Chapter 4 – Two natural disasters in one week
“Stop working and take lunch”, I tell myself but I’m nearly finished so I do not want to break my concentration on this Tuesday afternoon. I have been copying all of the support pages to each individual HTML page so I can edit it and place each page on a different platform, WordPress, so I can easily manage the website. “Wow, am I that deprived of food that my head is spinning? I must be delirious and I have to stop and eat something. Man, I’m really dizzy!” About that time, I look at the power cable coming from the printer I have suspended on a shelf above my computer all to see that it is swaying.
“It’s not my head…” I look at my glass of water to the left of my hand to see that it is rocking back and forth as if I were on the Caribbean Cruise Lines but in fact I’m on the sixth floor of my apartment in the Upper West part of Manhattan. Both dogs jump up to their feet raising their ears in caution that something is not right with this situation. The first thing I do is grab my phone and text Marlyse about the situation. I start putting my shoes on swiftly and grab the leashes to run the dogs down stairs because I think the building structure is coming unglued when the swaying stops. I jump on Twitter to find out that I just felt an earthquake that happened only a 4 hour drive away. There was nothing catastrophic in New York but that was a feeling I hadn’t felt before!
Friday, Marlyse and I go to Pet Supermarket to pick up more dog food for the pups and then we go to Target to stock our food supply because New York City is getting hit by Hurricane Irene. Carts completely full and overflowing pass us while we have maybe thirty dollars of food. Shelves are empty but luckily we already have bread, cheese, lunchmeat and most everything else we need. We already do have quite a bit of food but this is what you’re supposed to do, chipmunk. “Let’s get big cans of Chef Boyardee!” Sure, because that’s what you’re supposed to eat during hurricanes!
The media continually presents worst case scenario and what might happen to make the people of the city on alert. Part of me says, “You came from Florida. You know what’s up!” But the other part says, “You’re going to lose power and gas. But not only that, you’re six floors up in the penthouse of an old building.” Caution definitely fills my mind but reality brings me back down from being a frantic mess. I want to stay in the know but I don’t want my mind overtaken by what the media uses to keep you on your toes.
Most of Saturday is supposed to be rain while Hurricane Irene should make landfall in NYC early Sunday morning. Most of Saturday was surprisingly not raining and we decided to walk around our neighborhood. Strolling through the local park, we stumbled on a community garden that was open and people were tending to their veggies. So we walked in, looked around and then sparked up conversation with the green thumbs. “Do you want some basil, cucumber and sunflower seeds?” asked the gardener. “Um, yea we’ll take all of that!” On the way home, we stop by a store to pick up ingredients to make pesto while others were still buying necessities to stock their emergency shelving.
After sharpening the knives, I check out the window to expect a ludicrous amount of rain falling but I see absolutely nothing but cloudy skies. We blend the ingredients, make some tasty pesto, and then begin hanging wall décor that we have not had time to get to. We spent around 3 hours hanging pictures and paintings, look out the window, still nothing. Maybe a little rain but that is all. The news is still full blast about evacuation, 3,000 people losing power in Queens but I see nothing out of the ordinary yet. We retire to bed.
8 am I woke up expecting a stormy mayhem to be wreaking havoc but as I glaze out the window, I see nothing but a calm drizzle. Not even bothering to wake up Marlyse, I suit up and take the dogs out for a walk but still taking the camera in case I see something interesting. The rain and wind were picking up, of course, as I’m walking the dogs. “Hold on to your fur pups!” The picky and snobby dogs do not want to use any of the 20 small trees we pass towards the park. They must use the grassy turf of the park, rain or shine. “You are getting yourself even more soaked pups so let’s hurry up and get to the park!” The howling wind blows through the rustling trees, small limbs and leaves cover the rain-soaked ground and there are flooded walkways even though we’re at least one hundred feet above the rest of the park. “Let’s walk where there are not as many trees just in case.”
We come up to an old tree that couldn’t hold up to the powerful wind gusts and snapped about four feet from the ground. In front of that are two other fallen comrades to the muscle of Irene. The pups business is done and they “busted a move” (bowel movement that is) so we can head back home. The eye of the storm rolls over us with little to no rain and a strong wind. I worried for a bit that my air conditioners wouldn’t withstand the blasts but everything held up. I watched way too many episodes of Chopped, where a group of chefs are given 4 weird ingredients to make a dish out of. I decided to do the same thing with random items I found in the fridge but it ended up turning out incredible! So, I just might do this some more.
Later this lazy Sunday, we took the pups out again while no rain but still a lot of wind. I think the pups thoroughly enjoyed playing around in the wind. We also enjoyed seeing their ears flap in the wind.
So, we have large cans of unconsumed Chef Boyardee, lots of decorating finished, learned how to make homemade pesto and now the weekend is over. Even though it was kind of a lazy weekend, I want a regular weekend! That will have to be next week I suppose.