I have deleted more hurricane-related emails over the past few days than I ever have before. Last Friday, we got a company wide email with a helpful FEMA publication on how to prepare for a hurricane. But I also got the same email at least four times later as people felt the need to "reply all" to the whole company with their two cents. I can only imagine that the Rochester, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Tampa, Houston, and all the other non-northeastern coastal office folks were more annoyed.
Aside from that, the advice is generally just common sense. Things like buying ice and filling the bathtub for toilet water and bringing in your patio furniture. I got back to the house and found Adam in full swing, caulking sealer on the roof and tying down the trash cans, among other things.
I took a different approach and broke my stuff before the hurricane could get to it. I was attempting to squeeze an outdoor table through the doorway when I discovered that the decorative tiles which make up the top are not, in fact, glued in place. They crashed to the concrete floor and shattered. For good measure, I picked up the pieces that were unbroken, but I was still pinned in the doorway by the table, so I didn't place them far. I am not sure how, but they took a dive as well, and one of them broke into two pieces.
At that point I felt obligated to swear. It wasn't pretty.
I checked out the weather report and for the first time ever, we had a 100 percent chance of rain. Even with gigantic storm clouds that have lightening bolts shooting all around with static energy, directly over the weather station building, I think they say 70 percent chance of rain, tops.
Sadly, we did not get to play out scenes from "Storm Chasers" or that movie about twisters.
We went to West Virginia for a wedding and enjoyed really beautiful weather.
Before leaving, I gave the neighbors our numbers and told them to call if there were any issues. They never called, so naturally, I assumed they were dead.
I also assumed we would be driving back into, well, a storm - after all, the forecast for Sunday was giving 70 percent chance of rain. But, it was perfect outside. Skies were blue and humidity was low. We saw a few downed sticks but no downed trees as we made our way across the Maryland panhandle.
As we neared the house, there were a few more signs that we'd missed some action. Eventually, we were detoured where a tree rested against a power line. However, we were able to drive through the State park on our regular unpaved road to home. It turns out, the neighbors were fine, and the cat was her normal oblivious self. The power was out, but after our winter storm power outage, we are perpetually prepared for such events. I picked up sticks from the yard while Adam rescued what food he could from the freezer and fridge.
I surveyed his garbage bag containing melted ice cream and eggs, and noticed the ratatouille that I had made the previous morning, still cold. It used all the veggies from the farm as of late: eggplant, zucchini, leeks, and tomatoes. I planned to eat it for lunch all week.
"That stuff smells TERRIBLE," he said, "I don't even think the container can be saved."
I pulled it out (still cold) and sniffed it. It smelled exactly the same as it had yesterday, when I made it. "Geesh, man," I exclaimed, "It's still good!"
After assuring him that yes, eggplant smells like that, and no, he doesn't have to eat it, I rescued the container and put it in the deep freeze.
I went outside to lounge in the yard and read a book, where I got sleepy. I took my glasses off for a nap, but when I got up, I folded up the chair and forgot the glasses. For the next hour or two, I searched for them in stages:
Stage One: "The Thelma" aka, the "Brainy Smurf": While squinting, get down on all fours and sweep the grass blindly, hoping that you will not crawl on your glasses.
Stage Two: "The Scan": Go into the house and insert contacts onto eyeballs. Return to yard and walk slowly while sweeping the eyes back and forth, hoping that you will not step on your glasses.
Stage Three: "The Partner": Solicit a partner and insist, numerous times, that you are sure that you took your glasses outside. Once he is convinced, or at least willing to take part in your futile exercise, both people can participate in "The Scan", hoping that you and your buddy will not step on your glasses.
Stage Four: "The Rake": After a brief search in the house and on your head due to repeated accusations that you did not take your glasses outside, resume search with a rake. Go back to area of alleged loss, and begin raking the yard, hoping that you will not scratch, or step on, your glasses.
I never found them.
Lets look at the scoreboard:
Hurricane Irene: one gallon of ice cream, a few condiments, and some fishsticks.
Nicki: One $300 table and a pair of glasses.
And people think hurricanes are destructive.
Excuse me, I have some emails to delete.