It’s been a weird weather week.
First, the earthquake that rocked the east coast (ahem), the temblor, which I always thought was called a trembler (silly me), that occurred while I was sitting peacefully by the side of the pool, barefoot, on a chair that was low to the ground. Without a doubt, it was the weirdest sensation (besides giving birth, that was kind of weird), that I’ve ever felt. Not only weird, but downright scary.
Oh, I know, all those super tough, pastel clad California types are laughing condescendingly at us, but for (real tough) north easterners, feeling the ground move beneath your feet is not an everyday occurrence.When the quake (ok, aftershock) first hit, I thought my son was shaking my chair from behind. I quickly realized, though, that no one was actually standing behind me, which freaked me out. My next thought, was that something was wrong with me. I thought that maybe I was passing out, or dying, or who the hell knows what, but I was definitely moving and everything else seemed to be standing still.
I must have looked panicked, because I noticed the lifeguard, who was now perched on the edge of his seat, staring at me, so I started staring at him, waiting for some sort of mutual feeling to pass between us, but there was nothing in his gaze that gave me any indication that he was feeling what I was feeling. Men!
Finally, I heard another mother say, “Does anyone else feel that?” And, then, I knew I wasn’t going crazy, or dying, but was experiencing, for the first (and hopefully last) time an earthquake.
Wouldn’t you know, right in the middle of all this drama, little lady started in with her “I’ve got to poopy!” drama.
So, I picked her up, leaving second son on the side of the pool, and first son, somewhere, and ran for the bathroom (in my defense, everything was happening very fast). At that same moment, one of the lifegaurds came out of the main building and yelled, the building’s shaking. The same building that houses the bathroom. Thankfully, little lady, as per usual, balked, because potty training be damned, there was no way we were going into those bathrooms.
The drama ended just as quickly as it started and after a few quick texts (kids take shelter, mommy’s texting), I found out about the earthquake and realized we were experiencing an after shock. Wild!
And now, Hurricane Irene. Having been through a hurricane before, when we lived in Florida, I know what can happen when a category two hurricane comes rolling into town. It’s not pretty. We lost electricity, cable and water. To make matters worse, there was no gas or ATM’s.
People act strange when they feel threatened, and sadly, I am not excluded. This peace loving blogger would have been more than happy to brandish a shotgun if left to defend the homestead. Yes, there was a moment when it felt that desperate. Thankfully, it was a short moment. Our electricity was restored after a few days, our water, a few days after that, the gas came eventually, and we didn’t starve. But I could definitely see how easily things could spin out of control.
Our plight was small compared to what happened with Andrew and Katrina, Katrina occurring the same year, but it was significant to me. I will never forget the wind howling, the downed trees, or the aftermath, when everyone’s survival instincts kicked in and people started fighting over gas and groceries. I was seven months pregnant, with a two year old and a husband who was pretty much commanded to work 14-16 hour days in the wake of the storm. I’m glad I don’t live in South Florida anymore.
That experience taught me to be prepared. So, you would think that I would have went to the grocery store early in the week, but I didn’t. I live an hour inland, as of last night, I really wasn’t expecting much where I live except for some wind and rain. Then, during my nightly weather channel watching ritual, I saw that they were predicting 85 mph winds where I live. That was enough for me.
At eight this morning, the kids and I were at Wegmans, with five hundred other people. Who knew Wegmans opened up at six a.m.? Apparently, 496 other people. Needless to say, we weren’t the first ones there. Knowing that water, bread, flashlights and D batteries are usually the first things to go, we made a beeline to the water and bread first, and were successful. But we just made it, look at these empty shelves. However, no amount of rushing was going to find us D batteries and flashlights, they sold out of them the night before.
Today, I also learned that my children can repeat things indefinitely, like the words Irene, hurricane, flash lights and batteries, so much so, that I thought I was going to shoot myself. It was a long outing at the food store, emergency supplies were not the only thing we needed, we were supposed to go the shore this weekend to have dinner with the inlaws before they head back down south for the winter, so I was letting my food supplies dwindle, which meant we needed everything.
I also learned that Starbucks is a hot commodity when there’s a threat of a storm. Note to Starbucks, I don’t think anyone likes the flavored coffees (those are the only ones left). We got ours, but I don’t know if everyone thought to get one of these.They’ll be sorry if the electricity goes out. Like I said, it pays to have gone through a hurricane before.
I told the boys we are set, and I believe we are. We’ve got our cash, gas, water, batteries, flashlights, candles, and groceries, and as long as I have my wine and coffee press, we can make it through anything!
Happy Hurricane! Stay Safe!