I’m going to start this by saying that I’m super happy that Irene didn’t hit us like some people were expecting. I’m glad that we didn’t lose power, glad that the basement didn’t flood, glad that we didn’t have to spend 4 days drinking warm soda and eating the 45,000 Nick Jonas granola bars that I excitedly purchased in the pre-hurricane preparations. I’m glad that more people weren’t injured. I’m glad that a tree didn’t fall on our house. But I am a little dissapointed. As scared as I was (just ask those that I was text messaging at 3am Boston time / 5pm Sydney time when I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night before Irene ‘hit’), I was also a little excited for my first ever hurricane. I was a little excited for the rain and the wind, and the possibility of being able to eat a whole bunch of junk food that I would never usually consider eating as a ‘meal’ (as opposed to a snack or a treat). It would have been nice if Irene had decided to show her face for just a little while. If I hadn’t watched a combined total of about 12 hours of weather in the few days leading up to Irene ‘hitting’ us, I wouldn’t have known anything other than a lot of rain and a little bit of wind was going on outside. Realistically, the only way Irene could have killed you in Middlesex County, MA, was if she bored you to death. And I was nearly a victim of that!
So this is how I spent my ‘hurricane weekend’.
I woke up on Saturday expecting to see angry storm clouds and bending trees, but there was nothing except an overcast sky. I’d decided that I’d get out for the morning and do a little bit of shopping to tide me over (haha) and to just get out of the house while I could. I was the only one home (my host parents had taken the kids to the park to get some energy out… who knew when we’d be able to go to the playground next!) Around lunchtime I went outside to get in the car and as I stepped on the grass I looked down and saw a Eastern Ribbon snake slither into the bushes next to the car. I freaked, and ran inside to text my host mom. Apparently she’s never seen a snake in the yard in all the years that they’ve lived there. Obviously the snakes knew that Irene was coming to get them!
So a little later in the afternoon when I was brave enough to venture out of the house again, I drove to Old Navy up the road from our house, because I had a coupon I wanted to use before it expired. As I drove up the road I looked over to my left and saw huge storm clouds. Fun fun. I got to Old Navy (which shares a parking lot with our grocery store) and parked about as far away as you can get from Old Navy, since the parking lot was full of people doing their VERY last-minute hurricane shopping. The moment I stepped inside Old Navy, it started to rain, and it didn’t stop. I bought a couple of things, and then after waiting 5 minutes for the rain to hopefully slow, I made a run (swim?) for it through the inch of rain covering the carpark back to the car.
And that was the most eventful thing of the weekend. Saturday night came and went, uneventfully. I watched a movie on TV and then fell asleep.
Sunday morning I woke up at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I turned on the weather channel and proceeded to watch 2 hours of Hurricane Irene footage, whilst texting one of my favourites at home telling them how scared I was. I finally fell asleep about 5am, and then woke up at about 8am with the weather channel still going. We still had power.
Again, when I looked outside, nothing. I went upstairs, where there kids were already hard at work on the 24-pack of playdoh that their mom had bought in the pre-hurricane stock-up. I ate breakfast, and watched a little (LOT) more weather. We (obviously) still had power.
Despite our organisation in the food purchasing department, our organisation in the basement department wasn’t quite as advanced, so my host mom and I decided that maybe we should pick up the things on the basement floor incase we got some flooding. I picked up everything off my bedroom floor, rolled up my rug, and we spent half an hour picking up the kids toys (that Master Five has convieniently dumped out all over the floor the previously day) and rolling up the play-area rug and putting everything up high. We still had power.
I ate lunch, and watched some more weather. The highlight of the morning was when a tree branch from the neighbours yard snapped off and fell on our grill, and my host mom and I both ran to the window to snap pictures to send to friends and family as the “first incident” of Irene. We still had power.
Some time in the afternoon I crawled into bed and posted a blog that I’d written the day before. I watched the Taylor Swift special on E! and then fell asleep some time during the Selena Gomez special. I woke around 6:30pm, and went upstairs and made eggs for dinner. We still had power.
I don’t remember what time I fell asleep on Sunday night, but I was still alive. Obviously Irene bought just enough excitement to prevent death by boredom. And Monday morning when we woke up, it was a little wet outside, but it was warm, sunny, and the sky was bright blue with not a cloud in sight. Go figure.