Hurricanes, Typhoons and Chocolate Cake

4 09 2011

I haven’t said anything about Irene yet, I only just noticed.

Not my neighbor Irene. I don’t really have a neighbor named Irene but if I did I imagine she would be outside in a flowery print dress and pink crocs busily tending to her begonias. Or maybe playing the slot machines in a casino somewhere in Pennsylvania because while she does like to gamble, she can’t afford the flight to Las Vegas. Or maybe she doesn’t like to fly. Maybe her cats would miss her.

This woman is fictitious and she’s driving me nuts.

I meant the hurricane, the hurricane of course. I live in upstate New York. That means I don’t live in the city. Now I know what you’re thinking, I can see it in your crinkled face.

“There’s more to New York? It’s not just a city?”

Of course it’s more than just a city. Geez. Honestly most of the state is dominated by rather rural areas. We have lots of cows and lots of corn.

So about this hurricane. I had followed the weather channel reports as I observed thirty some hearts for abnormalities on the day before it hit New York. The city was preparing themselves for the worst. Battery Park for instance was being prepped for up to eight feet worth of flooding. EIGHT FEET. That’s two feet taller than I am. That’s a little over one of the sixty-million-seven-hundred-sixty-thousand fathoms you would need to comprise a great literary work!

I could understand why I suppose. The city does sit soundly on the Atlantic Ocean so they would be forced to suffer great waves and increased rainfall. We, on the other hand are nearly right in the middle of the state. The meteorologist claimed that we were right on the border of where the precipitation moved from 2-6 inches of rain to 6-12 inches. We were in the non-committal portion of the rain. Like when you ask Google to find something specific and it comes back asking “Is it one of these thirty thousand things?”

Freaking Google.

We ended up getting six or less I do believe. Which is fine by me. We received a great deal of wind,naturally, which lead to debris from trees being scattered all about the place. In a nearby town in which my parents can be found, a transformer fell off its pole and consequently ceased to function. It wasn’t as bad up here as most people were expecting it to be and we certainly were lucky compared to a lot of other people. We didn’t even lose power. Some of our town did. But our street was okay.

It reminded me of earlier days though. So in a way it was enjoyable in that it caused old childhood memories to surface. Growing up in Japan we endured a stormy season every year that brought with it storms far greater than what shows up around the portion of the world I live in today. The typhoons would blow in every year and no matter where you lived it was worse since there aren’t any parts of Japan that don’t sit on the coast. Being farthest inland doesn’t even qualify you being ‘somewhat far’. It’s somewhere between tragic and incredibly comical.


There was one typhoon that soaked the joint services base where we lived more than was typical of the monster storms. My parents, my sister and myself had all been to a Halloween party and where starting to drive home. My sister rode with my father in his car and I rode with my mom in hers. I don’t remember why we took different cars but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that my mother and I got stuck. The rains were torrential and we drove right into road that had been saturated with mud and made impassable. My mom swore. I don’t specifically remember her swearing but come on, if you knew my mother you would agree that’s something she probably (like about 99% probably) did.

We ended up in the fire station shortly after that, soaked and cold. We sat on their impressively comfortable couches wrapped in blankets. I dripped over a great big slice of chocolate cake. I remember being surprised that there was chocolate cake. It had been made by one of the fireman and they just happened to not mind sharing with a small, shivering kid. Made me happy. I like cake. From that point the details are even fuzzier. But I remember the important things.

Regardless of the difficulties that struck us, my family always remained in good spirits and inevitably the nonsense and sad stuff would end with someone having chocolate cake.




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