It has been a tremendously weird week…
1. We had an earthquake. Yes, for those of you native to California, it wasn’t a “real” earthquake, just a 5.8. It was interesting enough to those of us who’ve never felt one before. I yelled at the kids for shaking the car, before I realized that, for once, they really were telling the truth and it wasn’t them. Then I thought the brakes were going or something!
2. I didn’t figure out it was an earthquake until my husband called. The kids totally geeked out on the fact that they’d experienced an earthquake… and then wanted to know how we could have one when we don’t live on a plate edge. (The North American tectonic plate edge is a ways out to sea.) A few too many episodes of “How the Earth was Made”, and you, too, could have nine-year-old science geeks like this!
3. And then I started actually looking at the news about the earthquake and noticed in other headlines that, hey, there’s a 400-mile-across hurricane headed for me. Oh, joy. We are at what passes for a “high” point in SE Virginia, so I’m not too worried about flooding (at least not in the house, because our house was built with the tallest crawl space in the neighborhood) (and, yes, my elevation above sea level, in spite of living miles and miles inland, is so small that a four-foot-high crawl space is a major advantage). The winds, on the other hand…
4. In the middle of all this, I got into yet another argument with yet another family member about Christmas gifts. A particularly difficult to deal with family member, too. Anyone have any tips for gently explaining to people, “The toys appropriate for a generic girl three years younger than my oldest or a generic boy three years older than my son just doesn’t say, ‘I care,’ it says, ‘I couldn’t care less,’ and following that with a lecture about how I should teach my kids to be more thankful (they’ve shown remarkable maturity, actually) for your poorly-chosen gifts doesn’t improve our relationship, could you please just follow the list”? I think Christmas gift-giving headaches should count as a natural disaster. Especially when they start in August.
5. But back to Hurricane Irene. Have you ever hurricane-proofed a yard? It isn’t fun. Every time you think you’re done, you realize something else can’t stay out, either. Tall statues have to be tipped over so they aren’t blown over, anything that could get airborne (including lawn chairs, kayaks, and deck furniture) has to be secured or moved inside, and anything that could be smashed by flying debris (a dozen different garden decorations) has to find a home in the garage. Ugh… the garage. The garage is a two car garage, but only barely; there is no extra room for a workbench, bikes, the lawnmower, the trash cans, etc. Since we have all those things, our garage does not fit two cars. But now it has to (reference the “flying debris” comment. Lots of things will fly when the wind is going 80 mph, and it will not be pretty when said items smash into DH’s Mustang). Let me tell you, those bike pulley systems are wonderful at times like this.
6. Have you seen the website Stormpulse? It’s addictive. It’s downright mesmerizing if you have a hurricane coming at you. Being a homeschooler, I’ve shown it to the kids multiple times, since it has satelite imagery of the land and clouds, under-sea geography and depths, and integrated radar and hurricane predictions. You can clearly see the green of the Nile valley, the Tibetan plateau, and, most pertinently, the verdant swath of Africa just south of the Sahara that generates giant thunderstorms that roll off across the Atlantic to pick up energy and moisture to develop into hurricanes. For something so horribly destructive, hurricanes are really fascinating.
7. Preparing for the hurricane is exciting; I get to be organized, I get to show off how much I can take care of so DH doesn’t have to worry about it, we got hurricane books from the library, the yard is mostly picked up for the fall because everything had to go in, I have water and sandwich fixings and new batteries for the 5 million watt portable work lamp, etc. Living with the hurricane is a lot less fun, particularly since this one doesn’t look like it’ll peter out into nearly nothing like so many have over the last seven years or so. (I’m trying not to wonder if my new roof will still be attached to my house in 48 hours or so.) Diva has been warned that hurricanes are noisy, frustrating, and mind-numbing… and so she can’t be, or else she’ll be given a book and banished to her room for the duration. Please pray that the damage is minimal, both to our home and our sanity!
And go visit Jen at Conversion Diary… she’s likely to still have power in two days.