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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Ho hum. Another hurricane.

Riding the storm out takes on a literal meaning when the house begins bucking underneath you, shaking you out of your weekend plans to sleep in. I was up at 5:00 AM to take a shower and blow my hair dry before the power went out. (Remember my renewed commitment to beauty?) The electricity is currently on, but has been intermittent, cutting in and out at least twenty times in the last two and half hours. I have been listening to the weird harmonic effect of the wind blowing a bass vibrato across our eaves. Low E maybe. Rain pelting the window sounding more like hail, followed by a rattling sound as the gusts die down. Something, maybe more siding or a piece of soffit, has blown loose. The local news reported tropical force winds, around 38 mph, in our area three hours prior to the time I was rudely awakened by Jeanne, long before the house began rocking and the chandelier started swinging. We must be up to about 60 mph by now.

We had noticed cracks appear in the joints between the walls and ceiling, and a spot where the front gable’s truss had been pushed inward causing the drywall screws to protrude after Hurricane Charley, so we know this building has been compromised somehow. With the continuing exposure to high winds, I’m wondering how much more this structure can take and half expect it to break loose of its twenty foot high pier foundations and do a Wizard of Oz. On the up side, if I ever need to go looking for my heart’s desire, or my roof, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.

What do the kids do during a hurricane? S camps out on her bedroom floor for fear of being cut to ribbons should her window implode. L watches her PBS kid shows complaining when the broadcast signal is briefly interrupted that the TV has gone all “fluffley.” G sleeps snuggled up with Orlando, the marmalade cat, who’s enjoying a respite from rat catching in the plentiful, large debris piles heaped about our neighborhood.

What does Mom do? She settles in with the best hurricane supplies of all, her books.

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