Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ophelia . . .

. . . was a tropical depression until earlier today when it became Tropical Storm Ophelia.

It's just sitting there (on the left, the system on the right is Hurricane Nate) off the coast.

The guesses computer models don't agree on where it's going, when it will start moving, or whether it will remain a tropical storm or become a Cat 1 hurricane.

So, I topped off the horse feed today and filled the gas tank, just in case.

Tomorrow I'll restock the bottled water in the garage, the water that used to be there that seems to have mysteriously disappeared. When I checked earlier today, the only thing left were the empty plastic-wrapped cartons.

While I'm at the store I'll pick up a back-up manual can opener in case the one in the drawer breaks. I have this nightmare of having all these canned goods and not being able to open a single one because the can opener broke. And the back up I had became the primary one a few weeks ago, and I forgot to replace it.

Am I panicking because of Katrina? No, I'm not. But I do respect the situation and try to make sure we're prepared for the possibilities.

Living in Florida I've been around numerous hurricanes, but I've only been through one. That was on Long Island when Hurricane Donna came through in 1960, on my birthday.

Except for three things I don't remember much of it:

1. Darkness and the sound of wind and rain outside.

2. Running around happily yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! This pots full!" And,

3. When later Dad took me to the Islip boat basin to impress upon me that hurricanes weren't a game, the sight of boats on top of and smashed through peoples' homes.

So as Mom before me always did, I try to make sure everything's in place by June 1. And if I've forgotten anything, I know one of my neighbors probably didn't and has twice as much as they need. And if one of them forgot something, they know we probably didn't and have twice as much as we need.

Only once have we all forgotten to stockpile the exact same thing. That was back in 1999 when instead of having to evacuate, we had a had a three-day cookout as Hurricane Floyd passed us by.

We ran out of beer.

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