Sandy is coming. The predication is that we will lose power sometime this afternoon. The entire town has shut down. Companies are closed. Schools are closed for the next two days (snow days). The Connecticut governor plans to close the Interstates. I sit in my second floor office and watch the tops of trees sway in the wind. I am ready for the storm.
We have spent the greater part of the past two days getting ready. Our patio furniture is stored in the loft in the garage (for the winter). We have 17 gallon jugs of water and 6 cases of bottled water. We have tuna, nuts and peanut butter. The firewood is stacked inside. We even bought a screen for the bedroom fireplace. I checked the batteries on all the flashlights. My husband filled the tub with water. I made a pitcher of ice coffee for tomorrow morning. We are as ready as we can be.
Some things we should have done are not done. My husband’s plan is to hook individual appliances to our generators. The problem with this is that we would have to open a window and run an extension cord. “Can’t we hook them into the house?” I asked. He looks on the Connecticut Light and Power website—we need a power transfer switch, easily installed by an electrician. We should have done this last spring, but we didn’t know. So we’ll stick to his plan.
In the meantime, the wind picks up and tosses small branches on to the ground. Sandy is arriving. Her voice grows louder, announcing her entrance, swirling the leaves. We have parked two of the cars in the garage. Our small tractor sits in the wood shed. Yard art has been laid flat. The basketball court is buried in the leaves. We wait.
Waiting is the difficult part. We know the storm is coming. We know we will lose power, the Internet, television. We sit and wait. The anticipation creates my uneasiness. How hard will the storm hit the house? Will we lose a tree? Will we have other damage? Do we have enough supplies? Last night I woke at 3 am and wondered if there was something I should be doing now. Have I done enough?
Right now the winds are barely stronger than a good Santa Ana. I have driven over the Grapevine in stronger winds. But at my home in Southern California, there were few tall spindly trees to sway ominously above my head. Furthermore, Santa Anas are warm winds, ushering out the dog days of summer. I do know cold winds. I have ridden down the runs at Mammoth when the wind was powerful, and the snow blew, covering my goggles, inflating my jacket so I flew like a sailboat to safety. We have been in snowstorms, where the roads were closed because of snow and wind, trapping us at Mammoth. This feels different. I cannot turn on the television or open the Internet news without the constant and portentous warnings. I should be anxious. I am anxious. To relax, I read David Quammen’s Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. Perhaps dwelling on a potential natural disaster will distract me from the impending one.
I wanted an adventure. You all know the saying: “Be careful what you wish for . . .”