I'm listening this morning for word of Hurricane Earl. Is he coming to visit, or will he bypass my part of Maine and move further Downeast, or veer toward Nova Scotia? Should I buy those bottles of water, just in case wind brings branches and power lines down? And how many times will the tracking map change today?
Herewith, a Friday Five about the storms of life:
1) What's the most common kind of storm in your neck of the woods?
Though I'm taking today off and hanging out in lightly-tornadic Texas today, I've spent the last month living back in my home state, a.k.a. Tornado Country. We can't claim to be the home of Dorothy Gale, but I can say about a mile of the drive between my in-laws' house and my office looks dramatically different than it did before the twister came through several years back.
2) When was the last time you dealt with a significant power outage?
Been a while. But the most recent one I was part of that lasted several days took place surrounding my sister-in-law's wedding, almost 10 years ago (thanks to an ice storm, not a tornado). The church had power, some relatives a mile or two away had power, but my in-laws' house did not. I remember helping my mom-in-law make punch by flashlight and sending gallon jugs of it over to spend the night in an aunt's freezer. The powdered ingredients floated in the flashlight beams, and the morning of the wedding, we awoke to a film of red punch dust covering every surface in the kitchen.
3) Are you prepared for the next one?
Not particularly. The Alpha usually keeps either a 24- or 72-hour pack in the hall closet, but the house is on the market. We've cleaned out a lot of stuff. His car does have an electrical outlet, though, so if we ever lose power in a widespread area, we can run some things as long as we conserve gas and batteries.
4) What's the weather forecast where you are this weekend?
"Today: Decreasing cloudiness and windy. High 87F. Winds NNE at 20 to 30 mph. Tonight: Partly cloudy skies. Low 61F [whoohoo!]. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Tomorrow: A mainly sunny day. High 89F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph."
5) How do you calm your personal storms?
Talking things out with trusted friends usually helps. Just telling the story of whatever storm it is to someone who understands can make an enormous difference.