When The Wind Blows

This is going to be a long rambling post.  Go make some popcorn and grab yourself a tall boy.  I’ll wait.

I’ll start this mess with a recap of the latest disaster to hit the east coast- Hurricane Irene.  Did you read my last post?  Hail, earthquake…now hurricane.  It’s freaking scary to see the news reports of the projected path of a hurricane heading right for your house.  It’s even freakier to see how people react in times of disaster.  People are stupid when the world is coming to an end.

MR and I stopped in at Home Depot before my cryo procedure last week (more on the cryo thing in a moment).  The hurricane watch was already in effect and stores were quickly emptying out of bread and milk.  We were in HD for a totally un-hurricane related thing- we needed our barbeque tank refilled- but the minute we walked in we knew we were in trouble.  Weaving around the hordes of people toting carts of plywood, we made our way to the tool rental area.  Passing by the almost-empty cart of batteries, we got run over by a near-frantic housewife looking for said batteries.  Seriously, she pushed me out of the way to get her chubby hands on whatever was leftover.  Oh, bitch.  No you didn’t.  If I wasn’t already freaked out about my procedure and if MR wasn’t there prodding me to go, I would have started something.  There was a current in the air, probably underlying panic, and I was ready to ride it.  Give me something to hit, really.  I was so ready.

We went from line to line.  The clerks were as frazzled as the customers, and no one was around to help us so we left.  I had to get to the doctor.  I told MR to drop me off and head over to the Home Depot closer to the office.

(When he got back, he said this Home Depot was a lot calmer.  And had batteries.  I think I may have to change my Home Depot.)

To prepare for imminent doom, we filled every available water bottle (thank goodness we’re a sports family- we have a LOT of these suckers) and brought in the camping stove and all the coolers.  MR gathered up all the flashlights (and batteries) and we brought up the cot and air mattress for the girls so they wouldn’t have to sleep upstairs and risk getting killed by a tree falling on our house.  We had plenty of food thanks to my recent mad shopping skillz and I baked three loaves of bread and a dozen bagels and rolls.  We put all my garden gnomes and anything else that might fly around safe in the garage.

Bring it on, Irene.  We’re ready for you.

We weren’t too worried about flooding.  We have the creek behind our house and when that gets flooded our backyard gets a little mushy but we rarely get water in the basement.  Wet spots, maybe, but they’re easily cleaned up.  What we were really worried about were the 60-foot trees on our property.  And their really long, dead limbs.  We’d already had a little damage a few months back when a limb fell in the backyard, killing two garden gnomes and destroying the fence and garage windows.  Plus, we’ve just about finished the renovation of the upstairs hallway, and it would be just our luck if a tree fell on THAT roof and we’d have to start all over.  Our insurance company sent us a letter awhile back and “suggested” we trim the dead limbs and branches over our house.  Wonderful- if they fell, would we be covered?

The hurricane was predicted to hit early Sunday morning, so between worrying about the trees and hearing all the crap hitting the roof, we didn’t get much sleep Saturday night.  I kept getting up throughout the night and looking out our front window at the trees across the street whipping back and forth.  It looked like a warzone on my front yard, the ammunition being nature.  Zombiegirl said it looked like London after the riots.

We lost power around 8:30 am.   The girls had their iPods, phones and Nintendos charged so they were somewhat occupied.  I took advantage of not being able to cook or do laundry or move around too much and did a little light housecleaning.  Later on I took seven boxes of pictures and started going through them, organizing and reminiscing.  We opened all the windows a crack and let the 50 mph winds whoosh through the house and clear out all the stale air.  All in all, it was a pretty pleasant day if you didn’t mind the sounds of the sky falling on the roof.

Late in the afternoon, the winds died down and it stopped raining.  We took advantage of the calm in the eye of the storm and bagged up five garbage bags of leaves and branches.  The block came alive- everyone ventured from their house and we were able to catch up with neighbors and friends.  We compared damage and experiences and treated it like it was a mini block party.  We knew we wouldn’t have much time before the other side of Hurricane Irene hit.

