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Preparing to Meet Irene

All over town on Friday, preparations were made in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene.
 
In our neck of the woods, tree companies were summoned to prune massive, old trees overhanging the old Roland Park houses. Insurance companies were called to be sure ample coverage was in place before Irene arrived.
 
My husband leaned out the third floor dormer windows with his homemade gutter-cleaning contraption: a long bamboo pool with a big spoon taped at the end. The hemlock tree over our house is a prodigious shedder, whose needles accumulate in the gutter and clog the downspouts if not cleared regularly. 
 
He put into position the plywood panels that divert rainwater from the front of our house,-- and secured the downspout extension with bricks. He took the ceramic birdbath dish off its pedestal and laid it upside down on the ground. We moved the glass topped table and iron chairs into the garage and small pots of plants up on the porch.
 
When my husband walked to Eddie’s, he said they were low on bread, and he heard that many large orders had been phoned in all during the day.  
 
When I went to swim at Meadowbrook, the lifeguards were moving heavy wood picnic tables to high ground near the pool. The machine that rolls and sweeps the tennis courts was already there. The storage container near the ice rink had been emptied of swim team gear in case the area floods and the container washes away.  
 
When we went to Lowe’s so my husband could build a rain barricade to cover the cellar steps at my sister’s new house, all the flashlights and batteries were sold out. Fortunately, we didn’t need any. Neither did our friend, who went to Stebbins for plastic sheeting and heard that they too were sold out.
 
By Friday afternoon, we were as ready as we’d ever be for a hurricane. When I talked to friends at Paul’s Place in Pigtown, they were, too.  The roof had been repaired; the kitchen and emergency pantry were well stocked. Two staff members, who live in the neighborhood, were on standby in case this neighborhood outreach center might need opening during or after the hurricane.
 
At the end of the day, I stopped in at Whole Foods for my hurricane food of choice: blueberries. They had had a good supply on Thursday, but all were all gone on Friday night. A sales associate said that, thanks to Irene, the store did more business on Friday than over a normal weekend.
 
Instead, I opted for a freshly baked and generously iced cupcake at One World Café.
 
As I drove home on Roland Avenue, the street was lined with cars. More than one house seemed to be having pre-Irene parties. What else can you do in the face of something as mammoth as Irene?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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