Waiting for a hurricane is an odd pastime. For us, it's been one-third final errands (topping off the gas tank, searching for one more flashlight in shopped-out stores, getting a few more groceries), one-third prep (I just finished filling the bathtub with water so toilets can be flushed), and one-third watching the storm's progress in the skies and on TV.
Our neighbors two doors down, on the other hand, are having a hurricane party. This aparently involves watching movies and eating popcorn until the power goes out. Which it will. Trees + power lines + prolonged high winds = power outages, and there are one heck of a lot of trees around here.
The good news is that Irene has quieted down to a category one. The bad news is that we're on the heavy wind side of her and she is huge -- about 500 miles across and still spreading. Therefore, we are expecting blocked roads and an opportunity to try out that new flashlight.
This morning, we woke up to soft, overcast skies without a breath of wind. It was so quiet it gave us the feeling we should be looking over our shoulders to see what was sneaking up on us. When we did, it misted on us. (As opposed to raining on us.)
The rain, when it came around lunchtime, was very calm. Almost matter-of-fact. Someone upstairs turned on a faucet for about an hour, soaked things toroughly, then turned it off. No wind, no cold. Since then, we've had some cooling, a couple of showers, and lots of clouds.
Inside, we now have enough flashlights, canned food and water for 4 (the dog and the cat need such things, too) for 10 days, an official emergency "kit," clean laundry, a nervous poodle (he knows something's up and can't figure out what), and one tired Kate.
We're ready, though. It's a good thing, too. The wind has finally picked up outside a little.