Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mickey Mantis

Have you ever been told, "Keep calm during the storm?"

Tammy Sue Willey, Storm Albert
Storm Albert October 2011

Tammy Sue Willey, Storm Albert
Storm Albert October 2011

When you're in the middle of something that seems insurmountable, don't you just want to slap the person that said that?

Tammy Sue Willey, Storm Albert
Storm Albert October 2011

Maybe your storm is emotional, health, financial or literally the weather. No matter the storm it will be different for everyone and we will at some point in time need to navigate our storm and God willing, come through it with hope, grace and peace.

Tammy Sue Willey, Storm Albert
October 2011 Freak Storm
January 26, 2015 the North East was hit with storm Colbie. The news said this would be a Nor'easter that would go down in history. My husband and I prepared for the worst. Fortunately the worst didn't come, in our neck of the woods. We only rec'd 19 inches of snow and 2 days off in the school system. My blessing was a day to shovel and make chicken soup, the next day to relax. 
But I couldn't help but reflect on the storm of October 2011.

October 24, 2011 it was 70 degrees outside. Leaves still on the trees.
October 27, 2011 we were hit with a freak snow storm; sleet, ice, snow. The winter that brought down trees and limbs leaving thousands of people without power.

By October 27, we had had a visitor literally hanging out on our door, basking in the sun, for over a week.
Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
October 24 - Hanging out in 70 degrees

Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis

Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
When the freak storm hit, we went from sunbathing to starting a fire in the wood stove. Then I was reminded of our guest. I opened the door to find the praying mantis covered in snow and sleet, clinging with loyalty to the door. I scooped him into a mason jar as he fell into it half frozen. Propping the jar near the wood stove, I was anxious to see what would happen. He thawed out and bounced back to life full of curiosity. His head turned, focused and intent to watch our every move. 

The makeshift terrarium in a vase before I upgraded his accommodations to a tank. We hadn't lost power yet so I was able to research how to keep a praying mantis alive. 
Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
October 27 storm hits - first condo

Mickey on spoon for size perspective

Condo upgrade 

The search revealed that people have them as pets and that I had to feed him. Local pet stores offer a variety of crickets to keep your mantis alive. We now had a new pet which my husband named Mickey Mantis. 

Tammy Sue Willey, Storm Albert October 2011

October 29, Saturday, we lost power for 5 days. About 5 Tree limbs, the size of trees, fell off our 200 year old oaks landing onto our roof and crushing our hydrangea and fence. Tammy Sue Willey, Storm Albert October 2011
Our bathroom and kitchen were torn apart because we were in the middle of renovation. We worked during the power outage then came home to a cold and dark house where we'd have to get the fire going again. Fortunately we have a wood stove that kept us and Mickey warm. 

I topped the curtain rod off with a branch to make a natural environment for the mantis, who had free range of our living room. Mickey appeared comfortable in his new surroundings and generally liked being up high. He rarely moved for us, but when we came home from work he was nowhere in sight. 

The new game became, where in the world is Mickey Mantis? We stepped cautiously hoping not to step on him as he played hide and seek all too well. 

A few highlights: We held him. Fed him crickets. He watched our every move. He drank water, nibbled on pizza. Discovered he was a she because she laid an egg pod on the branch and curtain (we did further research when the power came on). 

My husband, crushed, refused to change her name to Mini Mantis. It was too much :-) 
She lived in our living room until she died February 2012.
Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
Mickey posing

Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
Mickey feasting on cricket and drinking water 
Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
Praying mantis eating pizza crust 
Tammy Sue Willey, Praying Mantis
Praying mantis drinking water
  • I became curious when the storm came.
  • Having a praying mantis as a pet was a fascinating experience. 
  • My curiosity saved her from her demise.
  • During our storm, we had huge limbs on our roof, in our yard and lost power for 5 days during home renovations. 
  • Yet, having Mickey gave us something to do and something to take care of, not step on. Mickey, the praying mantis, brought peace with an unexpected focus in the middle of our storm. 
Today I have new storms to get through, so as I reflect on Mickey, I'm taking my own advice to find a healthy focus that will give me peace in my storm

It's not to say there aren't immediate things to deal with in a storm, but while dealing with it, how am I internalizing it? For me, I'm thinking what I'm focusing on during the storm will become the key to getting through calmly. It makes me think of those guys in the boat who wondered how their Captain could sleep on a cushion while the storm raged on.

Do you have a storm story to share?
Can you think of a time when divine interruption gave you focus and peace during your storm?

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I read your blog last night, Tammy Sue, and liked it. You have a nice way of putting together a storm, a praying mantis, and our own lives, and having it make sense. LL