There was a buzz in the air yesterday. Hurricane Irene was heading north and there was work to be done. My neighbors and I were hanging out on our street tossing footballs, walking dogs and comparing notes. It was a gorgeous day, if it weren't for TV or the internet, we would be blissfully unaware a deadly storm was moving in our direction.
But thanks to Hurricane Trackers and Facebook I had up to the minute information on Irene's trajectory and when the liquor stores closed in Hoboken.
The phones rang all day. Did you fill your bathtub with water? check the batteries in your flashlights? move heavy patio furniture inside garage so it doesn't hurl into your sliding glass doors at 100 mph? And most importantly, what are you cooking?
With uncertainty of refrigeration and/or electricity, we strategized and hedged our bets. The markets and restaurants would be closed by Saturday afternoon. There would be driving restrictions. We are on our own as far as feeding the family. The survival instinct kicked in.
If there were no electricity Sunday, we would all meet up to barbecue anything that might perish in the fridge. Between us we had almost a full bar - full enough at any rate. I was almost hoping for a crazy blackout situation where noone got hurt but everyone had a candle and a nosh. The kids would remember it forever. One neighbor cooked up a huge feast of spaghetti and meatballs. Another had a chicken that she was planning to roast Sunday night but now wasn't sure she'd have the chance. I had leftover containers spanning japanese, chinese, italian and greek cuisines in my fridge so I put it all out. I even made a cup of coffee and set it aside, in case the machine wouldn't work on Sunday morning.
Sunday is here and between some wet basements, smoking wires and fallen trees, everything seems relatively OK. Westfield was spared of major destruction.
I went for a run in Tamaques Park today and reveled in the absolute beauty in our town. I stopped to take a few remarkable photos. The winds were blowing and the rain had stopped and despite an obstacle course here and there, it was perfect running conditions.
It just goes to show, most of what you worry about doesn't happen.