Hurricane Irene is downgrading herself as she makes her way north along the Atlantic coast. Still, her winds and rain threaten my small town in rural western Massachusetts. I have plenty of food and water but no flashlight, no battery-powered radio so if the power goes out I will be in the dark, literally. I do have candles and my brother (3 miles away) has a generator. By the time the storm gets here, the winds may still be in excess of 70 mph! I've been watching the news, listening to the warnings about storm surges, rainfall amounts, and wind gusts. The worst that can happen would be days of power outages. The weather is going to stay warm and the food in my freezer is meant to help me through the winter. My sister wrote to ask if I am afraid to face the storm alone. I am not but I've been catching myself musing about some things between newscasts.
*Do I have enough water to see me through a couple of days with no electricity? We had a high-wind storm in the spring that blew down so many trees that all 4 major roads leading into our town were closed for a day and a half. They brought down numerous power lines when they fell. I ran out of water just before the power came back on. Every time I think this, I fill up another container.
*Which way will the big tree on the southeastern edge of my yard fall if it succumbs to the storm?
*Today is the 35th anniversary of my father's death. If he'd lived, he'd have turned 100 years old this past April! He was a strong, steady man; I wish he was here to see me through the storm.
*How quiet the cottage is now that the grands have gone home!
*Things to do before the storm: bring in the potted plants that have spent the summer out of doors; take down the screen tent and store it away, put the lawn chairs and patio umbrella in the garage; fill pans with water for washing up if the power goes out; replace the screen in my front door with the glass panel so the rain isn't driven in under the door; pick the last of the summer blooms before the rains pound them into the ground.
*Should I risk going to the scheduled poetry read-aloud at the library late this afternoon? Fierce thunderstorms are expected to precede the arrival of Irene.
*Had I stayed married, I'd be celebrating my 45th wedding anniversary today! That realization made me consider that I've not done anything for 45 consecutive years except stay alive. The longest I've stayed at any one job is 10 years. Does that make me a Jill of all trades and master of none? It's true that I've spent a total of more than 45 years living in my hometown, but I've also spent 20 plus years in other places so those 45 have not been consecutive.
*Will my daughter, her husband and their daughter weather this storm safely? If communication systems are disrupted, will my heart know if anything happens to them?
*Monday is supposed to dawn sunny and warm - what will I see when the sun rises?