Tuesday, September 16, 2008

YES, hurrICANe

Your intrepid frontierswoman reporting here.
We're fine. Thanks for asking. House lost some shingles, garage apartment had a window blown out but no gargantuan limbs attacked structures or vehicles. Here's the chronology.

Drop St. Barbara off at work. Find two gas stations open and fill up both vehicles without too much waiting in line.

Expected the storm winds to kick in after midnight but the power transformer in our neighborhood couldn't hold out until then. Believe a harsh BREEZE knocked it out at 7:30pm. Across the street neighbors had power until 3:00am. The Heights Sweat-a-thon begins.

The night was long, people. I mean crazy-ass winds but enough rain so that the doors couldn't be left open. Since the storm was so huge, it seemed to take forever to pass over us. I kept watching the pecan trees in the backyard...willing them to keep it together. The house was so hot and humid that I lay down in a back room next to the a/c window unit. The gusts outside were so strong that periodically a little air was forced backwards through the unit and I got a wisp of breeze. Ahhhh.

But seriously, I wasn't afraid. It's not that I mean to imply that the rest of you are whiny pussies or anything (well, some of you actually are...but none of you read my blog, right?) but what is there to get hysterical about? If a tree falls on your house you can't stop it...just find a dry interior room and try and get some sleep. You'll just figure it out when the sun comes out. And if you can't sleep because it's so goddamn hot and humid, organize the linens. Or something.

I got up every hour through the night, so I slept on and off until 7:00am. Continued to be rainy and windy until noon or so. I assessed the damage outside and was relieved. The church next door (that's right, campers, Fate has a firm grip on irony putting me next door to a church) had a huge pecan tree that could have easily fallen over onto the small office we rent out. But fell instead into the church parking lot. Proving once again that God doesn't give a shit. I suppose, one might say that He did, because it didn't land on the church, but I don't buy that. If the righteous are rewarded and the wicked are punished that tree would have been uprooted and replanted in my living room. Suck on that, you self-righteous Christian-types. (Of course, I'm not talking to you nice, Unitarianesque Christian-types.)

From 9am until 2pm I did what any good pioneer woman would do, I cooked all the perishables in the fridge. Goddammit, there'll be no wasted food in this house. I made potato/kielbasa hash; arroz con pollo, cooked the frozen flounder and hamburger. Hell, I even baked banana bread from the frozen ripe bananas. All I needed was a gingham bonnet.

Happy to have Eric & Steven stop by for a visit. Lori & Mary brought ice. True friends who see you when you look like you've been using Ol' Bacon Grease Hair Gel are friends forever.

I got to go pick up my St. Barbara early from her job, so I wouldn't have to travel crosstown in the dark. 15 miles and not a single traffic light working. So happy to have her home. We set up a pallet for sleeping, on the floor as close to the screened front door as possible. It's hard. It's hot. And totally not in a good way. 3:30am, I snap. We're heading for the car. Don't care how uncomfortable it is to sleep in a Honda Accord. Like magic, black magic, the skies open up...a thunder & lightning tropical storm. Amazing. No matter, we grab the umbrella, pillows and sheets and trudge out by 4am. Just a few hours of cool, dearbabyjesus. So we put the seats back and sleep off and on for a couple of hours. Around 6am I shine the flashlight on the dash. I ask St. B, so what kind of mileage are we getting? I'm such a kidder.

7am, we climb out of the car into our river-runs-through-it-driveway. Our street often floods but the water seems to be rising a bit too much for comfort this time. Soon it's over the curb, over the sidewalk and creeping up our lawn. Pioneer Women Engage! (Okay. So that's a completely lame reference to a completely lame superhero cartoon. I'm tired, please forgive.) The storm drains are crammed full of flotsam and jetsam (how long have I waited to use that phrase...almost correctly) so we arm ourselves with metal rakes and begin mucking out the drain grates. At times, we're more than knee deep in water. An hour-and-a-half later, the water begins to recede. Don't fuck with women holding rakes, people.

To be continued...


Menchuvian Candidate said...

I am exceedingly glad that you are okay.

Please send banana bread.

epiphenita said...

thank you for your concern, it makes me feel less cranky.

the banana bread was the first post hurricane casualty, i mean, meal.

i'll have to prepare better next time around...