Me and nature, we’re not cool right now.
I love living in Delaware. I grew up here and I’ve always returned to Delaware after short stints of living in PA. There are constants in DE that I’ve always enjoyed: tax free shopping, superb people watching (oh the variety), people that know how to drive (until you darn out-of-staters get in the mix) and the weather. The weather, no matter how bad, is never really that bad.
Enter the fourth week of August, 2011.
First we got an earthquake on Tuesday. A FREAKING EARTHQUAKE…IN DELAWARE!
I know we’ve had them before but they’ve been so mild that they are generally never felt. I vaguely recall a quake in the summer of 2009. I was at work and heard a loud bang, the building shook and it was over. I work in an industrial area so everyone thought it was a trash truck dropping a dumpster.
We didn’t make that mistake on Tuesday. As the chair I was sitting in rolled away from my desk and I watched large pieces of equipment shimmy and shake, I knew instantly that I should crap my pants and pray to God to absolve all my sins because I was about to die in a horrific natural disaster.
Turns out that the quake was only a 5.8 and caused minimal damage spanning from Virginia to New York. It also turns out the I am a serious drama queen when it comes to forces of nature. I nearly made myself physically ill fretting over whether there would be aftershocks, if there was damage to our house and wondering when the meteor that is surely en route to Earth would arrive and cause a tsunami along Delaware beaches.
::Deep calming breaths::
Just when I started to relax, Irene crept closer and closer. I’m used to tropical storms and hurricanes in Delaware. They are par for the course when you live near major waterways. But this storm seemed especially scary. Maybe I let the hype get to me? On Saturday, before the storm was expected to hit, we decided to get out of the house while we could. We strolled the mall, had some lunch and then headed back home just as the rain was picking up. I felt okay, I was calm and had resigned myself to making due without electricity for a few days. Then, that evening, C and I stood in our mudroom and watched our neighbor’s tree get torn into two pieces by a gust of wind.
Oh. We are so screwed. [See? Total drama queen.]
Then the tornado warnings came for areas the were mere minutes from our house. First it was a watch for 20 minutes, then 30, then it was an hour. I was sweating bullets while the husband kept checking on his Nascar race. Clearly I am dramatic enough for everyone in the house and he need not be concerned with things LIKE EVERYONE DYING.
*ahem* ::regains composure::
In the end there isn’t much of a mess to be cleaned up, we never lost any utilities and aside from being exhausted from freaking out for about 6 straight hours… we are all ok. I wish I could say the same for the folks in lower DE. They’ve got quite a mess to contend with and I’m glad the President wasted no time in making these folks eligible for help from FEMA.
Our biggest issue today will be finding ways to stay entertained. There is a travel ban here and the weather is still pretty iffy – so we wouldn’t go out anyway. We took Iz out for some puddle jumping earlier this morning and she thought that was great fun. Now we are gonna break out the paints and have a craft extravaganza, take a nap and maybe roast some marshmallows over our stockpile of emergency candles.
What are you doing while you wait out the rest of this storm?