Sunday, August 28, 2011

hurricane stories

It was just a pre-season game last night, the Vikings vs. the Dallas Cowboys, and it wasn't bad for a pre-season game.  The stadium was almost full (60,000+), but I spent a good bit of the time at the game texting relatives a thousand miles away in New Jersey.  The hurricane was upon them, and the forecasts had been so dire that everybody was expecting the worst.  Travel had been forbidden, and people were just hunkered down waiting for a calamity.

My niece Tiffany was sitting at their house with Michael and their six at-home kids (their 7th and oldest, James, being safe here in Minnesota) watching a movie.  Delanda, the only girl of the kids, had texted James earlier, "We're all gonna die!"  She had asked Tiffany and Michael to chop down a tree in their yard because she was afraid it would come crashing down through her bedroom window and kill her.  (They didn't and it didn't).  Things were fairly calm outside, Tiffany wrote, except for heavy rains and reports of tornadoes touching down nearby.

My cousin Bev, who is a nervous wreck even during a mild thunderstorm let alone a hurricane, had lost her land-line phone connection and was texting for the first time in her life.  Her husband had gone to bed, and she had just taken two Xanax.  "I hope my fat ass can keep this trailer from blowing away!" she texted me.  "Go, Cowboys!"  (Yes, unfortunately she is a Dallas fan and not the only Cowboys fan, by the way, with a fat ass).

Then there was my sister Mary, who lives alone on a lake that had had trouble with heavy rains last week that caused the dam to partially break.  She didn't want to stay there alone, so she stayed with some other people, and they were all in the basement as tornado warnings were being broadcast.  "Things are getting really scary," she texted.  And I know she was really worried about her house a few miles away on the lake.

But, fortunately, the storm turned out to be not as bad as it could have been.  Based on texts and Facebook postings I'm getting today, everybody that I know came through the hurricane intact... and -- do I detect a little disappointment in some people that it wasn't as dramatic as the TV networks were scaring them into believing?  And when does hurricane season end -- and football season begin?

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