We had a ferocious storm yesterday. I was home alone and found myself occasionally padding to the backyard windows to check on a dead tree in my yard. There were several pops and cracks throughout the day and I did notice a large branch from my neighbor's tree dangling precipitously all afternoon. A sudden swoosh came from the sink in my bathroom which startled me and had me running downstairs to turn up the thermostat and then turn on my little fireplace. The last thing I wanted was frozen pipes. But in the end the electricity never went out and even the internet ran all day despite the 50 mph gusts of wind that threatened to topple my old decayed tree.
Today, it's nuthin' but blue skies, albeit frozen ones. In fact, everything is frozen including the recycle bin which can now only be pried opened with a crowbar. And I haven't got one. Therefore, some things will lie fallow throughout the house this weekend, including the growing mound of torn-up magazines and cereal boxes.
I prepared for this storm by making soup the other night. Also, I made a pretty pile out of my shawls on a chair in the hallway so I could grab one to fling over my shoulders if I needed to head downstairs for candles should the power go out. Or if I needed to be rescued in some way. In New England, we are used to big snow storms and I, with the help of Anna Karenina, lived through the Blizzard of '78 almost forty years ago. We did lose our electricity that week. I was home from college and alone with my father as everyone else was away. By the end of the week, we were eating only Saltines and grape jelly but we had a constant roaring fire and lanterns left over from family camping trips. Tolstoy kept me going with his magestic tale of snowy Russia and his descriptions of Anna's breathtaking coats and fur wraps. Even though our cars were completely submerged in snow, it's Anna's red wool gloves I recall best. And the neighbors who popped over from time to time with wine and food. People shared then and communed during storms. I missed that a lot yesterday as I took my perambulations from window to window and back again.
So what does it take to survive a bombogenesis? And that reminds me, storms were always called Storms. Plain and simple... Still, I found that a certain amount of preparation makes for a more comfortable and safe hunker-down. Here are my suggestions. What are yours?
Comforting and reassuring soup
Food that can be eaten cold if the power cuts out such as wheat crackers and peanut butter
Tea and whole milk to put in it
Cocoa and whipped cream
A cake baked just in time
Warm socks (I like merino wool the best)
Throws and shawls
Magazines bought 'specially
Practicalities, such as batteries, flashlights, charged-up cell phones
Shovels and brooms left on the porch instead of in the shed (learned the hard way)
Soft music for when you get tired of the Weather Channel (Love Susan Boyle's music right now)
And in the end, it's always important to remember that no matter how mighty, storms pass. Yesterday's left us with sub-zero temperatures but a perfect pristine blue sky to admire. Just like the images I was drawn to so many years ago which I glued onto my school project.