You know it’s serious when the National Weather Service tells people in Texas to evacuate from the path of Hurricane Ike or die. Given those two choices, I know what I’d do. A storm that covers 40 percent of the Gulf of Mexico certainly has my respect.
I live within four blocks of an arm of the Great South Bay on Long Island, so when Hurricane Hanna started churning up the Atlantic I did what any person similarly situated would do: I started paying attention. When my area was placed under a tropical storm watch, I moved a lot of stuff from my back yard into my garage. I also turned my picnic table upside down on the ground so it would not go airborne. Then I climbed on the roof of the garage. One could argue whether that’s sensible, but I did it to drive some more special screws into the corrugated metal roof.
As usual, we escaped the worst. We got some wind and a lot of rain, but no damage. So, I enjoyed the beautiful weather that always follows a big storm, returned to painting my kitchen, and forgot about it until two days after Hanna passed. Then I noticed that I had forgotten to turn the picnic table upright. If the grass had spent that much time under an opaque table, it would not be happy, but it would recover. However, our picnic table has a translucent glass top. The green house effect kicked in. We experienced non-global warming (only under the tabletop) and the grass (only under the tabletop and in the shape of the table) died, except a small percentage of the grass sought shelter in the shadows of the table legs and survived. I was left wondering what to do.
In the meantime, I pay a company to apply chemicals to my lawn to make the grass grow better so I’ll have to mow it more. One could question whether that’s sensible too, I suppose. But they came by this week. In addition to doing what I pay them to do, they left me about a pound of grass seed. So, now I know what to do. Plus, I feel good about the lawn service because I got something more than I paid for. Not a lot more, but anything more is a good thing.
For the rest of the hurricane season, I’ll continue to follow my hurricane preparedness plan. I watch the Weather Channel, find out where Jim Cantore is, and make sure I’m somewhere else!