Update: I wrote this last night during the storm, and then our internet went out before I could post it. Better than the electricity. We lucked out, truly.
*Update, updated: I just spent the last hour reading articles online and looking at pictures of the horrific storm, and I’m beside myself with sadness for the millions of people effected. Most especially for those who lost loved ones. A woman in a neighborhood not far from my own was crushed by a tree while walking her dog. My cousin walks her dog. People have to walk their dogs, and you never think about THAT happening. And that is just one tragic example. There are many more. And then all those poor people in Queens whose homes burned to the ground. And the hospitals that had to be evacuated after losing power; babies from the NICU being transported with travel generators. And all the people who still do not have power in their homes, including my father and brother. But at least they are alive and well.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I debated on deleting this post, written last night in the dark (literally and figuratively), and I’m still unsure of the right thing to do, but please know I mean no disrespect to the people who have suffered, or still do, from this terrible storm of unprecedented damage. This post was written initially about gearing up for a storm, and bracing for the unknown. It’s meant to address the difficulty of being GF in the wake of a hurricane. Since that still sounds rather petty in my mind, I may end up deleting this after all. If it disappears, you’ll know why. Until then, here it is, as written with a few minor changes:
9pm, October 29th 2012. It’s currently Frankenstorming something fierce as I write this. The gusty winds are making a racket outside and the walls of our apartment are creaking strangely. I’m worried that it will wake up my restless (on a good day) kids. My cousin Peeps who lives nearby just texted me that her apartment building was shaking. Fun hurricane times.
Several friends texted me earlier today, before the storm hit, saying stuff like, “hope you are safe and sound,” to which my response was: “Sure, if you consider being trapped in a small apartment with a cranky preschooler and husband safe” – ha! My friend who checked in with me agreed, saying she told her mom that she wasn’t sure if being stuck inside with her family was safer than being out in the storm.
Ah, familial bliss.
Anyway. This post is less about offering advice than venting about how hard it can be to prepare for a hurricane, GF style. Um, especially if you only minimally prepare at the very last minute, like us.
So, let’s start with food. Since we were driving back from the country on Sunday afternoon, I knew we’d be returning to a rather empty fridge. I forced my husband to stop at a Target halfway back for a few emergency items – mainly, bottled water and diapers. Seriously, forget food, running out of diapers would have SUCKED. I think my husband thought I was nutso when I told him I was “a wee bit nervous” about the impending hurricane. He was quite blase about it, but to be fair, I think being in the country without TV and spotty internet access made both of us kind of oblivious to the Frankenstorminess that was awaiting us. (For the record, I can’t stand the Frankenstorm nickname, but for some reason I also can’t stop saying it…)
So back to Target. They have super cute clothes for kids, tons of crappy toys, but it’s not much of a grocery store. Especially for the GF population. I made Bunky run beside the shopping cart as I maniacally raced through the store, ignoring her pleas for toys. We found the picked over water aisle and I gratefully grabbed a case of Dasani (over the pricey Vitamin water). Since I didn’t want to stock up on perishables in case our power went out, I just bought some more cheese (you can never have too much cheese, am I right?) – slices of munster and Bunky’s new favorite, cheddar rectangles.
Now what else could we possibly get that was gluten free? Strawberry jam and Nutella (yum), okay fine. We had almond butter for me, but what to put it on? Nothing in Target. Thankfully I had an extra loaf of Udi’s at home, but seriously, if we didn’t we would’ve been in trouble. I probably could’ve found Nut Thins in the cracker aisle, but I was too frazzled to look. I grabbed some Giada pasta sauce (which was meh to me, and made my husband sick from all the onions) and then nearly burst out laughing when I saw the gluten-rific bread aisle. It was totally scavenged. Mostly empty shelves with a few scattered loaves left. We paused only for a moment. Little Guy was asleep in the car and we were hours from home with a hurricane on the way. No time to spare. After grabbing diapers and a small junk toy for Bunky (for not pestering me incessantly for junk toys) we left in a hurry.
I know we’re lucky, despite all the venting above. Our home in Brooklyn happens be on the highest elevation in the area, which means little chance of flooding. We have a garage in the basement of our apartment, so that means no chance of a tree smashing into our car. Ultimately, and fortunately, we have everything we need – a safe place to weather out the storm.
Here’s hoping you all fare as well.