August 28th, 2008


Gustav vs. Brenan

So, yesterday, I finally decided to pay attention to the incumbent hurricane.  When you live under the gun, it's easy to not get exited about such things. They are merely taken in stride, part of living near the coast. 

I went through my mental check list of things I needed to have on hand in case we lost power: propane, charcoal, gas for the vehicles, gas for the generator (which we immediately bought after Katrina), batteries for the flashlights, battery powered lamps (much better and safer than candles or oil lamps), dry goods, non-perishable food, water (luckily, in Louisiana, there is very little disruption of the city water supply or the gas lines but it is still good to have some safe drinking water on hand, just in case), pet food, and extra soft drinks and cigarettes (trust me, I want John well supplied with his caffeine and smokes during a hurricane).

On a good note, it's not winter so we don't have to worry about heating. On the bad side, it's summer which means it's hot and humid and will only get more so if the storm hits, especially if the power goes out.  We didn't have power for 7 days after Katrina. You want to talk about hot! We were sleeping on a sheet on the brick floor in the kitchen because it was the coolest place to sleep in the house.

On another good note, we have a gas water heater so we can still have hot showers.  On the bad side, we have an electric stove which is useless during a power outage so it's a good thing we already do a lot of outside cooking and are completely set up for it. We can cook in the back yard with grills and burners (optimal) or in the garage if the rain drives us there.  After Katrina, I really got in touch with my inner cajun and did a lot of old fashion cajun cooking with the big cast iron pots over the crawfish burners.  

Old fashion cajun cooking = is it about to go bad and needs cooking? Throw it in the pot. Add lots of onions, bellpeppers, and garlic (known as the Holy Trinity around here). Serve over rice or bread.  For that matter, throw some rice into the pot and call it jambalaya.

Last night I tried to get gas for my car so I wouldn't have to worry about it over the weekend.  The station by my house with the really low prices had already run out of regular unleaded.  I tried to get batteries this morning on my way to work, but the Wal-Mart that I went to was out of batteries.  Tonight we are going to make a supply run to stock up.  On the good side, everything we buy is stuff we would normally use anyway.  On the bad side, we wouldn't necessarily be spending all of this money at one time to get it.

LOL, oh well. So, that is Gustav.

Now, enters Brenan.

My 16 year old daughter has a new beau.  He is the best friend of the brother of her best friend.  Yeah, I know, convoluted.  The best friend’s parents have a camp on Toledo Bend which is partly in Texas, partly in Louisiana, and close to the coast.  My daughter goes to this camp frequently, usually with a bunch of their school friends and BFFs family, so she and Brenan have known each other for quite a while.

BFF is not at all happy about her brother and his friend intruding on her social life.  BFF's mom thinks it's all real cute.  I thought it was cute too until I realized that she and Brenan would be going to Toledo Bend together.  Suddenly, sleep-overs at a camp took on a whole new outlook.  I told Ariel if she and Brenan started dating that she wouldn't be allowed to go to Toledo Bend anymore, if he was going to be there. 

She was not impressed, and I did eventually realize that it wasn't something that hadn't already happened before, but still . . . The dating part is new.  Okay, call me over protective.  I reminded Ariel that she had to maintain holy spirit room between them (old joke).

I trust BFF's mom to keep on top of the kids, but still . . . they're teenagers . . .

Well, last night, BFF's mom called to find out if it was still going to be okay for Ariel to leave with them to go to Toledo Bend because of Gustav. I was like, "what?"  It totally hadn't occurred to me that she wouldn't be home during the hurricane.  Hurricane and boy were completely different issues and hadn't crossed over in my mind at all. And it had certainly never occurred to me that they might be happening at the same time.  I laughed and told the mom that I'd been more worried about Ariel and Brenan going to the camp together, my own inner hurricane, then I'd been over the actual hurricane. 

The actual path of Gustav is still to be determined.  By Friday, we might have somewhat of a clue.  But hurricanes are fickle creatures. You never know exactly where they are going to go or how much damage they are going to do.  It could ground out on Cuba or it could enter the gulf, suck up all that warm water and hit Cat 5 in no time.  You just don't know.

While the trip is still up in the air, I think we’d rather Ariel be home during the hurricane where we don’t have to worry about her. We’ll worry about the boy later.