Storm Preparedness Rules
I moved to the south about twenty-five years ago. Up till that time I lived in the northeast where winter storms were the norm and snow was measured by feet not inches. Winter could last from October to April and no one batted an eye.
I paid heavy taxes to maintain salt/sand piles and the buildings that housed them, snowplows and overtime pay for their drivers — all so life could keep running on schedule through winter in the north.
When I came to North Carolina — a different sort of storm was the norm. Hurricane season began in June and blew through November. Different precautions were taken and I learned to fill up bathtubs with water, to always own a home with a gas hot water heater, and to embrace oil lamps.
In the winter, when we would get the odd snowstorm, I discovered the official snow removal policy of the area I lived in was quite simple.
Leave it alone. The sun will come out tomorrow and melt it.
However, prior to any storm’s arrival — hurricane or snow squall — Storm Preparedness Rules apply. One must take oneself to the grocery store and procure all the ingredients for French Toast. Plus beer.
Goddess help you if you should be out of any of these things by chance and just happen to need them, because if you are slow out of the blocks — you won’t find them. Anywhere. In any store. In North Carolina.
Because this is the statewide Storm Preparedness Rule. Eggs/Milk/Bread/Beer will fly off shelves where ever it is sold. Even convenience stores will have empty shelves and coolers.
And then we will all settle in and wait.
We will wait for the hurricane to blow through. We will wait for the flooding which follows on its heels. We will wait for the power to be restored. We will wait for life to return to its normal rhythm.
We will wait for the snow to blanket the earth. We will wait for the ice to freeze and thaw. We will wait for the trees to fall under the weight they were never build to bear. We will wait for the sun to return to melt it all away. We will wait for life to return to its normal rhythm.
Southerners are a patient people. They don’t get shook if life comes to a standstill to let Mother Nature have Her day. They are gracious hosts to hurricanes and winter storms — sitting politely in their parlors in relief for a respite. Grateful if they are spared and more than helpful to friends and neighbors who are not.
For Southerners have a deep respect for Mother Nature. They have seen Her fury and know Her power. Our trees have shallow root systems and our rivers are built to overflow. Our seaside absorbs storm surges on both sides of a hurricane. We live here only by Her Grace. Any storm can randomly land a tree in one’s living room or carry one away in flash flood.
So. We go to the store. We get The Things to make The French Toast. Plus Beer. In the Storm Preparedness Rule, this is not optional — it is required. To appease Mother Nature. The offering is given to Her to protect oneself and one’s family from Her fury.
It is never required that you make The French Toast — only that you be prepared to if called upon. You can, of course, drink the beer.