Awaiting the Storm

If you listen to the news, which I haven’t but Richard, in an uncharacteristic display of interest regarding the weather, has been keeping abreast of the latest news by reading updates on the NYTimes online, you already know Hurricane Sandy is heading inland and may or may not hit New York City at some unknown point…  it’s hard to say. Meanwhile, everything is shut. All the stores are closed, all public transportation has screeched to a halt, friends of ours who are in “Zone A” have had the boilers in their building shut off since yesterday evening, some others have been evacuated, and yet, other than the occasional breeze and light sprinkle, there is nothing to suggest anything is amiss.

On Saturday as Nic and I did our weekly grocery shopping run, Nic commented on the long lines. The typical four-hour window given for delivery of one’s groceries had been suspended and other than thinking it strange that so many more people were out getting groceries, it didn’t occur to me to be concerned.  It has to be said, we do not watch the news on television and my reading of the NYTimes online is topic specific.  When Nic asked why so many people were grocery shopping I said something about how it was always like this on Saturdays and then went into a lengthy explanation about typical Monday through Friday work weeks and how it made sense that Saturday was a good day for grocery shopping. By the glazed expression on my eldest child’s face, I’m pretty sure I lost him after the first 30 seconds. Looking back, the incredulous expression on the woman’s face directly behind us now makes sense and I feel a little saddened to realize it was not a look of awe at my brilliant analysis of the shopping habits of fellow New Yorkers.

Last night I explained to Emma that there was a big storm headed our way and because of it, school would be closed and that there might be heavy rain during the night, but that we were all going to be safe.  I was a bit more concerned that the changing air pressure might wake her in the night, causing her pain and upset.  When she woke this morning and came running into our room, I said, “Em, has it started raining yet?”  She said, “Rain, lightning and thunder!”

“Really?” I said, peering out into the darkness.  “I don’t hear any rain.”

“It’s raining.  No school,” Emma said, with the kind of unerring certainty that does not invite argument.   Then she pulled the bed sheets up over her head.

I asked Em if she wanted to go up on the roof to see first hand what the weather was like.  I grabbed my camera and rain gear .  “Oh honey,” Richard said as he watched me zip up my rain jacket, “you’re going to document the storm,” he wiggled his fingers to make quotation marks.  “I love that.”

“It hasn’t hit us yet,” I told him.  “It might.  Later.  You never know.  They’re saying 95 mile per hour winds and 10 foot waves.  Maybe I’ll take the kids to the river later,” I announced.

“I love that you’re going out to record the weather and not hunkering down into fear-bomb-shelter mode,” he looked at me with what I’m pretty sure can only be described as pure, unadulterated, adoration and admiration. (I am convinced I’m reading his look correctly and NOT the way I completely misinterpreted the look of the woman in the grocery store.  Of course, I have been wrong before…)

Em on the roof just now in appropriate, pre-Sandy, attire

18 responses to “Awaiting the Storm

  1. Be safe my storm chaser friend! Hugs!!

  2. Be safe, have fun and if you get some neat pictures I hope you can post some. Emma looks like she is ready to enjoy the storm too.

  3. You know, sometimes I read your posts and it hits me how very different, both geographically and culturally, where we live are.

    Here in the Midwest, “The Weather” is never NOT a topic of conversation. It affects the crops, and therefore, everyone’s livelihoods. Although I live in the city, even walking into the fanciest coffeeshops you’ll undoubtedly find a few farmers sitting around in their overalls, drinking their black coffee, and discussing “The Weather”. Here, there would’ve been long lines at the store as well, (I affectionately refer to this as Pioneer Mode!) but there is no way you WOULDN’T have heard about it. And definetely, you’re comment wouldn’t have gone unresponded too. Here, people stand in line at the store and discuss the weather no matter WHAT it’s doing – lol. That, amongst other things. You wouldn’t believe the conversations I’ve had with complete strangers about any range of topics – here, it’s considered impolite to be standing in line with someone and not make conversation. It’s actually totally annoying sometimes, but something you get used too when that’s all you know.

    I read about your having groceries delivered and laughed, until it dawned on me, DUH….how else do you get groceries in NYC? Walk through the streets pushing a cart til you get home? Of course you have them delivered!

    My seven year old son is weather obsessed. I remember once, when he was about three, we had a thunderstorm that knocked out the power. I was trying to explain why nothing was working, and he looked at me, perplexed, and says “Just tell Grandpa to come fix it!” (My dad is both our landlord and handyman, and according to my son, can fix ANYTHING!!)

    I’ve read that NYC is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. Here, you can buy a decent little two bedroom house for under 75K. Heck, my own modest, 3 BR split level was 119K back in 2006 and we thought that was way too much!

    Anyway, I just thought it was amusing. I know you’re not a native New Yorker but you’d never be able to tell it from this post! 😉 I think if I ever visited there, I’d be in complete culture shock! (That doesn’t stop me from wanting to see it, someday!)

    Anyhow, my friend – take this storm seriously and take care. I’ll be thinking about you guys!

    • Angie, that is so funny. Speaking to people in line is most definitely NOT the norm, though people do, it just isn’t a given. The vast majority of New Yorkers do not own a car, so delivery is critical. EVERYONE delivers. You can have just about anything delivered!
      In fact we had a call just last night and when I picked up the phone and said, “Hello?” the woman on the other end said, “Do you deliver?” I swear this JUST happened! Richard said, “you should have told her we do.”

  4. Stay safe, Ariane! If they tell you to evacuate, LISTEN TO THEM. Flooding is a much more serious threat than wind… And in the mean time, happy storm-watching!

    • Thank you E. I promise if we’re told to evacuate we will. But we’re not in any of the zones that are considered even remotely in danger. For excitement I’ll go up on the roof and get rained on knowing we’re safe!

  5. Storm chasers! Watch for the resulting blizzards!

  6. Well a great pair of pink “storm watching boots” are a staple in any gals closet! I love it!!! 🙂 in all seriousness, be safe and stay on top of the weather!

  7. I’m so glad you’re all safe! Now I’m waiting for your power to go back on so that after you and the kids take a walk through the devastated areas you will send all of us Commentators some terrific photos…

    Love, Mom/Granma

  8. Thanks for that last post, Gramma Paula! I was worried and glad everyone is ok!

  9. We have been thinking of you all and are so glad to hear above that you are safe! Hope Emma is wearing her wonderful mermaid costume!

    • We are safe. We are without power and our water is running out. We are lucky, we have friends who have been evacuated. We have no Internet or ability to hear or read the news. It has been surreal living in survival mode, walking to a friends apartment to power up our cell phones everyday because she lives above 26th Street. We do not. All hotels are booked solid so even for those who can afford to stay in a hotel for a night are finding it difficult to find a room. Last night we stayed with my cousins who live about fifty blocks north of us. It took us more than two hours to travel what would normally take 20 minutes. Again we are lucky to have relatives who have the room and are kind enough to allow us to stay. I’ll write more when I have Internet connection. Thank you for thinking of us. Em is very stressed out, but she is okay.

  10. Ariane, so glad you are all ok!! Sending much love and many ((((hugs)))) your way. I can only imagine how stressed poor Emma is.

    Our neighborhood was about 90% evacuated during the flood, the summer of 2011. We had police officers and the national guard down here for months. The stench was awful, the streets were deserted, it was just very creepy. We packed up the whole house and put everything in storage for several months, but were SO lucky we didn’t have to evacuate, and got very little damage. There are still dozens of houses that are unliveable now.

    Anyhow, please stay safe, we’re all thinking of you!!

  11. Pingback: A City Divided | Emma's Hope Book

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