Ah, the good old summertime. Summer is not my favorite time of year. I hate to be hot. I can’t stand bugs. I have to pay someone to fertilize my grass and then pay someone to cut my grass. I can’t tolerate heat and humidity. I hate to run the air conditioner, because I can’t stand the noise, but I hate to sweat. It’s been particularly hot in my part of the world, and during the last couple of days, we’ve had some severe weather, temperatures up around 100 degrees, and thunder storms with hurricane force winds. I always get such a kick out of the weather forecasters on TV. They make such a huge fuss about a typical summer storm that I wonder how we ever survived storms when I was a kid. Nobody told us to make sure we went to the basement and not to be near windows. We didn’t lay in a supply of water and batteries and hunker down under tables and keep the TV on to track the progress of the storm. No, we stood at the front door and watch the rain and the lightening. We shrieked when the thunder was loud and close. We sat out on the front porch to wait out the storm, and then we ran out into the street and played in the puddles and the overflowing gutters. But that was back when I was a kid, and the world wasn’t such a frightening place. Now, when the tv weathermen trot out their maps and play recordings of hail hitting the rooftops, I begin my preparations. I call it my storm survival routine. I do this, because I have learned from experience that not all summer storms are typical.
First, I make a pot of tea and pour it into a carafe. That way, when the electricity goes off, I’ll have something warm to drink, which is what I missed most, back in 2008, when I had to deal with a power outage for 4 days. I have an electric stove, and back then, that’s all I had to cook with. Now I own and know how to operate a gas grill. I won’t cook meat on it by myself,, but I will be able to boil water on it or heat a can of soup if I need to. Next, I carry essential things to the basement, shoes, snacks, reading materials, tea, and radio. I usually keep my cell phone charged, but when there are storm warnings, I make sure the phone is recharging along with my talking book player and victor Reader Stream. One of the advantages of reading by listening to audio recordings is that I don’t need light to read, but all my technology needs to be fully charged. In 2008, I was frustrated with not being able to connect to the internet, because of course, the router needed electricity, so I took a taxi to the library, which had not been affected by the power outage. I caught up on my email while my cell phone re charged in an outlet behind the librarian’s desk. I had a freezer full of food that was going to spoil, so I borrowed a cooler and asked my son to bring me a bag of ice. Each time someone came to my house, I asked them to bring ice. One friend took me out to lunch, and I carried a thermos with me. I ordered one pot of tea to drink and another one for the thermos, so I’d have hot tea the next morning. I invited myself to a cook-out at my son’s house, and I brought the food. It was great to eat something other than PB&J sandwiches.
I’m ready now, with my great big cooler, my gas grill, and my emergency kit in the basement. A storm was predicted this afternoon, and at least an hour of the news was devoted to the weather. So I made the tea, and all my little guys are charging themselves. I was greatly relieved when there was a thunder clap or two and a little rain, and then it was over. I thank God every 5 minutes that I have air conditioning. I am truly blessed. Now I’ll go have that cup of tea.