Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricanes blow -- unless they get a cool name like "Frankenstorm"

Here I sit, on day 3 of waiting, preparing, and hunkering down for Hurricane Sandy. I ran all around on Friday and Saturday, buying necessities (and non-necessities), filling up gas tanks, and spending way too much money in preparation for this "biggest storm in recorded history" to hit the East Coast. (Note to political candidates: How about an unprecedented natural disaster to momentarily spur the economy?) Schools and offices are closed today and tomorrow, as are all the major roadways in my teeny little state of Delaware. I just turned off the television news when I saw that not only is this storm "starting her turn" into the east coast, but she's picking up force -- and heading straight for my neighborhood. The eye is supposed to pass over us this evening; right now it's a Category 1.

Guard kitty protecting her home
So of course I am compulsively baking (and eating), my children are acting like caged chimps, my cats are trying to climb into my mouth for safety, and my husband is sitting comfortably on the couch, pretending like this is all just a major nuisance and I'm nutty for being anxious. I finally looked at Honey this morning, as I threw sweatpants and diapers into a gym bag, and said, "Look. If it calms my brain to pack a damn evacuation bag, then I'm going to pack a damn evacuation bag! And if you want to leave this house in the clothes on your back, then that's fine because you're a grown-up. But I'd like you to at least take a shower, because if I have to spend any time with you in a shelter, I don't want to smell you!"

Perhaps it's ridiculous to back an evacuation bag, but no more ridiculous than washing, folding, and putting away every stinking piece of laundry yesterday, in between baking two loaves of bread, cooking a pot roast and chicken chili, and cleaning the house top to bottom. The last thing we want to have happen is a tree come through the roof of a dusty house, after all! It's one thing to ride out a storm when it's only yourself you have to worry about, but adding two children to the mix exponentially increases the preparing and the anxiety and the make-sure-you-think-through-every-possible-worst-case-scenario .

I've got my eye on you, big granddaddy tree!
There's no way we won't lose power today, but that's the lowest on my worry list. My heart races as I look out the back window, watching the tops of these 40-foot trees bend in the wind. I stare at those trees as if the power of my determined mind will keep them standing. I can't look out the front window because then I notice the water rushing down the street, and I run into the utility room to check for flooding; I've already moved all the stuff in the garage twice, and I've packed towels on the inside and outside of the back door. I've got our camp stove, flashlights, and a box of canned goods all ready, and every container in this house has been filled with water (in addition to the 4 cases and 5 gallon bottles stacked in the pantry). I've closed the blinds in all the bedrooms, in case the wind shatters the windows, at least our eyes will be protected from flying shards...right? If I had a row boat, I'd have it positioned here on the deck, waiting for our getaway.

As I sit here now, feeling helpless and anxious, and I realize it's possible I've watched too many disaster movies in my lifetime; I should definitely switch to romantic comedies.

I just noticed one of my neighbors back in the woods, trying to keep the storm creek cleared, God bless him. My other neighbor is out casing his property -- I spotted him walking the perimeter at least four times already, while Happy and I played Just Dance in our family room. I guess we all need something to keep us busy today. I bet his wife is inside baking brownies!