Cheesestick left for work since there wasn’t anything else to do at home (her boss picked her up).  Beena went over to John’s to commiserate the loss of electricity together.  Zombiegirl said she was bored (and dejected for being left behind) so we decided to take a drive to survey the neighborhood damage and see if any ice cream places were open.

I was amazed at the amount of Japanese red maples lost to the storm.  Seems everyone we passed was down.  Huge trees blocked a few streets and we saw crushed cars, damaged basketball hoops and downed power wires.  In the “tree” section of our neighborhood (Elm Street, Oak Drive, etc.) we saw trucks already loading four foot sections of cut trees (it’s the tony part of the neighborhood so they must have paid big bucks for those trucks to come out immediately to deal with their fallen trees).  We had to detour several times to finally get to Baskin Robbins for some slightly melted Jamoca ice cream.

Since we were already out, MR suggested we look for ice to stick in the freezer and refrigerator.  We also needed more beer.  The beer distributor was open and doing a booming business so we bought a couple of bags of ice and a couple of six-packs and headed back.  By the time we got home around 8:30 pm, the power was back on.  Of course it was.  We should have bought ice earlier…

The internet, phone and cable were still out so I went back to my photos.  Since the power was back on I started to scan my school pictures and baby pictures onto the computer.  Since these pictures are almost 50-years old, I wanted to preserve them before they get too faded.  Then, I found this gem:

Aw.  Aren’t I cute?  Damn, I wish I still had jammies like that.  They look so freaking comfortable.  What I wouldn’t give to be in jammies like those right now.

I’m going to go off on a tangent right now.  See that wall hanging behind me?  That’s Wynken, Blyken and Nod.  Remember them?  They sailed off in a wooden shoe…

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe—
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea—
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish—
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ‘t was a dream they ‘d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea—
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
And Nod.

I remember my mother reading me that poem when I was little and then reading it myself when I was bigger.  I had a book of nursery rhymes with this poem in it, as well as Hickory Dickory Dock, Aiken Drum, Hey Diddle Diddle and Simple Simon.  If I try hard enough I could probably recite most of the lines.

When I tried in front of my children, they looked at me like my brains were running out my nose.  Nursery rhymes are foreign to them.

How could this be?  I read to them all the time when they were little, how could I not have read nursery rhymes?  I really feel like I’ve failed as a parent…they can’t even recite all of Humpty Dumpty!  Sad, sad…

I’ll have to make a point of reading them to my grandchildren when I have them.

Anywhoo, I found lots of gems like this that I’m now in the middle of preserving in scrapbooks, albums and my hard drive.  (If there is ever a fire in my house, one of the three things I’m grabbing is my portable hard drive.)  Every so often I’m going to post one of these pics on the blog for shits and giggles.  Some of my outfits are hysterical…

So back to the hurricane.  The rest of  Sunday saw more winds and a little more rain.  Still, those trees kept standing. I can’t go through MR’s constant worrying about these trees again so we’re planning on removing or pruning them in the near future.  Normal life resumed on Monday with a semi-easy commute (subway was a little delayed, forcing me to get off two stops before my regular stop and walk) and the return of Cablevision later that day.  The skies cleared and there was no sign that a hurricane OR the tornado they predicted were even in evidence the day before.

We were lucky.  People are still without power around Long Island as well as parts of the tri-state area.  It could have been lots worse- the storm was downgraded by the time it hit us.  If it had picked up speed, there would have been a lot more damage and MAYBE one of our trees would have fallen.  We’re counting our blessings and MR says he’s going back to church.

Speaking of blessings, seems Dr. S. got all the pre-cancer cells off my lady bits.  The cryosurgery was uncomfortable and is still a bit messy and I’ll have to continue going for checkups every six months, but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.  And I’ve been out of my mind for the last few weeks, I could use a little peace.

All’s well that ends well.  But we’re not putting those flashlights away just yet…


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