9.12.2008

Chaos before the Storm

There are three types of people who each prepare for a natural disaster differently: those who stock up on water & batteries, those who stock up on canned goods & paper towels, and those who stock up on booze! Which one are you? In the few days before Ike is scheduled to grace us with his presence, people in my surburban community have gone mad. Their behavior is the only indicator that a storm's a coming. The weather is sunny & pretty. Maybe they're from out of town and have never lived through a hurricane. Maybe they watch the news so much that they've been brainwashed into panic mode, or turned into zombies...or cattle, is more like it; follow the herd! Oh, the news guy says to buy lots of bananas, bread and baked beans, so we better rush out to the store, causing major traffic jams along the way, and totally deplete their inventory! I have to say, this whole ordeal has been interesting & educational nonetheless. Yesterday after I got off work, we went to the Kroger down the street from my school, which was a zoo! I saw one trailor-tagged, bleached-blonde fill her cart to the brim with canned soups & vienna sausages (ew!). One woman's cart was full of wine (I would most definitely flee to her abode). And others were stocking up on crackers and other boxed goods such as potato flakes (yuck!) The store's bread shelves were completely empty, as were the bananas, and almost all of the peanut butter and baked beans were out. I was happy that most of those items weren't on my list. That's the beauty of eating healthfully, as well as knowing how to cook. Today, after our chiropractic visit, we went to HEB to see if they had what we couldn't get at Kroger. It was about 9:30 a.m. and the store was much less crowded. They were almost out of bread, but I managed to get the last 100% whole wheat made with organic flour without getting into a cat fight. They were also out of bananas, but had some mini red bananas, so I bought some of those with some canteloup and organic grapes. I saw a man stocking up on Spam, another man checking out the boxed mac and cheese, and a woman eyeing microwave popcorn. I noticed the beef jerky was almost sold out. Suprisingly, lots of nuts were in stock. Personally, I'd rather starve than eat processed junk! Anything that has a shelf life of over two years scares me. Fortunately, I have a gas cooktop, so when the power goes out, and it's inevitable it WILL go out (in my neighborhood, a squirrel can fart and the power will go out), I can cook on my stove. So what's on my menu? I'm planning to make my spicey kale & potato soup, black beans & rice, and shrimp quesadillas, as I have some frozen shrimp that will need to be cooked immediately, and a veggie udon noodle soup. I also bought some nuts & dried fruit, carrot sticks and apple sauce to snack on. We'll survive for a few days off that. Instead of buying PLASTIC bottles of water, I filled all our Siggs, pitchers, and other containers with drinkable water. See, I learned my lesson when Rita hit three years ago: we hadn't really stocked up on non-perishables, so we braved the gridlock traffic and went to the Kroger a few miles up the freeway. It only took about 10-15 minutes to get there, which was miraculous. I stocked up on whatever soup mixes I could find and tuna and evaporated milk. I don't remember whether they were out of bread or bananas, but I spent over a hundred bucks on crappy food. Some I did make use of, but most I ended up donating to the local food pantry. The thing is, whatever you buy in preparation for power failure, you HAVE TO EAT! Luckily for us, I got creative with other staples in my pantry and we were well off. I tried to buy what we would actually eat and keep us healthy.

The same news guy must have also said to stock up on duct or masking tape because many people taped their windows. As we were on our way home from the grocery store this morning, we passed by Home Depot who's parking lot was completely full! I saw several people in the loading zone cramming plywood into their SUVs. Some of our neighbors boarded up all of their windows. Others either boarded or taped a window in an odd location of their home. One house taped the big windows in the front of their house and a little window, that looked like a bathroom window on the side. Hubby pointed out that perhaps those were their "safe" rooms they were planning to hunker down in, and of course, who wants to be caught dead with their pants down in the bathroom. What an undignified way to exit...

So my birthday is coming up next week and what do I get? A hurricane party! We went to my mom's to visit and have dinner and she made a funny chocolate cake using ingredients she had in an attempt to clean out her freezer! It wasn't bad and I was honored she made the attempt. We got home around 9:30 tonight, plugged in our cell phones, brought in some plants from the porch and watched an X Files episode. As we were getting ready to sleep, a scarry gust of wind brushed our windows and we decided to camp out downstairs. Here I am, unable to sleep, listening to the wind and my youngest child giggling in his sleep. :) I hope that no matter what tomorrow brings, he'll continue to have happy thoughts. When Rita hit, we didn't get so much as a drop of rain. There was some wind, and then the power went out for three or four days. I hope the outcome will be just as mild.

2 comments:

Serg and Lis said...

You crack me up! I love, love this post!!!! I couldn't agree more with ALL of it--they are like sheep, or I was thinking little chanchos with those rings in their noses that they go where ever their masters pull them--ouch! Ok, maybe they do that with cows too, and people being cows are nicer than being chanchos, I guess :)
On the windows--Dad boarded up the EAST windows because that's where the wind would have come from--maybe your neighbors were thinking the same thingy.
I"m glad y'all are ok!!!!!! Please keep me posted....are you back in school yet?

Serg and Lis said...

ps. your new locks are rockin!!!!!!!!