Monday, September 28, 2009

Just Your Typical Monday

Today we woke up to a Tropical Storm Watch. This is our second one to be under since we've moved here. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, tropical storms don't scare me too much, but they do require some preparation. One thing I know for sure is they don't always stay tropical storms and they don't always go where the meteorologists think they may go or come when they are expected. So, once we were up and about Monday morning, I made a list of supplies we should pick up from the self-help (kind of like a teeny, tiny Ace Hardware for people who live on base- we can get roach spray or a/c filters or a myriad of other similar items): generator cord, duct tape. I also made a list of a few essentials to get from the commissary- milk and bananas (we had already stocked up on canned food and water the first time we were under a watch, so I figured we were ok in those departments). We were set to leave, but I looked outside and it was raining really hard and very windy. I figured we were getting some of the outer bands from the storm, so Price and I just waited until the weather broke and we left to go on our errands. On our way out, I noticed that our neighbor's car cover had blown into our yard, so I took it over and she told me that the base was under TCOR 3, which means a storm is expected within 48 ours. Everyone was being sent home to change and secure their homes (ie clean up coconuts and close their storm shutters). I told her we would close ours after I ran to the store and self-help when I remembered it was Monday- both are closed on Monday! I started to have a minor freak out (we REALLY needed milk and a generator cord) when she told me that both were opening for storm prep. So I headed off to the self- help to get the 2 items I needed.

I was the first person to arrive, so was able to get what I needed (plus about 4 other things that I wanted). As I was signing out, someone came in asking about sandbags. He was told the sand and supplies were out back and he could start making what he needed, I asked if I should get some and was told, "it's not a bad idea." I called Don to see if he was going to get off work and maybe he could come make sandbags- nope. It was either I do it, or no bags for us. I looked down at my clothes (why had I decided to dress kind of cute on this day??) and my flip flops and the pile of sand and the shovels and decided to give it my best! I put Price in his stroller and embarked on making sandbags. Luckily an airman offered to help, and he did the hard part and all I had to do was tie up my 4 bags, get them and Price into the car and off we would go. As I was carrying the last bag to the car, two other spouses walked up and they were trying to figure out if they had enough bags- I offered them my left over sacks and one of the women told me I should make all 10. So, being mom of the year, I left Price in the car with the windows down (hoping I wold hear any screams over the wind and the sound of shovels hitting on sand) and went back to making sand bags. This time, I teamed up with another woman and she and I made 16 bags- we took turns shoveling. By the time we finished and I carried the bags (with the help of another airman) to my car, I was a dirty, sandy mess. Thankfully, I had some wipes and was able to get most of the gunk off of my hands and feet, but I still needed to go to the Commissary. I thought about going home to change and then said, "Screw it- you don't know anyone here, go dirty!" And away we went- wet, sandy clothes and all.

Somehow, my list of 2 items turned into about 100 as I turned into a Tropical Storm Hoarder. All of a sudden, I felt the need to buy more canned food, more macaroni and cheese, more junk food, more, more, more of everything! I had visions of us being in mostly powerless house, for days on end with no provisions at home or in the stores on the island. I was not the only one with this compulsion, especially as we stood on line wrapped around the entire Commissary (it reminded me of a subdued Kohl's Black Friday sale). The longer we stood in line, the more items ended up in our baskets.

We now have 10 bananas and 8 half gallons of super pasteurized milk, plus a whole bunch of other stuff- and I don't know what to make for dinner!


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