We've been in Maine the past two weeks on vacation. The plan was to drive south to DC on Saturday and Sunday via I-95. If that sounds familiar, it should. It's the path Hurricane Irene has been following as it travels up the east coast. And so tonight, the first rains from Irene are supposed to reach us here.
I'm a California girl. I know brush fires and mudslides and earthquakes. I don't know hurricanes. What are you supposed to do? First of all, it was impossible to think of venturing out on the road. We were told we could get a) blown off the road, b) washed away by a flash flood, c) felled by a tree or flying debri, or at the very least, d) find ourselves stranded when we run out of gas because all the gas stations are closed or without power.
So here we sit. My neighbors back in DC told me "they knew hurricanes." After all, they were from Mississippi. They promised to bring in the plants and furniture from our screened in balcony. I had visions of aluminium furniture raining down on the annoying neighbors across the way.
But I knew the most likely thing to happen both in Maine and DC was a prolonged power outage. So this afternoon, I got a new giant battery for the giant flashlight and one of those chargers that lets you uses your car's cigarette lighter spot to run the computer. Here at the cabin, the water pump runs on electricity, but if worse comes to worst, there's lake water available. We spent the afternoon helping our hosts store kayaks and securing plastic Adirondack chairs. We made soup. Our friends made muffins and pasta. We're packing up the car and driving it up to the main highway, just in case trees get blown down that would block our exit. And most all, we kept switching between CNN and The Weather Channel, just in case that massive swirl of clouds changed directions. Which doesn't look likely.
What does a hurricane feel like? Or even a tropical storm? Stay tuned.