I can't get onto Photoshop, so please bear with me...I hope it isn't too hard to follow along! From Left to Right: 1. Friday hike | 2. & 3. Celebration Dinner | 4. Calm corgi before the storm | 5. Hand Crank weather radio (we've had it for ages, first time pulling it out!) | 6. Supplies: out | 7. Comfort food | 8. Comfort cookies | 9. Celebration Prosecco | 10. Brain food, Halloween Party | 11. Evening beverage | 12. Coffee nose | 13. Cafe Stella | 14. The Standard Four | 15. Rain-swept night | 16. & 17. Nervous hounds | 18. Rainy Anniversary
Usually I write these posts on Sunday evenings, once Cal has finished the last little bit of his homework and we're done with our Football Sunday supper. The Sunday night game is on and we're all cozy on the sofa. Relaxing and gearing up for a new week.
It's not quite 10 a.m. and it's raining steadily now. Winds are light but gusty and my twitter feed is filled with updates. Hurricane coordinates, tunnel closings, readiness tips, school cancellations (neither Neel nor Callum yet, although we anticipate it). We're not anticipating the true impacts of the storm to start to build until late this afternoon into tonight. With no direct hit for us, we're used to storms like these. Our weather folk on the TV will compare Sandy to past storms: more like Irene than Isabel. Not quite as bad as the 2009 Nor'easter. It gives you a frame of reference. Living here for ten years now, we feel well used to such weather events. (The dogs will never get used to them. At various points throughout the day they've been pressed up against each of us. When I got out of the shower this morning, Lucy-the-beagle was sitting on the bath mat.)
The most fun of these storms is the anticipation. I say "fun" when we don't have to really worry overmuch. I'm worried about my more Northeastern friends. They'll bear the brunt of this beastie and, unlike the coastal south, those states may be unused to events such as these. Ten years in, I feel old hat at it by now. We have water on hand at the start of every hurricane season. We check batteries. We have a pick-up-the-yard routine. Sometimes we board up the French doors (in France they just call them "doors") that lead to our back yard, and sometimes we don't. This time we didn't. I did my regular grocery run, but added some stuff. We pulled the cars deeper in the driveway. Yesterday I made soup and cookies and finally finished all the ironing that had stacked up.
Update: 10:30 a.m. Medical School closed Monday, now we await word on Callum's school. 2:05, Cal's school finally made the call.
Everywhere you go people talk about the storm. I had my usual Friday hike with my friend Tracy whose husband works in the theatre program at Regent University. You know, that Regent University... She got an automated message about straight line winds of 50-60 mph with this storm. And we had to wonder: did Regent get that message from the National Weather Service or straight from God? Several of us had a chat with a new neighbor about what to expect on the street, and Saturday morning found nearly everyone in their yards pulling in chairs,clearing gutters and trimming low lying branches.
We'd been meaning to buy a generator for months, and of course this storm forced our hand in the most annoying way! Neel and I dashed out Friday night before Callum's report card celebration dinner and every place we looked was sold out. Shipments coming in Saturday morning. He and Cal set out for what ended up being a rather jolly four-hour wait fest. The good folks at the Home Depot brought out chairs for the dozen plus folks who were waiting; someone brought hot dogs and popcorn for everyone. And now we have a generator.
We had a lot of fun Saturday night. A Halloween party thrown by colleagues of Neel's. I've decided that there are two kinds of people in the world. People who "do" Halloween and people who are "meh" about it. We're "meh." But! Lovely party. They do it every year and we've never been before, and when it's not raining there's apparently a haunted pathway and all sorts of fun stuff. In my book, the "fun stuff" was the smoked salmon that another guest brought. But that's just me! After that party we went over to Cafe Stella (my new favorite coffee shop) to Listen to The Standard Four, a jazz quartet featuring another of Neel's colleagues! It was really, really nice. The music, a little dessert, some nice and unusual beers and the rain and windswept streets outside. I like that kind of night.
And Sunday we wait. The dogs need reassurance. Neel gets extra time to write an exam. Callum is doing his homework, just in case there's school Monday, but the early part of the day has been quiet. So quiet, in fact, that it's actually hard to imagine that it's going to get bad here at all. But it will get worse; how much worse is the question. We will likely be spared the brunt of the storm, and it's my friends to the north that I worry most for. Please hold them all in the light.
Sunday evening update: after a rather unremarkable day, things are beginning to deteriorate this evening. As I'm writing this last bit, it's now just after 8 p.m. and our lights have been flickering and occasionally dimming for the last hour or so. We expect they'll go off overnight, but Neel promises me that our new generator can power the coffee maker (best! anniversary! present! ever!). I'll be back when I can, my lovelies. In the meantime, please hold those who are more directly in the path of this terrible storm in the light.