what to expect, when you expect a hurricane

People expect me to be writing. “Great day to write, no excuses.” You lose power, you’ve still got a legal pad and pencil, a sharpener from your makeup bag. In reality though, it’s a great time to get full. To eat all your emergency supplies before you’ve even lost power. You cook up your whole kitchen and boil water and fill a bathtub. I still have no idea why my tub is full. People say it’s to help flush toilets. I think it’s really a way to feel like you’ve done something when there’s nothing to do. I’m walking around the house now, urging everyone to use the potty, as if we have a long drive ahead. “Come on, you know you have one brewing,” I say to Lucas. Now, while we still have power and clean water. Let’s all use the loo. They go back to watching television. They might ask if we can read books instead. I’ll tell them, “No, no books. Not until our electricity is out.”

Soon there will be melty ice cream parties and indoor forts and flashlights. But for now, there will be alarmist weather updates where newscasters swear their job isn’t to cause panic, there will be dvr’d TV episodes of Homeland and Dexter, the Good Wife and Couples Therapy. On a day when you’re all but told to disconnect, a day where the lights might really go out, you cling to connections, facebook, an abandoned blog, instant messenger, anyone your iphone will let you touch. All before you even lose power.

Our power goes out. Then it flashes back on. Out. On. I might not even get to post this post, without wireless access once the power goes down. As soon as the lights flip off, the kids run upstairs. “Now, can we play the treasure hunt game now?!” No books, no play, no treasure map games. Only a diet of TV and emergency food until we lose power. Parenting at its best.



  1. Nothing like a crisis to bring people together – physically, electronically, virtually. In 1983, in our high-mountain arid city, we had floods like nobody’s business. Major thoroughfares through the city became streams – rushing rivers, actually. Schools were let out so that we could go help fill and place sand bags. The camaraderie was unprecedented…and I remember it like it was yesterday.

    Lots of scary stories and pictures coming from your neck of the woods. Here – I’m looking out on a perfect autumn day, yellow leaves standing in stark contrast to the azure sky.

    Sending courage and strength to you and yours.

  2. Um, so basically you are sad that you can’t be having a fun sleepover party with your Austin friends. You are sad because Sandy resulted in you being bored in a dark house with Phil. Too bad a large tree did not damage your house, scaring your poor kids, ruining your furniture – then you’d actually have something to write about.

  3. Thank you for staying with your blog. I used to follow Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner, and Jennifer Lancaster. Jane and Jen Lancaster have dropped the ball and Jennifer Weiner is few and far between. I appreciate the time you take to do this. I appreciate the quality and honesty. I appreciate the memory flashbacks I have when you mention products, songs, and events from your childhood. My birthday is just after yours in the same year. Thank you for putting yourself out there and for prompting thoughtful discussions.

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