Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

Someone said the rain will stop one day and the sun will least for awhile.


It's been nearly a week and a half and people are still talking about a big blowhard named Irene that passed through town more than a week ago, kicked up a fuss and left a big mess behind. 

I’m puzzled by this because I wasn’t aware anyone in town even knew my sister-in-law was visiting let, alone talking about it. 

Okay, that’s just a joke…a bad joke…but a joke.

And I know a lot of folks out there still aren't in the mood to laugh...but I'm tryin....

And now Z is mad at me too.

I’m not sure what was worse, the actual Hurricaneor Tropical Storm, whatever they ended up calling it—or the never ending anxiety producing forecasts of doom & gloom found on every TV station you turned to...or I should say clicked to, since not many folks actually “turn” the knob to the station anymore. 

From my point of view, once it became obvious that the storm was, thankfully, not going to be as bad as anticipated, it almost seemed as if some of the TV people were a little disappointed. 

But, to be fair, it’s better to be safe than sorry, even if it meant watching Al Roker lashing himself to a light pole on some boardwalk in New Jersey; I guess because he wanted us to know he lost a lot of weight.

The worse day of anticipation, not to mention humiliation, for me, was on that Friday, when I decided maybe it was a good idea to go down to the big hardware store and finally pick up that new generator I’ve been promising myself since that last “unanticipated” storm, a couple of March's ago, left us without power for about 3 days and provided us with the indoor swimming pool that used to be our basement. 

The sound of laughter that spread through the store when I asked where I could find the generators was really quite special…though I thought the finger pointing as I walked back to my car was unnecessary.

So I came home and Z just gave me that look that every guy who’s ever promised that things where under control dreads.

Not to be deterred, we took stock of our batteries and determined that we were woefully under supplied; but that was okay since one of our two 99 cent Sam’s flashlights didn’t work anyway.

Once satisfied we had kind of secured the home, we did what most sensible folk did on the eve of an impending hurricane…we went to visit our friends who live about 3 feet from Long Island Sound. 

I know…sounds a bit reckless…but they were doing Chinese.

It’s easy to have some fun with this now, but later that night I kept one eye open, trying to sleep while the wind howled, rain slashed across rattling panes and our huge silver maple creaked and groaned, determined to see another dawn. 

And I’m not even gonna mention the dust balls I inhaled as I cowered under the bed.

The next morning it appeared we had made it through, unscathed. No flooded basement, no blackout, no downed trees.  Al was still lashed to the lamp post for some reason, but we seemed to be okay….

….until later in the afternoon, when the power went out…again.

And that’s when it hits you. When it comes to a home town apocalypse, no one can say what’s scathed or unscathed.
Some got by...some did not.

Some decidely not....

So If you’re the guy who lost his lights for a day or so, it’s a major distraction and annoyance.

If it’s your house with the 40 foot tree in your family room, it’s a nightmare.

If it’s your friend or friend’s friend, who loses more than mere property, it’s a catastrophe beyond description.

So take a look around your hometown tonight.

A wet basement here or there…a couple of fridges with bad milk…a couple of trees to be moved…off your car.

Happily, your kids are still playing… your house is still standing… the birds are still singing…

To paraphrase Jimmy Buffett, that tropical sage:

Just trying to reason with Hurricane season….”

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