Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Frankenstorm"? Reaaaallllly???

Whatever life events, family stories, or personal narratives I intended to chronicle this week have completely been overshadowed by the current state of hype, hysteria, and hurricane hoopla. That's right, folks, what we're experiencing here is a State of Emergency (it must be--the Governor said so) in which the entire region waits in a limbo of high alert and near-panic...before the first raindrop has even fallen or the initial strong breeze has blown through. You see, we're about to be visited by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, which whipped through the Caribbean last week. Being situated a thousand miles away, our region is battening down the proverbial hatches for up to 6 inches of rain and a great deal of gusty wind. People are worried--rightfully so--because during the Summer our area fell in the path of a freakishly intense thunderstorm that managed to knock electrical power out for up to a week in some neighborhoods. The thought of this happening again say the least.

So there's been the by-now-expected Grocery Store Pandemonium as folks stock up on essentials: batteries, canned goods, toilet paper, bottled water. I mention the last one because although it's not something that's usually on my radar, it suddenly became critical to my household. You see, about a week or so ago, we noticed water bubbling out of the ground at the end of my cul-de-sac. It was enough of an apparent leak to make a sizeable puddle on both sides of the cross street. The water and sewer company finally showed up to address the problem...on Friday. They proceeded to dig a giant hole in the road--shutting off our water supply for about 12 hours to do so--and work on the broken pipe. Just when I was about to officially freak out about potentially being "dry" for the weekend, the crew hastily patched up the crater and disappeared into the night at about 8 p.m. Our water flowed again...albeit in a decidedly sludgy sort of way. Brown. Smelly. Ick. After all of the houses began running their taps, it improved...a bit. It remained cloudy for another day, then finally ran clear, but with a persistent, pervasive, unpleasant chlorine odor. In short: acceptable to wash bodies and dishes and clothes, but NOT to drink.

And whaddya know, this was transpiring at the exact moment of the colossal run on all forms of packaged water...yippee! Now, normally I shun the whole concept of paying good money for water in plastic bottles. (Because I'm both environmentally-minded...and cheap. There, I said it!)  But this came under the heading of "necessity" as far as I was concerned. So I slunk to the store, joining the hordes of other citizens filling their carts--I almost wanted to explain to everyone I passed in the aisles that I wasn't one of "those people" who rushes out to prepare for the end-of-the-world every time one of the Weather Wonks cries wolf. But I just purchased my water and a few other critical items (such as Halloween candy...c'mon, don't tell me that's not vitally important!) and quietly scurried home. (The shelves that usually hold bottled water were practically swept bare, by the way.)

Besides the unscheduled Expedition H2O, this Sunday unfolded like any other. The boys enjoyed their allotted video game time. Husband raked the backyard so we wouldn't have to wade through deep mounds of sopping wet leaves after the storm. I caught up on laundry and managed to fit in a workout. It was a relaxing, calm day to set things in order before the hustle and bustle of another week. But...something about the "best laid plans"...the County Notification System started to buzz with activity: schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday...the college where I work will also suspend classes...evidently we're ALL collectively boarding up and sheltering in place until Sandy finishes her unwelcome visit and gets the heck up on outta Dodge (or , you know, "Maryland" ). Husband staunchly claimed he was going to work. (With his back turned, he missed my raised eyebrows and skeptical expression at the thought of his office in his little Honda Civic, on the hilly, winding, low-lying, flood-waiting-to-happen road he takes to get there. Yeah, right.) About an hour later, after checking a weather-weenie-website once more, he wisely reversed his position and decided to login from the Home Office (aka: the spare bedroom downstairs).

So that's where we stand at the moment. Instead of a typical "run around and get things done" Monday, I'll be rained in with a houseful of boys. I'll be missing my peaceful, productive hours...but I promise not to complain at all if the power stays on! (Fingers crossed...oh, and at least we have drinking water, right?)

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