Ella and Hurricane Preparedness

Today, I was rudely awaken at around noon (yesterday was one of those thirteen hours of sleep nights) by the ominous whooshing of the beginning of a torrential downpour. I hopped out of bed, put on my hurricane preparedness outfit, and headed outside to move everything into the garage.

I never knew that we owned so many garbage cans or potted plants. Getting it all into the garage along with one of the cars was like playing Tetris, only with very large heavy objects, which, surprisingly, is not as fun as playing it on my phone. Watching Pippa and my Dad carry the two big gas grills down the deck stairs was particularly exciting, like they’re about to announce the winner on one of Pippa’s favorite reality shows exciting. I, on the other hand, was sent to go do the lighter things, like gather up all of the soaker hoses, which turned me into a complete mud ball. I did find an enourmous amount of earthworms, though, which made me exceedingly happy*.

I’ve got seven flashlights ready to go, two lanterns with fresh batteries, and extra batteries stationed in the living room, and I’ve made sure all the laptops, cell phones, iPods, and iPads are fully charged. My dad is currently nailing plywood over all the windows on the porch and over the huge sliding glass door onto the back deck**. I’m fully prepared to spend the next few days catching up*** on some reading and playing Scrabble****.

This should be quite the adventure.

Because our power will inevitably go out, and therefore the internet, for the next few days, I’ve written some posts to publish automatically for the next few days. Expect lots of writing about the beach!

*Remember that time I wrote this post? Ella the Worm Saver to the Rescue? Well, I like earthworms. A lot.

**Getting out of the house is going to be interesting. I vote that we somersault out of the windows.

***That’s funny, considering that was what I’ve spent a majority of the summer doing.

****One of these days, I’m going to overcome my inability to spell and come in first place.

Sitting In Cars Makes Me Inexplicably Tired

I continue to be monstrously surprised by just how tired eight hours in the car will make me. I did nothing but sit all day, and I’ve been ready to go to bed since I arrived home a little after six.

Stupid hurricane ruining vacation.

In other news, I just discovered this picture of me at the beach with Pippa and a cousin. Pippa’s the cutie in the middle, and I’m the rugrat on the right with the demented look on her face. It’s surprising how much and how little both us and the house have changed since I was four.

“Hurricane, Hurricane, Hurricane!” She Says While Dancing Madly Around the House

I suppose that by the time one reaches eighteen their reaction to news of imminent catastrophic weather impacting their area should not be one of somewhat giddy anticipation. But I can’t help myself. Something terribly exciting is about to happen and I’m pretty much guaranteed to be in the middle of it.

I’ve lived through category three hurricanes before. I know how it goes. Trees fall down and hit things, often knocking down wires; the electricity goes out; sticks are littered everywhere; the grocery store is a mad house; no one has batteries in stock; you nearly light your hair on fire with some candles; and you have to eat all of the perishables in the refrigerator and freezer before they go bad. I’m particularly fond of the eating all the ice cream part.

Unfortunately, this hurricane means we have to cut our beach time short. After we make sure everything here is secure, we’re headed home tomorrow morning to batten down the hatches in our non-vacation-fun-times-abound house. Plus, the cats shouldn’t be left alone in the storm.

I leave you with one funny story from the time Hurricane Isabel hit Washington, D.C. when I was ten.

At the time, I was, to put it lightly, obsessed with the Sheryl Crow song, Soak Up the Sun. I had a dance I did to it while lip syncing, and everyday after I finished my homework, I would play the song over and over and over again. It got to the point where my dad had to physically pry the CD from my hands and confiscate it so that no one would commit suicide or go bonkers from being forced to listen to it too much. So just as the sky was turning a sickly shade of gray-green and the wind was picking up, I popped the CD into the stereo and hit play.

As soon as my index finger hit the button, I heard a wooshing noise, the lights went out, and the house became oddly silent. That’s odd, I thought, A fuse must have just flipped. But then I looked out the window and noticed that the power was out in the house behind us and in both of our next door neighbors’ houses, too. I panicked. I just cut out the electricity for the whole neighborhood, maybe even the whole city! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! What did I do? Oh, gosh! Dad is right! This song really does wreak havoc!

Then, my father came into the room and informed me that even though the world would be a much happier place if we didn’t have to listen to Soak Up the Sun ten times a day, I was not responsible for the power outage. It was just lucky timing. “Oh,” I said as I felt my muscles relax and the lines on my forehead fade, “Good. I didn’t want everyone mad at me.” And the storm raged on with me not the cause of darkened houses, missed TV shows, and slowly warming refrigerators.