Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy in North Carolina: Merely a blustery day

It's windy today. Cold, and windy, and rainy, and our welcome sign broke. Andrew informed me of this as he opened our front door this evening.

"We have hurricane damage!" he announced excitedly.

"We do?" I asked, surprised. It was windy today but not that windy.

"Yeah, our welcome sign broke. We should take a picture! It's our first hurricane damage."

I told him that I thought it would be in poor taste to take a picture because there are people dying outside, having the walls of their houses ripped off, their cars are being carried away in white water rivers flowing through their streets, and I can fix our sign with a glue gun. Anything that can be fixed with hot glue does not constitute hurricane damage.

He reluctantly agreed with me, although technically the wind, which is technically from the hurricane, did damage our sign. But I think I can live with that.

We live in a sturdy little house (that is admittedly getting a little chilly inside) with a sturdy storm door. Our storm door is solid glass, I just thought I would point that out to anyone who perhaps didn't know that. Solid glass.

Before Hurricane Sandy drummed up this cold weather, we were living it up. Carolina dreamin', baby: flip flops, shorts, popsicles, bug spray. We'd turned our air conditioner off weeks ago and couldn't really bring ourselves to turn it back on (it's almost November, remember?) so instead we went all old-fashioned and opened the windows (even the ones without screens which made our house a mosquito-infested nightmare later on) to let the cool evening breezes in.

On Saturday evening (when it was already dark outside) I came out of the bedroom with Benjamin and saw that the front door was open. I've recently become a little paranoid about people seeing into our house at night so I asked Andrew why the front door was open.

"Oh, just to let some air in," he said, waving his hand to dismiss my concern.

Thoughts of voyeurism aside I was now concerned about his observation skills. I puckered my lips and blinked at him a couple of times, wondering how to break the news gently. Taking a deep breath I asked, "You do know the storm door is solid glass, right?"

This time it was his turn for a pensively pregnant pause.*
*That's afliteration!

"It's...not a screen door?" he cautiously ventured.

I shook my head sympathetically. "No, not a screen door," I answered.

"Fascinating!" he said.

We're going on three months in this house and he just now realized that we don't have a screen door.

He's a brilliant, brilliant man. And I don't say that facetiously at all.

He. Is. Brilliant.

But sometimes he's too brilliant to notice things like whether our storm door has a screen panel or not.... Because how could your brain possibly process information like that when it's constantly occupied with calculus or the issue of solving world hunger or things like that? It can't, plain and simple.

He may not be able to tell you what our front door looks like but he can tell you the windspeed in the area for the next few days. It's still going to be windy tomorrow, but we frankly don't have it bad at all.

My cousin Elizabeth, as I mentioned, is in Virginia and still hasn't had her baby. I don't even know if she has power or not. My friend Amanda, who is also in Virginia, does not have power. We are hearing this and that from friends and family in New York (Aunt Stacey and Shaheen) and it's honestly a little scary (but admittedly much more scary for them).

I just read that they're evacuating NYU hospital. I can't even imagine how that works.

We were sitting with Benjamin in the hospital one day this summer and the hospital had a fire drill of sorts. I think it was more for the staff than for the patients because they went around and told us to ignore the sirens and lights. Some nurses stayed in the room, others went to do other things—I assume fire drill-y things. It got me wondering, though, how that works, exactly. How do you evacuate a whole hospital?

I looked around at all the tiny babies in the room with us—babies on warming beds, babies on oxygen, babies hooked up to IVs, babies whose parents live hours away—and I wondered what they do with their tiny patients. Take them...where? Send them home? How?

Benjamin failed his first car seat test. He came home on oxygen because the silly boy kept forgetting to breathe. How would we have handled that while handling a power outage due to a monster-sized storm?

And babies aren't the only patients! What about cardiac patients? Patients in comas?

I realize they have protocols in place for things like this but thinking about it is still making my brain hurt.

Things are looking rather crazy in New York right now, with metros flooding and buildings crumbling. I know Andrew really wanted to see a hurricane but I'm glad that he's happy with the little bit of it that we got because I don't think I want much more of this.

On facebook I saw a friend comment about the storm on another friend's status. The status was something like this, "I was worried about the hurricane until I heard [baby] cry out, 'Mommy! My crib is falling!' only to find that his crib had, indeed, fallen apart. Apparently he jumped in it one too many times!"

Many people quickly commented to ask about the hurricane...and the crib.

"We're fine," she said. "Our basement's flooded but we're all fine otherwise."

She didn't even sound that upset about her basement. No mention of the belongings that were down there or how much it's going to cost to pump out the water and fix it up. She was simply happy that they were all fine.

I, too, am glad that my sweet children are snuggled warmly in their beds, though I can hear the wind raging outside. We're all fine over here, too. And we're in finer shape than this poor girl because a) our basement isn't flooded (also, we don't have a basement, so...) and b) our kids didn't break any beds tonight.

Speaking of our cute kids, about a week ago (yes, that long ago) I was eating breakfast with Miriam after we'd gotten Rachel off to school. She was toying with rhyming words, "Spoon! Moon! That rhymes! Door! Floor! That rhymes! Me! Three! That rhymes!" And on and on.

Suddenly she broke her rhythm and said, "Cheery! Cheerios! That's a celebration!"

I thought it was cute and funny so when Andrew came home from class I related the story to him, while Miriam stood by as witness. When I got to the part where I said, "And then she said, 'That's a celebration!'" she smacked her forehead and groaned, "I meaned aliteration not 'a celebration!'"

That is the single time I have heard her say that word correctly. *She still points aliteration out on a regular basis but has been calling it "afliteration" (which is awesome).

Nothing's a-flittering around here right now, though, 'cuz the wind is lashing lustily, and the trees are thrashing thrustily, and the leaves are rustling gustily! So it's rather safe to say that it seems that it may turn out to be, it feels that it will undoubtedly, it looks like a rather blustery day to day!


  1. Most hospitals have gas generators to keep them going for awhile, but with flooding and wind it still makes sense to evacuate before you get trapped. They move them like they moved Benjamin on his first day of life, one at a time, in an ambulance,

  2. Ps, glad you are safe. Our Kentucky friends are getting hot by snow :(. Even here we have some wind and the temp has dropped 20 degrees. Not looking forward to sending the kids off today :(