Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come on Irene, Rock Me Like a Hurricane

I LOVE storms.  Thunder and lightning, rain, hail, even snow storms as long as I have plenty of food and no place to go the next couple days.  But tropical storms and hurricanes are the best.  

I grew up on a small, steep, dead end hill that ended with a 30 foot cliff drop to old rail road tracks along the Providence River.  Mom grew up on the same street, in the gray house across from the brown one I grew up in.  Her Ma (my crazy Nana) actually grew up on the blue house to the left of the brown one I grew up in, but that’s another long and twisted tale for another day.

The street was perfect for storm watching.  No side streets to worry about cars driving through, a nice dip at the bottom of the road where the water would collect and make an impromptu pool, plenty of trees to sway and crack in the wind, and kickass views of the frothy white waves of the River.  When we were kids, Mom would bring me and my sis outside to sit on the open front porch of the house during storms.  We’d watch the rain come down, look for lightening flashes, falling tree branches, and get giggly excited every time we heard a thunder Boom-ing less than 3-Mississippi’s away.  We grew up fascinated by storms and loved being outside in them.  One of the best storms I remember as a kid was when the family was vacationing in New Hampshire one summer.  We all woke up in the middle of the night to bangs and clangs, thunks and thuds, dings and songs so loud we thought we were under attack by a Canadian Drum Corp.  Really, it was a thunder ad lightening storm with hail the size of golfballs barreling down onto the metal roof of the cabin we were in.   AWESOME!

During Hurricane Gloria in September, 1985, the whole street gathered on Mom and Dad’s front porch for beers and a cookout.  We had lost power early on, like everyone in town, and Mom and Dad were the only ones with a gas stove.  During the eye of the storm all the neighbors (only 7 houses on the street) walked down with their beach chairs, icy cold beers, and coolers packed with ribs and steaks and ice cream from the freezer, milk and cheese and perishables from their refrigerators, and set up camp on the front porch.  Dad pulled his grill around front of the house and began charring up the meats, while Mom pulled together one hell of a spread from the neighbors’ coolers.  Someone turned up the radio, good old battery operated boom-boxes back then, my sister and I danced around to Gloria which the radio played between every news update, and the Storm Porch Party was on!

Now, I may have been only 7 and a half during Gloria, but as you can tell, that storm has stayed with me for over 25 years.  Honestly, it was because of the Porch Party.  Even now, I love sitting on my own front porch, even just on a rainy day, and letting the storm pass over me.  Yeah, not many people get it.  But you can imagine how excited I was when good ol’ Mom and Dad insisted that I stay at their house during Hurricane Irene.  No, they weren’t being paranoid or overly protective; I came home from a week in the hospital on Friday, and the storm was going to hit on Saturday night.  And as much as I complained and whined and bitched and said “I’m 33!  I don’t need to be BABY-SAT,” I was beyond thrilled because all I could think was PORCH PARTY!

And yet… *sigh*

And yet, here it is.  4:35 pm on Hurricane day.  The first wave has hit us, the eye has blinked, and we’re coming to the end of the storm.  And what has happened?  What wonderful storm stories do I have?  Uhhhh, none.

Yeah, we sat on the front porch.  We lost power sometime around noon.  Some big trees split in half in the neighbors’ yard, poor Mrs. Chaise won’t be walking in her driveway anytime soon with the two trees that came down over there, and there’s lots of wet leaves and grass around.  Ho-hum.

I know I should be grateful and thankful that it was mild and not more severe and that not a lot of people were hurt or killed.  And I am, really.  I mean, I love storms, but even I’m not fucked up enough to wish for a Katrina to hit us.  But this wasn’t a hurricane.  It wasn’t even a tropical storm!  It was a rain storm, a wind storm, a god damn summer thundershower!  For fuck’s sake, the SUN IS OUT and I’ve written this whole post sitting outside on the front porch without a single piece of debris flying into my eye!

So yeah, I’m pissed.  Bored.  Tired.  Pissed.*

Thanks a lot for all the hype and none of the drama, Irene.  Next time you threaten to bring it, BRING IT, cuz bitch, I’ll show you how to Rock Like a Hurricane!

*Yes, doubly pissed.  Pissed because Irene sucked wind, and pissed because I was so bored it forced me to do work.  Bleh.

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