. If life starts returning to normal, I hope to have this site return to normal with it. I have been able to play some new games (like Hey, That's My Fish!, Chaostle, and the Lord of the Rings LCG) which I'm hoping to review at some point, and I am receiving a lot of new titles that I also look forward to trying. With that said, I will make a confession that I've made a few times before - my posts (for game reviews) are often games that I reviewed quite some time ago. I try to write the review when the game is fresh in my mind, but I also try to have my posts occur on a somewhat regular interval. Because of this, I have quite a few "drafts" that are already ready to post (for games such as Aquarius, Lunch Money: Sticks and Stones, Talisman, and many others). So, even if I'm not able to start posting new reviews for the next few weeks, I should be able to post some of these for you to read until I'm able to get some new ones written.