Saturday, September 4, 2010

Riding Out Earl

6am: I wake up wondering whether the storm has started. The fan in my room has been running all night in an attempt to cool the oven-like temperatures. As a result, I can't hear anything outside. I sit up, wipe the sleep from my eyes, and take a peek out the window. I'm surprised to see the wind already bending the trees, and the rain already dampening the fields.

I lay in bed and doze for another hour or so before forcing my over-tired body out of bed. I haul on my pink rainboots and step outside into what feels like a tropical oasis-- hot and humid. The winds are strong, but nothing we haven't seen before. For the moment, the rain has stopped.

The horses are miffed at having been locked in their stalls all night, after a summer of freedom. But other than that, they seem unperturbed, and unaware that a hurricane named Earl is creeping our way.

Once they're fed, I head to the garden to pluck what bounty I can from the yellowing plants before Earl has his way with them.

I pick several pints of firm, red, cherry tomatoes, also about three-dozen or so almost-ripe larger ones. I'm surprised to see three or four plump pea pods dangling from some tired, twisted stems, so I grab those too. Then there are the thick, green cucumbers. I pick the four largest ones and leave a few more to battle the storm. I also tug a handful of good-sized carrots from the damp earth too just for good measure.

Sadly, my stunted cornstalks have been flattened, as have my not-so-stunted, six-foot tall sunflowers. I grab a knife and cut as many still-pedaled flowers from the broken stalks as I can carry. They'll look nice in a vase. I'm damp from the misty rain, but it's still warm, and the wind is bearable, so I head to our "accidental" squash plant which is growing in the manure pile. I slice through the green stems of six dinner-plate sized squashes and carry them back to the house in the wheelbarrow. I certainly won't starve to death.

9:15 am: The wind is now raging and the rain is pelting the deck as though it were hail. It's time for me to come inside. Unfortunately, I don't have time to grab the apples from the trees in our front yard. The hard, red fruit will have to swing and sway in the wind.

9:45 am: The lights flicker and the hurricane shutters vibrate against the picture window. Rain falls across the fields in horizontal sheets. This is the most wind I've seen since we moved here...and technically, Earl has yet to make landfall.

10:45 am: The winds had eased a bit, but are now roaring away again-- and it's very dark. I'd like to check on the horses, but I worry I might get whipped off my feet on the way to the barn. I'm thankful for the hurricane shutters, but wish they didn't block my view of the storm.

1 comment:

  1. Just getting ready to call you and see if things were ok and the esp kicked in to check the blog site.

    Hang on and things will get smoother.......a rough end to a rough week................