Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Isaac ~ It begins

The wind gusts get stronger and stronger, and there is a constant patter of rain.  Sharp through these sounds, I hear a frog croak emphatically from the courtyard next door.  It's such a vast, turbulent world in my eyes, and I am a giant to this frog.  I hope he shelters safe in his little nest, and I shelter safe in mine. Today has been tense.  Fitful showers and fickle breezes under a gray sky all day.  The first rain shower began just as I left Matassa's, where I was picking up some last minute supplies.  That was about 8:05am.  The air was hot and sullen and the rain sporadic and light most of the day.  It seems now like it has decided to storm in earnest, but for now I do still have power.

I keep thinking of baskets with too many eggs.  Like the two window panes beside my bed, above the back door.  My drawing board is now wedged flush against the wall, between those panes and my night stand.  Like the shutters that I had to wedge shut and couldn't latch because I couldn't open the window from the inside.  They're now tied tightly with an octuple thickness of twine, in addition to being wedged.  The walls tremble now in the stronger gusts, but I remind myself that this house and its neighbors have been around for worse storms, and are still standing.  We're going to be fine.

I wanted to get some sleep in before the worst began, but I'm just too keyed up.  I listened to the radio for a while, trying to get some info on what to expect, but it just made me irrationally nervous, so I turned it off.  I've started a jigsaw puzzle.  I have my Nook fully charged, and a full library to read by candle light.  I may nap on the couch for a while, too.  I some extra hours worked and had a relatively calm evening, with all my preparations made.  I'm as ready as I'm going to be.

I believe I'll post this now, while I still have internet.  I'm sure I'll have more to report down the line. I expect to be up most of the night, and completely drained by the time we next see the sun.  Better rest as much as I can while I can!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac ~ Pre-Storm

The early morning sun is bright in a brilliant blue sky and the air is clear as crystal and eerily still, except for the occasional fitful stir, making light silken flags and delicate fronds twitch nervously, but leaving all else still.  The office buildings stand silent, giants locked in still waiting by some curse. I see more people on my walk, but they are all strangely mute, speaking in hushed voices, except for those rambling with illogic and unreason on the corners.  As I reach a stretch of street where the traffic thickens, I realize the stillness that has me on edge has been deepened by the dearth of traffic on more distant streets, Rampart, I-10, thoroughfares normally gently humming on the edge of hearing at this time in this place, but now virtually silent.  The city knows what is coming, and even the pigeons are mostly absent.  It's such a pretty morning, and so surreal.

The day passes as all days do, with talk up and down the corridors about plans to leave, plans to stay, staying safe either way.  On line updates are my brain-breaks, and towards the end I turn my thoughts to what I can take with me. What I can work on without internet when the power goes out, as long as my laptops have some battery left.  What I need to get at the store. Checking again to see when and where the storm will hit, how big it might be.

I leave work and the sun is wandering vaguely in a drift of high cloud.  The sky is gray, the air hot, and the sporadic breeze of the morning has become more intense, more insistent, more constant.  I get home, and for hours I'm closing shutters, stowing potted plants, making lists, taping windows, checking the lists to make sure I'm not forgetting anything, returning calls to my mother and some friends, reiterating my plans, reassuring everyone that I expect to be safe, that I've done what I can, that we've been told to shelter in place, that this is not Katrina, that I'll text everyone on Wednesday when the storm has passed.

Finally night falls, and I've done all I can think to do for today.  Tomorrow I will hit the store one more time, since they expect water pallets in the morning.  I'm tired, but I can't wind down just yet.  I grab my camera, and prowl the streets.  After a trip to the river and a glance at Bourbon Street, it's time to go home.  There is laundry to finish, lists to check again and update, and a printer to move even farther from the windows.

And then sleep.  If I can.