Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

As hurricane Earl careens toward the Eastern seaboard, their is a slight hum going around town. This is the same hum that you can feel before a Nor'Easter (big snow storm). It's the hum of excited anticipation. I am not sure if this happens in other parts of the country, but I think New Englanders actually like the anticipation of a good storm. It's exciting. It's something to talk about. It's an excuse to hunker down, eat junk food by candlelight and listen to the wind blow around.

My experiences with hurricanes are both memorable.

Gloria hit in the fall of 1985. I was enjoying my freshman year at Bates College in Maine. We had a big window in our room and had to tape it up with duct tape. The upperclassmen in my dorm, got a keg or 2, put it in the basement and had a hurricane party for the dorm. We stayed up all night and once the wind started to die down, I convinced the only freshman I knew with a car to take 5 of us to my summer house in Ogunquit (about 1 1/2 hours away) to make sure it was ok. My house was fine, but some of the hotels on the water didn't fare so well. We watched the sun rise near Nubble Light in York and it was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Bob hit in August of 1991. By this point, I was living on Cape Cod. Most of my friends were fishermen with trucks and boats. Matt and his brother spent the night on their boat tucked into a small inlet. They did this by choice, they felt that they could protect their livelihood by being with it and willing it to survive the storm. They did and it did. The thing I remember most is driving around town early the next morning and surveying the damage. The smell in the air was incredible. It was an overwhelming smell of fresh wood. Unfortunately, it was because so many trees fell and chainsaws were clearing them out of the streets. I had never seen so many trees uprooted from the ground. There were boats on beaches, flooding so much that houses were moved off their foundations and green leaves everywhere. That was the year that fall came early without even changing color.

So now we wait and stayed glued to the Weather Channel. I have to chuckle every time they show the 7 day forecast because it shows rain and wind for Friday and Saturday. Yeah, just a little rain and wind. I certainly don't wish for hurricanes or bad storms, but I do like the buzz beforehand. I hit the grocery store yesterday to grab an extra water, a loaf of bread, chocolate chips(definitely need brownies for a storm!) and some cold cuts. I was there before the big rush that will probably be later today and definitely tomorrow morning, if indeed Earl decides to vacation on Cape Cod. A friend of mine said D size batteries had already been sold out by yesterday afternoon and by tonight there won't be a flashlight within 20 miles.

I will be sure to have my camera charged and ready to go for when the sun shines the next day as if nothing had happened.

12 comments:

Kathy said...

I went to the grocery store and BJs yesterday. Luckily, we went camping earlier this summer and still have the new flashlights and other items from the trip. Husband is bringing in all the loose yard stuff tonight and then we wait. We lived in Maine during Bob, but my parents had their boat at Monument Beach and it did end up on the beach. I cannot believe Matt stayed with his boat, very scary! Let's hope for the best!

I did laugh at the weather man this morning..."just get through friday and you will be able to enjoy your weekend and have good weather for cleanup".

WeaselMomma said...

I remember Gloria in 1985 only because it was the only hurricane headed that far up the east coast when I was living there. School was closed for the day (Yay!) and although the day was very blustery, not 1 drop of rain fell.

Melisa with one S said...

I'll be thinking about you and hoping that it just blows over.

Haha, get it? Hurricane? Blow over?

hee hee

Kathy said...

My brother in law went down to the family Cape house yesterday and got all the deck furniture etc.. inside. My grandfather is still there, but I think my Dad may go get him tonight. My friend Megan is going to try and bring her laptop to the beach on Friday and SKYPE with us - my son is HUGE into weather and he is wishing he could be there, we don't get too many hurricanes in Atlanta!
BTW, do you know the Tavares up in Ogunquit? I met their son Matt this year when he did an author visit at my school and we went up to visit him & his family this summer.

serialswooper.com said...

I'm just glad I'm not in the Outer Banks anymore!

I'm so used to these weather fools playing it up too much. I'm not convinced it won't go totally off-shore and just be a blustery night.

But, maybe that's the cynical New Englander in me.

♥Georgie♥ said...

I can not imagine waiting out a hurricane BUT I am a wimp and fraidy cat...tornado season here in Okla raises my anxiety level to new heights...

Hope you all stay safe

Lisa said...

stay safe!!!! being a midwest girl my whole life, hurricanes scare the poo outta me!!! enjoy the brownies and keep us updated as you can

scargosun said...

Stay safe! I have to tell you, knowing what the g-stores are like on the Cape during tourist season, I would be scared to go in while preparing for a hurricane. ;) I was in NC for Bertha, Fran and Floyd clipped us in Philly for a good deal of flooding. Hopefully the cooler water will bring the cat back down for you. Eat a brownie for me. :)

Caution Flag said...

I've been thinking about you for days now and wondering how Earl will impact your life. Stay in one piece! And post as quickly as you can afterward :)

Tara R. said...

I hope Earl heads off east and misses your coastline. I've prepped and evacuated for my own share of storms. Stay safe and dry!

Patty@NYC Girl at Heart said...

I hope Earl runs out of steam by the time it makes it up by you. Be safe!

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

My husband and I were attending the Babe Ruth baseball games (he worked for AIG, who insured the league at the time) and staying on the Cape during Bob in '91.

His uncles lived in West Barnstable and I still remember them filling up the tub with water and were so like, "Meh," about the impending storm.

The most wicked storm (and hopefully last one) I've experienced, thus far.

The diner "down the way," was the only building with electricity and I swear EVERYONE who didn't leave the Cape was having breakfast there with us at the same time :)