Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27: Storm Prep

Lovely afternoon sunshine has finally burned off the giant fog bank that lurked atop Camden all morning. I thought about sitting out on the back porch to write this, to soak up some sun and take advantage of this last day of relative calm before Hurricane Irene arrives. But then I remembered that I'd already put all our outdoor furniture in the shed. So now I'm sitting on the back step as the sun brightens and a light summery breeze shakes the prayer flags. Although Irene is supposed to have calmed down to Tropical Storm status by the time she hits Maine tomorrow, we're still probably going to get a lot of rain--thus, the dams have been fully opened on the Megunticook River to allow the extra water to flow through rather brim over in the lake. What this means for me is that the river is running a little higher and faster than it has been for most of the summer, its loud rush a counterpoint to the breeze in the beech leaves.

No matter what kind of storm Irene turns out to be when she passes coastal Maine, the peak will coincide with the new moon high tide tomorrow night, so things should be interesting on the waterfront. While I feel our house a mile inland is safe enough--we got a new roof this spring--the trees around it always respond badly to storms, tossing branches everywhere. Just last week the tree guy came by to look at the limbs I want trimmed this fall, and I've been eyeing them all day wishing he'd been able to get to them sooner.

But really my only concern is losing power. So I've spent most of the day dealing with little tasks that potential high winds and power outages necessitate. Fresh batteries in all our flashlights (and why do we have so many, anyway?)? Check. Oil in the oil lamp? Check. Fresh candles strategically located in each room? Check. All electronic devices fully charged? Check. Laundry done? Check. All lawn furniture in the shed? Check. All hanging plants tucked away in a quiet corner of the porch? Check. Bird feeders filled for anticipated pre-storm run by the chickadees? Check. Last minute necessities like a fresh bag of tortilla chips, boxes of rice milk, blueberries, and mango licorice purchased? Check. I even succumbed to a moment of preparation panic and bought a case of bottled water. Even though we're on town water, the sight of all those almost-empty shelves in the water aisle made me feel like it was the right thing to do somehow. Everyone else was doing it, after all. And it was only $4.99, and now I feel so much more, well, prepared.

Right now, though, it's turning into a sunny summer afternoon, and other than the run on water in the grocery store and the unexpected double-header Red Sox game (because they won't be playing tomorrow), you'd never know that a big, fat, wet hurricane was hustling our way. (Well, also the arthritis in my hand is particularly bad today, but I feel like an old lady saying that: "My hand aches--must be a storm coming.") Now that I've completed our storm prep, I plan on enjoying this calm before the storm as long as I can. And we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Hurricane Irene--
before August is over,
you'll wash us all clean.

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