July 02, 2012

To Do List for a Derecho Weekend


Well, you've likely all heard by now about the terrible storms that hit the Mid-Atlantic on Friday night. We get summer storms often enough so that I sent my neighbor home before it started knowing full well she wouldn't want to walk across our complex in the rain and lightening. But we lost power right away, and I got to watch the storm's fury from the darkness of my hot, quiet apartment. It was truly incredible--far worse winds than Hurricane Irene (though, granted for a much shorter time), with aggressively close lightening, and terrifying yellow and red skies. Even in my year in Florida, I hadn't seen anything like this. (Visit the Capital Weather Gang's awesome blog to find out why it was such a destructive storm.)

Of course I hadn't planned for it, so my phone was dead and my computer was dead, and I hadn't closed the door to the bedroom so it would stay nice a cool. Luckily Myrna and I have been pretty lazy about grocery shopping so we only lost two hunks of cheese, two eggs, leftovers, and some keifer that neither of us drink anyway. The freezer stayed closed and frozen.

I went into the city with Emily Hale, and we took refuge in the cool halls of the Corcoran (seeing this exhibit). The galery was giving away free bottles of water to their guests, which was just lovely of them. We hit Eastern Market for lunch, and I sat in the hall charging my phone I was glad to see there was great camaraderie in the city. People standing in line--no matter how long the wait--were cheerful and patient. And no one bitched at you if you were sitting forever next to an electrical outlet.

Our power came back on late Saturday, but by then I had sort of determined I was going to stick it out and get all the things done that I had planned regardless of the heat. And the power goes in and out throughout the day, and it is still off at work, so I am home again today. But I've been enjoying this chance to tackle my to-do-list:

1) Clean, pit, and jam two flats of cherries
2) while watching the first season of 30 Rock (which somehow you never managed to do)
3) Clean your bedroom for the sake of your own sanity, but also because someone might need a semi-air-conditioned place to sleep. (Someone did.)
3b) When you say "clean" you really mean put all loose papers and books in a big empty hamper (thank goodness you did your laundry last week!) to sort out later. When that "later" is, God only knows, since it's not like you're going to have another weekend with literally nothing going on ever again in your whole entire life.
4) Loose power again (except for the AC, which is on a different circuit) and realize how much your fans actually do help make the AC effective.
5) Go to Target. Find it open but with very low power. Realize that it is no longer essential to buy under-bed storage. Leave with toothpaste and a bag of chips.
6) Notice that the fireworks stand in Target's parking lot is open. Realize that sparklers are indeed essential. Spend last $5 cash on sparklers.
7) Enlist friends to help pit those damn cherries.
8) Celebrate with said friends because they bought a house! Plus, Yeungling makes Cherry Pitting tolerable.
9) Lose power again so start re-reading Tuck Everlasting by candlelight. (Tuck Everlasting should only be read in the very beast of summer heat.) 
10) When power comes back on, open the freezer and finish your ice cream.
11) Forget to take out the trash with the rotten eggs and cheese, so wake up to interesting odors in the kitchen.
12) Have a dream about waffles, and realize you have nothing to eat in the house, so go get waffles.
13) Finish jamming and pickling those damn cherries.
14) Write a long boring blog post mainly to assure your dear readers that you're fine and happy.
15) Remind them to keep all those still without power in their prayers.

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