Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waiting Out Hurricane Irene

Ready for Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene appears to be weakening a bit as she works her way up the Atlantic seaboard. Rainfall has been on-again, off-again since just after noon here at Meadow Glenn. Wind speed picks up from time to time but hasn’t yet reached the point that we’ve been concerned.
Of course we’re about as ready as we can be. We’ve operated on the theory of “better safe than sorry.”

Wednesday and Thursday were Irene Prep days in our veggie gardens. I picked a couple of buckets of Brandywine, Celebrity, Super Marzano, and Big Mama tomatoes, so their tall plants wouldn’t be top-heavy with fruit and prone to toppling in Irene’s rains and winds. I also reinforced the hills of our fall veggies, sort of a gardener’s “sandbagging” to block anticipated “surge” of water, and mowed the lawn.

And Friday afternoon late I finished up the garden work by picking a quart or so of Heritage raspberries and two colanders of small tomatoes—Sungold, Juliet, and Defiant—after Ellen and I had brought in summer-chair cushions, stacked reclining chairs, and reeled in the pool’s solar blanket off the pool and stowed it, hopefully, out of harm’s way along the split-rail fence.

Here’s my completed Hurricane Irene checklist:
1. Tomatoes and raspberries picked.
2. Veggies hilled, several tilting tomato cages reinforced, and lawn mowed.
3. Last-minute groceries bought, and lawn furniture and pool cover stowed.
4. Cell phone charged and two electric lanterns dusted and tested and extra batteries dug out of my study closet. New batteries put into FM radio.
5. Early this afternoon we drew 2½ gallons of water in three large pitchers.

TV and Internet updates show Irene continues her slow decline but is slowly working her way up the coast as a potentially dangerous storm. We don’t expect the kind of damage being forecast for homes and businesses along the coast because we’re 75 miles inland. We expect lots of rain and wind and won’t be surprised if trees somewhere topple and take out our electricity.

Our home, like many in the area, is 100% electric-powered. No electric means no lights, no heating/air-conditioning, no water from our deep-well pump, no TV and Internet. And, of course, no electric means no stove or appliances for preparing food.

But we do have a can opener and will have our pitchers of water. We’ve bought a bag of ice to keep some milk cold for a day or so in an insulated chest.

What will we eat?

I (note the first person singular) have a few ideas.

At the first flicker of the lights, I’ll first rescue the mint chocolate chip Klondike ice cream bars in the garage freezer. Then there’s one large carton of Turkey Hill Choco Mint Chip ice cream in the freezer section of the kitchen fridge. Once I’ve rescued those basic, essential dairy foods from spoilage, I’ll probably will turn to basic veggies/fruits—Brandywine and Celebrity tomatoes, which will make great sandwiches. I can always bring in a can of Bush’s Baked Beans from the storage rack in the garage if I think we need an upscale side dish. Our can opener is manual, so that won’t be a worry. Fresh-picked raspberries will make a grand dessert.

By then perhaps the lights will come back on. Irene will have passed to the northeast, the sun will shine again, and I’ll go out to see what’s happened during the storm in our gardens and landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment