Monday, October 29, 2012
Waiting for the Storm
I went to the store before the weekend and stocked up on water and bread. Anyone who read my post a few weeks ago knows that thanks to Amazon I have plenty of granola bars and batteries. But I woke up at 6am thinking of avocados and boxed milk and felt compelled to hit the grocery store one last time.
The parking lot at Shop Rite was not as empty as I had hoped and the feeling inside was more of an all-nighter than fresh sunrise. One worker I spoke with had red eyes, the result, I imagined, of my catching him at the end of a long shift. The rest of us pushed our carts around in a kind of delirium, looking through picked-over cans of nonperishables and at half-empty aisles of bottled water.
I found my avocados. Perhaps they were not tops on most people’s storm preparation list. But the boxed milk was sold out. So, I headed over to the soy milk area and found some flavored with vanilla.
At the check out, the man in front of me had three small jars of salsa and some pudding. We all have our comfort food, I suppose. The woman behind me had a variety of things but not what she needed most: D batteries. She’d already been to three stores and none were to be found. Only a day before my neighbor told me she’d been to a big box store. Everyone was buying batteries. She didn’t need any but tossed some in her cart, not wanting to be left out. Panic had generated real panic.
When Irene passed last fall, we had no power but the weather that followed was warm and sunny. Neighbors gathered in the street and shared stories about who had flooded and who hadn’t. They forecast we’ll be more homebound this time around. My oldest, inspired by Little House in the Big Woods, wants to do chores by candlelight. The youngest, no doubt, would rather eat PB& J and learn how to play Texas hold ‘em on my husband’s new poker set.
I feel fortunate I am not nine months pregnant right now or in urgent need to get somewhere. School has been canceled for Monday and Tuesday and we’ll see what Wednesday brings. I predict our roof will weather this storm better than our stash of Halloween candy.
I wish everyone well in the days to come.