The current buzz around the Mid-Atlantic is about whether Hurricane Sandy is going to make Halloween a little more memorable than usual around here. Some experts think the storm may converge with a pre-winter cold front and another storm and create what someone from the National Weather Service calls “Franekenstorm,” with the potential for record flooding and destruction.
Yee-ha. At our house, we’re still recovering (at least emotionally) from the derecho storm that hit here the night of June 29-30. Besides a week-long power outage (in record heat), we had a 90′ oak tree shear off and smash down on our deck. It took three months and about $12,000 (thank you, Travelers insurance!) for our deck to get back to normal. But multiple huge oaks still surround our house and yard — it’s frankly one of the things I love best about our neighborhood, usually — and every time there’s a storm with high winds, I get a little freaked out.
We’re also beach lovers, with a small but much-loved beach condo in Ocean City, Maryland. We’re oceanside, not oceanfront, but the dune that separates our little three-story, 1970’s-era condo building from the endless swells of the Atlantic Ocean is only about 10 feet high. Two winters ago, “snowmaggedon” wiped out a huge chunk of the beach, so it makes me a little sick to think what Frankenstorm might do. When will people realize that the old margarine commercial was right — It’s not NICE to mess with Mother Nature!?
Anyway, I’ll be checking the weather reports obsessively over the next few days. It’s not an uncommon hobby here on the Mid-Atlantic coast, where the Appalachians protect us from much of the worst winter weather. Although Maryland is south of the Mason-Dixon Line and therefore, technically, a Southern state, we really don’t act that way — EXCEPT when there’s an inch or two of snow in the forecast, and then we all obsess about it, scarfing up plenty of toilet paper, bread, milk and other emergency rations.
For now, to paraphrase my favorite rock star, Bruce Springsteen: It’s not 4th of July in Asbury Park, so Sandy, please, head out to sea!