Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Hurricane Chronicles Part Two: Preparations

Because my grandmother is more or less always preparing for natural disaster, she rountinely has enough canned goods for several months stored in her teeny tiny pantry. She went out Friday morning and bought even MORE food, two gallons of milk, and six gallons of water. I figured we were pretty covered in the food and drink category.

We could, however, use some more flashlights. I headed out to our local hardware store where I waited on line for fifteen minutes as everyone else bought three and four flashlights apiece and tons of D batteries. The radios in which to put those batteries, however, were already sold out.

Sometime Friday night, Nonnie realized that if we lost power she wouldn’t be able to use her oven or toaster or microwave and this threw her into a new paroxysm f panic. She woke at 4am to start cooking, before the power went. eggplant parmesean, pasta with broccoli, a roast, she food kept piling up. Then she began cleaning, though I’m not sure why. I suspect it is because if something happens to her, she wants her house to be impeccable so she can impress the emergency workers who arrive. Her bathtub and every available pot was filled with clean water by noon. David and I, meanwhile, took the kids on a last foray out before the storm hit – picked up masking tape to X the windows and the last two cannolis in the bakery. We then spent the rest of the day trying to clean the house enough to stand living in it for the next 24 hours and we failed, miserably, mainly because, as anyone knows, you can’t clean a house with CHILDREN in it. As you go around cleaning, the walk behind you re-messing it up. We had dinner at my grandmothers – a real feast – as she prayed and invoked the heavens and told me she’d always watch over us no matter what happened.

After dinner, she came downstairs with us, bearing a bag full of her important documents, and cleaned up our kitchen – the which we had just cleaned but which, of course, looked unthinkably filthy to her. Then she forbade David and I to sleep in our bed, which is directly next to a big window. Before I lost my mind, I had a moment of revelation and sent her in to sleep with the kids in the bunk beds thus occupying both the kids and Nonnie. David and I watched the cinematic failure Failure to Launch followed by The Jersey Shore in Italy. It was just what we needed. Then we slept on the fold out couch, because even though I know my grandmother is insane, it doesn’t mean I doesn’t listen to her.