Sunday, August 31, 2008

T. S. Fay

Magdalena in full on helper mode. Our street is not normally furry and green, that's debris from the wind and trees.

Well, it is hurricane season, isn't it? And we do live in Florida, yes? So exactly what do we expect? A hurricane every now and then, or at least a tropical storm. The thing that is misleading about tropical storms is this: it is not a category whatever hurricane, it's only a tropical storm. But there's the rub. For a tropical storm, we don't evacuate (unless flooded), we hunker down. And we lose power, and we lose trees, and we have major floods. Not us, specifically, thank heaven, but our neighborhood and many of our friends.

Magdalena and Augustus heard Ethan sweeping the roof free of debris and up they went like a shot!

One of the most glorious things, ok, the most glorious thing about our neighborhood is the tree canopy. It is a constant source of wonder and beauty for me. To look up and see that tangled web of branches, the light always an emerald green, the air rich with the scent of a forest, that is what makes where we live special. It is also what makes where we live a bit freaky during times like this.
Augustus' first on the roof experience

And he is going to do some work.

When the storm first started on Wednesday, we were good to go, just hanging out having fun, a mini-vaca with papa home due to inclement weather. We had a little family outing to the book store late Wednesday evening for reading materials for Ethan and a new book treat, Zen Shorts, for the babes. It was fun and adventurous, going out in the wild wind out 8:30 at night just for the heck of it. On Thursday we wet felted for the first time, it was so so sooooo fun! I had bought some wool when we were on our southern road trip just for learning how to wet felt and we just never got around to it. Well, let me tell you how serendipitous it was to have a totally fabulous never-before-seen-or-done craft on hand after being inside for two days. We decided to felt a vegetable garden for our play kitchen and Aunt Su-su came over to learn how to do it with us.

Jeanna and Dave, Anthony and Suzanne, and my mom all lost power on Thursday and I remember thinking, ya know, I do not live that charmed a life that of all our family members, we're going to be the only ones who do not loose power. So Friday about 10am we heard this big BOOM! and out went the lights.

It was about then that I realized exactly how unprepared we were for an emergency or any eventuality. I had just plugged my mobile phone in thinking, uhhh, my phone is about to die and if we lose power... And right about then Ethan got a work call, so off he went while I fielded the questions about why we couldn't watch the storm on the computer anymore or why we couldn't turn on the lights or but mama, can't we just watch a movie? Or listen to the music we stream on the internet? We walked around and turned lights on and off, just to prove they did not work. We looked for blinking red or green lights on various electronics, nope, no lights! We did water colors by candle light for hours, played with play clay, and read books by candle light.

Sunday, after we returned home, on an exploratory walk around the neighborhood. (Can you guess what we watched, online, over and over and over last week? Olympic gymnastics, hence the arms-out stance of my little tumblers.)

Friday afternoon, after Ethan returned home from his work call and we had dinner, grilled outside in between rain drops, we were snuggling in for the night when my man could stand it no longer and out we went into the night for a proper propane camping stove and lantern because we were not going to go with out fresh brewed Americanos, no sir! So out we went, in the mess that was Fay, for ice and equipment and ice cream on the way home. Then late-night snuggles and stories by candle light.

One of the six or so gorgeous oaks that fell in a one block radius from our home during Fay.

Saturday was the beginning of the end. We did have a wonderful new "thing", the camping stove that was a novel treat for quite a while. We cooked breakfast on it, made coffee, boiled water for doing dishes, heated water for more wet felting by candle-light. We had the windows and doors open since the beginning of the storm, just to feel the wind rushing through the house and hear it rustling the trees and while everything was a bit damp, it was still fun and vewy Elmer Fudd, "West wind bwoough, East wind bwooough", but then, Saturday, as the wind died down and bits of sun started coming through, the stillness and the heat and the stickiness and the humidity were upon us. We started the clean up, Ethan cleaned off the roof between rain bands, then it started raining again in earnest and off we went to my mom's house for some cool swimming in her pool, some cool inside a.c. action, and some sleeping on cool sheets under fans.