Walking after Ida

To reassure my brother in Japan, I will say, “We are still here.” Apparently yesterday was a slow news day and Weather Channel addicts especially may have gotten the idea that “Hurricane” Ida was actually a major and dangerous storm. A client of my husband’s in Puerto Rico called to check on our welfare, and later my brother in Oregon also checked in. Last night the local Jim Cantore wannabes interrupted our regularly scheduled programming for hurricane coverage so often and at such length that we entirely lost the thread of the plot.

The Board of Education closed the schools for two days (no doubt deeply regretting that they’d let the kids take their “hurricane makeup days” as “Fall Break” a few weeks ago), the City closed offices and departments (including the library) and canceled garbage pickup (already scheduled to be skipped tomorrow, Veterans Day) and took down the hanging flower baskets (sensibly enough, and at least they didn’t bother to take up the bedded plants), the local emergency management agency opened a shelter.

I don’t know whether there was a run on grocery stores for batteries, bread, milk, and eggs or not, but when I went to the ABC Beverage store yesterday afternoon for a routine whiskey purchase, the clerks there confirmed they’d been doing a land-office business.

All this despite the fact that by late afternoon yesterday it appeared pretty clear that Ida was weakening and was not going to pose much of a threat to anyone except those in very low-lying areas (a voluntary evacuation was declared for waterfront property owners).

It was quite breezy yesterday morning (more so, I venture to say, than at any time after the storm actually made landfall), and it started sprinkling just as I was about to go out for a walk. It continued to rain and blow off and on all day and through the night, but the rain gauge this morning (after the storm had passed and the rain had stopped) showed just 3¼ inches. To put this in perspective, we had 2¼ inches during a 24-hour period twice in October.

When I got up this morning, I looked out the window, curious to see what the storm had produced in the way of “derbis” (a “family word” we picked up from a friend). The back yard was scattered with dead wood (thoroughly rotten and scabby) and a few of what my husband calls “giblets” (small live branches, with leaves, ripped off by the wind). So yes, there’ll be a little cleanup. But that’s often true after run-of-the-mill storms. This was definitely no biggie. If we’re lucky, though, perhaps it brought down the last of the pine straw and most of the rest of the abundant acorns.

My husband and I dithered about exercise—hit the street or go to “the gym“? I opted for the outdoors, while he took off for the indoor track. When I returned, he said, “You made the right choice.” (Sure enough, the Christian Life Center was still closed, and he ended up running outside after all.)

It was the right decision. The temperature was brisk (mid-60s), and a fresh breeze added wind chill, so I made record time, pushing hard to warm up. And my trip around the neighborhood confirmed that no one had suffered even moderate damage. Although garbage pickup had been canceled, a city garbage crew were roaming around looking for “derbis”—or perhaps just looking for any downed limbs that might be blocking streets. If so, they weren’t finding anything.

Bottom line: a non-event, and if we can just hang on for 20 more days, we can finish this hurricane season without a single hurricane. I don’t think anyone here will object to that!

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