Friday, October 7, 2016


I am writing from the blustery aftermath of the dreaded Hurricane Matthews.  Obviously, I have power still, which is far better than the last hurricane that came through, although the media excitement wasn't as built up the last time.

Yesterday my mother called me in a panic, insisting that her students were claiming that Matthew was a massive hurricane that was due to hit right down the middle of the state and wipe us off the map.  I managed to calm her down, and reminded her that her students could hardly understand the rudiments of biology, much less a hyped-up media report. 

We did tie down the chicken coop lids this time, and we stocked up on hay and water for the animals.  Otherwise, I am fairly sceptical of the melodrama about storms hitting this area.  Don't misunderstand me - I know the damage was quite bad in other places.  Here in the middle of the state, we tend to be spared the worst.

Since I slept through the whole of "The Storm of The Century" at age eight, way back in the 1900's (ok, it was only in 1993, but I like the sound of "back in the 1900's"), I just don't get that excited about them.  Of course it sucked to have our electricity go out last hurricane, and when Mirin was a newborn in 2004 we had no power for a week - but that was less a testimony to the powerful winds than it was to how pathetic the transformer is on our line, and how incredibly incapable the utility company is when it comes to hurricane preparedness (why are electrical lines not buried in hurricane areas?  It seems so obvious).

The storm was supposed to hit us around 1:30, so we made plans to go out early to do the milking.  Of course we are late everywhere, so the timing turned out for us to arrive at the farm at 1:30, rather than be inside, safe and dry, at that point.

As we got in the car to head out, Ethan turned on the radio to check on the storm announcements.  The voice on the radio was saying how you should not, under absolutely no circumstances, be out driving on the road, and went on to emphasize that there had been a tornado watch in the next county, and anyone who went out driving today was just asking for it.  We shrugged and turned off the radio as we pulled out of the neighborhood.  Ethan did swerve around the road a little while driving, but it was only because he was trying to drink coffee at the same time, rather then because of high winds.  There was hardly any rain or wind, and most people seemed to have taken the radio announcer's advice, so there wasn't any traffic, and I actually felt fairly safe on the way, except for the aforementioned swerving.

At the farm, in the very teeth of the storm, the cows and goats were placid.  The cows were lounging under the oak trees, ruminating, and the goats were all excited about a pine branch that had fallen in their paddock. 

The chores went well - the baby goats were convincingly pathetic from under their shelter, so I gave them an extra scoop of feed.  The worst part was having my head rained on, because I have misplaced my amazing Chinese cooly hat I always wear, and I hate having my head rained on.  We are just getting over a nasty head cold, and my hair gets all musty.

Even during the most exciting blusters, I gauged the wind to be about a 5-6 on the Beaufort scale, which is only "gale" and at least six degrees south of "hurricane".  I am beginning on my second year of helping with weather journalling for homeschool, so I am fairly adept at it now.  I have been out doing the chores in worse storms that were merely summer thunderstorms, and at least it was cool, the rain was intermittent, and there was no lightening.  I don't mind hurricanes, but thunderstorms are terrifying.

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