Tuesday, September 16, 2003


North Carolina is really a lovely place to live. It's an easy drive to both the beach and the mountains, there are trees and greenery all over the place, the winters are mild, there is air conditioning for the summers, etc. etc. Every so often, Mother Nature reminds us that we have to pay a toll for all this. The ice storm last winter was one such toll - people lost a bunch of trees, which led to a loss of power, water, and phone service. Now, we have a hurricane sitting off the coast. We have had so much rainfall this summer that our trees are once again turning from things of beauty into weapons against our power lines, phone lines, and roofs.

Hurricanes, for the most part, are very polite. They usually move at about 10 miles per hour, giving everybody plenty of warning. In contrast, for example, tornadoes are unbelievably rude. I like to think that's why we don't get as many tornadoes here in the South. The hurricane is much more gentile and takes its own sweet time about doing things, just like your typical native southerner. Hurricanes do tend to pit one state against another, however. Here in North Carolina we focus our telepathy at the hurricane and urge it to hit Florida, maybe, or on up into Maryland, if you please. Those bastards in Virginia haven't gotten their fair share of bad weather! Come on, give us a break.

I have only seen three hurricanes since moving here. Bonnie was the first one, and when the people at work told me there was a hurricane coming I left work and went home in a hurry, figuring that it was going to hit any minute. See, Wisconsin is the land of tornadoes, and I figured it was one of those rude-type storms. When I got home, Ryan said we had better go to the store and prepare, and I said... but there's a hurricane coming! We can't go outside! Yeah, he laughed. Anyway, Bonnie was the "good" kind of hurricane - the kind that blows like hell and you can sit inside and watch the trees turn sideways and the rain come down like somebody turned on a faucet... but nothing flooded and the trees were spared for the most part.

We managed to move away from the coast for the next two, Denis and Floyd. However, we moved in with a friend in his BASEMENT apartment. My friends, there is a very good reason why there are hardly any basements in North Carolina. I woke up one morning, swung my feet over the side of the bed and they went splash. What the... oh crap! The whole apartment flooded during Denis, and again during Floyd. Raleigh as a whole was spared, though. We are hoping that Isabel sees fit to behave and not toss too many trees around. The psychology here is to be prepared, since that will definitely make the hurricane not hit us at all. Nothing like a stockpile of expensive batteries to ward off Mother Nature, after all.

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