Jo Ann Jaacks: Henri, the little hurricane who couldn’t

Gardening plants that Jaacks moved inside when she was expecting a hurricane.

Gardening plants that Jaacks moved inside when she was expecting a hurricane.

Jo Ann Jaacks

Sufficient time has passed by that most folks have forgotten the Hurricane that missed us. I’m not forgetting because I learned several lessons from this lots-of-water but no punch tropical storm.

When I lived in south Florida and the weather forecasters were issuing dire warnings about a terrifying oncoming catastrophe, everyone dutifully boarded up their windows, stuffed all their vehicles into their own garage or that of someone else, awoke at dawn to get in line at Publix market to buy as many water jugs as were allowed, and candles, light bulbs for a collection of flashlights, and tossed canned goods into their cart as well as beer and wine since you could buy those in that same supermarket (C’mon Connecticut!)

Lesson #1: I was nearly the first in line at Stop & Shop the day before the expected Doomsday of Henri, and was surprised there were only five other cars in the parking lot. I got the large size cart and jammed it full of enough “nonperishables” as recommended for at least three days in case the power failed. Five months ago, I began a regimen of daily fast-walking, eating only fresh and “clean” meals, which had a shelf life in the refrigerator. I wasn’t sure what nonperishables were, but I ended up with choices like canned meals of chili, baked beans, deviled ham, etc. Also, there were reasonably healthy choices like pouches of trail mix, tuna creations, crispy fried onions (veggies!), etc. I threw all these items into my big cart, with as many water jugs as I could lug to my car.

Lesson #2 if you have been on a regimen of fresh, “clean” eating for five months, your body is not going to easily adapt to newly introduced nonperishables. Enough said.

Lesson #3 Since wild winds and flooding were predicted, I took in all my chairs and tables from the front porch and jammed them into the foyer. I moved all my containment gardening plants from the back balcony to inside my kitchen and (non-working) fireplace. Then I had to re-route my cat’s feeding bowls from the kitchen because she wouldn’t stop chewing on all the plants.

Lesson #4 Once the hyperbole surrounding the non-excitant catastrophe quieted down, I packaged up all the “nonperishables,” found their store listing and marched back to S&S to recover my outlay. They were gracious and helpful, making me suspect I was not the only one in this position.