weathering the storm

photo by jim@grahamstudios.com

There are some among us who believe that I control the weather. What else can explain that when I convert my closet from lightweight summer staples to wooly fall splendor, the temperatures climb back up into the 90s? Or how breaking out a pair of flip flops in the early spring can cause it to snow? While I did take credit for the earthquake that hit the mid-Atlantic earlier this week (after all, I was in the middle of an angry recounting of how it was the first week of school and my younger son’s class inexplicably was still without a teacher) please do not blame Hurricane Irene on me. Even though I am wholly unprepared for her to unleash her wrath on D.C.

Maybe it’s because I cannot imagine a situation worse than Snowmaggedon, when I was one of four houses on my block without power, which is not exactly the type of outage that sends Pepco immediately to the rescue. (Except Pepco did come sooner than expected thanks to a phone call to my friend Nathan, an arborist for the utility who came to my house during his “break” between 18-hour shifts to identify the problem and call-in a downed (live) wire.) Maybe it’s because the last two “hurricanes” I prepared for (Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and Hurricane Gloria in 1985) were severely downgraded by the time they hit my region. Maybe it’s my well-stocked wine “cellar.” Whatever the reason, I cannot succumb to the pre-storm hype.

I do have a seven-year old who is deathly afraid of this impending storm. So afraid that he had nightmares last night and has asked me approximately every seven minutes whether Hurricane Irene is here yet. He’s envisioning a flooded basement, a river running down our street, and felled trees. He collected every flashlight in the house and set about replacing the batteries of the ones that needed fresh juice. He asked me to bake chocolate chip cookies to make him feel better on this rainy day. And he is milking me for as much TV as possible before the power goes out.

I didn’t buy any bottled water, though I did get the kids their favorite snacks and bought some candles. I didn’t pick up any sand bags at RFK, but did buy fresh eggs at the farmer’s market this morning, even though I already had a dozen in my refrigerator (omelets tomorrow?). I don’t have an evacuation plan or a full tank of gas, but I’m not sure if it comes to that I would get far in my Prius with two kids and three cats.

Now that I have spelled it all out, I have a twinge of regret I am not better prepared, but there’s really nothing to do at this point but sit back, stay calm, hope for the best for our friends in the path of the brunt of the storm, and uncork some wine. Chardonnay and/or sparkling first and reds after the power has gone out.

And hopefully by Monday all the hurricane songs will be purged from my head.

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3 thoughts on “weathering the storm”

  1. Hilarious post Chelsea!! Also appreciate the wine tip. I was going to go for red first because it’s my favorite, but I’ll choke down the creamy chardonnay (woe is me) so the red is on call should Irene crash our weekend plans. As of right now, her mere threat and darkening skies inspired the entire household to take a 2 hour nap. The horror. The horror.

    1. While I would like to say that I am breaking out my Hunter boots in high gloss black and my amazing Kate Spade trench coat, I plan to stay inside unless a tree falls on my house. I poured a glass of chardonnay but decided it really wasn’t what I was in the mood for so I went with a nice Pinot Noir from the winery my step-mother works at. We have chocolate chip cookies, chips and salsa, and all the fixings to make pizza tomorrow, power or no power. Oh, and our electronic devices are all plugged in… Stay dry! Stay safe! It is almost September, which means we are due for a drink (together, that is).

  2. And yet you still lost power for (almost) two days! I beat you with (almost) 3. I think we lost it for a full 4 in 2003 for Hurricane Isabel, and our whole basement flooded then, so I feel (kinda) lucky–if still shivering from my icy shower this morning. But we were due, having not lost power in any significant way since Isabel.

    On a fashion note: I’ve already laid out my clothes for the “welcome back to school coffee” at the Lab School tomorrow morning.

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