|My Gmail account earlier was a little ominous.|
Although I still haven't decided what was more
ominous: the coming-storm weather background,
or the number of unread messages in my inbox...
There has been plenty of warning for this storm. In fact, the preparation I've done while waiting for Isaac has actually happened over the course of the last three days. Two days ago, bought flashlights and batteries and made sure there was enough bottled water on hand; yesterday, did some housecleaning in case the guest bedroom was needed and bought extra pet food; tonight did all the dishes and laundry and pre-storm cooking and filled the bathtub with water in case we need it for toilets and such in a power outage. And now, we wait.
While watching - particularly, watching my social media streams - one thing I've noticed is how cheery everyone is about the approaching storm.
Of course, no one wants it to be really bad. No one wants anyone to get hurt or lose a home or have a tree crush their car.
But people want dramatic storm updates.
People want there to be something work talking about.
One way another, come hurricane and high water, people want a good story.
People are also cracking jokes even more than usual. Maybe it's only in Mississippi, but let me tell you, everyone here seems to be ragging on The Weather Channel for the stupid Land Mass debacle. (Even I got in on those jokes, reminding people to be nice during the storm - no one likes a Land Masshole.) Of course, it seems appropriate for this storm that we should have a chuckle here and there, seeing as Isaac means laughter, and all.
The approaching storm has yet to take its toll, yet it's already shaped our plans, conversations, expectations. There's something exciting - thrilling, even - about an entire geographic community awaiting this episode. Even here, where we still remember Katrina, and the fortitude loved ones showed in that storm. Even though we know the potential hazards. There is something about the primal experience of powerful weather, something bigger than all of us, that brings all of us together.
We may not enjoy every storm, but there's just something about them. Maybe it's just a way we mark a moment in time, a reminder that there will always be something beyond our control, and that rule applies to all of us. Maybe it's just more interesting, makes us feel more alive, to sometimes have to take precautions and wish our neighbors "be safe."
We don't talk about the days when the winds are gentle and the rain is gone. We talk about the storms that we collectively anticipated, collectively weathered, collectively remember.
May we all safely survive Isaac, with a little laughter, maybe a day or two off work, a little bit of scaring but no true scarring.
PS Update after checking my local weather forecast: after viewing the forecast (below), I have two thoughts. First, if it's a 100% chance of rain, is that still a "chance"? Second, they're really missing out on the drink-marketing opportunity with this weather event, y'all. It's not called Pina Colada Isaac.