It's become an end of summer ritual: preparation for hurricanes pounding up the coast. Earl, class of 2010, meet Irene, '11.
I am exhibiting animal-like anxiety behavior, just like the lemurs, flamingos, and gorillas in Washington's National Zoo before last week's earthquake. I'm jumpy, unable to concentrate on my work; I may soon join my sister orangutan and start "belch vocalizing". My neighbors, who are dolls, invited me to huddle with them if I lose power, and reminded me to check the propane in the generator.
Yesterday, the outdoor furniture began its huddling behavior in the garage. No time for a bath, and everything needs one. Lots of moss growing around here; its been a cool, wet summer. As I looked over the stash I wondered, where did the months go? I know, I was totally preoccupied with getting my Moms Clean Air Force project off the ground--come look, we have a brand new website, courtesy of the excellent designer who worked on Slow Love Life with me--but still. How many times did I actually sit on a chaise and bury myself in a book? Too much writing, not enough reading. To say nothing of just sitting quietly.
I heaped wetsuits into a large basket. There's been a steady stream of cars loaded up with boards heading for the beaches around here. So for the first time this summer I had the thought that I was glad Theo wasn't around, because if he were, he would be heading out for the horizon on his surf board, and there would be nothing for me to do about it but die a thousand deaths of anxiety.
Laughing aside, those of us who hug the coast always have to take hurricane alerts seriously. We've learned to respect the forces of nature. My friend Sue said she called her father on the Delaware coast to make sure he took all the "kid art" from the house if he evacuated. I look around here, and cannot even imagine where to begin to pack in the event I'm forced out. Absolutely everything I live with is precious to me--and none of it is absolutely necessary. I will go take a few pictures of my favorite trees, just in case they get yanked up by heavy winds. Otherwise, there's not much I can do. Besides vacuum. Because God forbid the floods should find cobwebs in my corners.
So I did what I usually do when I don't know what to do: I went for a swim. The surf isn't up yet; the sea was preternaturally quiet. The calm before the storm?
I hope everyone rides Irene out and comes through the stormy weather safe and sound. Good luck to all of us.