Although Miss Piggy and I kept our ample behinds firmly planted in Charlotte, Dearly Beloved headed for the coast this week. Yes, he realizes that Irene is going coastal, too. In fact, that is one of the reasons he went–to batten down the hatches in preparation.
Another reason, he joked, was that he could watch the Little League World Series in peace and quiet, wherever and whenever he wanted–meaning bedroom or sunroom–without having to wrestle me for the remote control.
Have you watched any of those games? (I’m going to guess “not likely.“) You can pick out the boys’ moms in the bleachers. They’re the ones holding their heads in their hands, going nuts from the tension.
I’ve been surprised to hear how many people are watching. The overflow crowds at the games top 30,000 and the games are televised, so DB isn’t the only one watching. He has seen enough that he knows the names of boys from Montana to Mexico and believe me, the man is not good on names.
While DB may have complete control of the remote, it’s not like his time is all his own at the beach-house-on-the-beach. After all, he has Groupies there–the two octogenarian neighbors who live on either side of us. They are not friends with each other and are fine with minimal contact with me, but DB? Rock star status.
Both of them have NEIGHdar and can spot his car no matter how quickly he pulls into the garage and closes the door. They always manage to come forth with a list of “a few little things” for him to do whenever he hits town. I think it’s more the comfort of a familiar face, since both could afford to hire someone… but free IS better.
One of them is out of the state this month, so DB can concentrate on his favorite–the neighbor to our right: in her upper 80′s, hard of hearing and has difficulty walking, but with a positive outlook on life that is refreshing.
When DB hits town, she calls to welcome him back and tell him she’ll sleep better, knowing he’s next door. She has a host of grown children and grandchildren, at least some of whom visit her every day, but she loves talking to DB and, of course, there’s that little list of To Do’s she’s saved just for him.
She invites him over for a drink, but he’d better sip fast because her cocktail hour lasts only about 30 minutes. That’s unfortunate for Dearly Beloved, a slow sipper and a long talker. (Actually, I applaud this because he’s been telling me all these years that he’s not slow, it’s that I’m a fast drinker. I feel validated.)
The evening he arrived, she asked him over for a drink. She talks about her grown daughters… how they think she’s running a restaurant, they way they walk in and start raiding the refrigerator and eating all of her snacks. She gestures often with both hands, raising them beside her face, then brushing them downward to show her exasperation.
He, to amuse her, told her about how I had called him a jackass recently. And of course, she WAS amused, because how could anyone really think Handyman a jackass, right?
The next day when he went outside, she was already out among her potted plants, a white bucket in her hand. She beckoned him over and reeled off some of the things she wanted him to do. As they walked around to the back, she handed him the bucket she’d been carrying.
One of his To Do’s was to refill her bird feeders. He removed the cover from the first feeder and asked, “Where’s the birdseed?”
“It’s in your hand!” she retorted, pointing to the white bucket she had handed him earlier. She made her exasperated gesture.
“Mary’s right. You ARE a jackass.”
Not to worry. She’s having a Hurricane Party and DB is at the top of her guest list. In fact, she decided to do it only when she saw him arrive. The widow up the street is coming and will spend the night, as will some of her daughters. DB is pussyfooting about giving a formal acceptance, promising only to come over for a quick cocktail. He doesn’t want to get stranded there in the hurricane and be forced to stay for the pajama party. Besides, there are the Little League games to watch. Now if she had a generator…!
DB has carried in our deck furniture and plants, as well as doing so for those who needed assistance. We have bottled water, an emergency radio, and flashlight batteries already at the house. He even mentioned making a supermarket run today. That surprised me, for generally, he opens the pantry door and if he sees cans, he figures he’s stocked. He would rather eat a can of whateverisinthere than go to the grocery store anytime.
Our neighborhood was designed with a series of interconnected retention ponds. Most of the time they’re simply water features, but when this kind of weather is forecast, the water levels are lowered to offset any flooding potential. Winds are another story.
Will I worry? Oh yeah. There’s my Dearly Beloved in Wilmington, my stubborn BroJoe in Nags Head, and the Good Egg Son and Daughter-in-Law in Norfolk. Irene’s projected path up the NE coast to the heavily populated areas looks ugly and mean, something for everyone to worry about. As my friend Lulu says, we’ll all look forward to singing.
PS. I e-mailed BroJoe to ask was he evacuating, even though I knew the answer. He wrote back that he was staying, but he was ready, and offered this reassuring picture.
PPS: DB has been receiving e-mails from family and friends, asking is he going to ride it out at the beach. Here is what he responds.
I am. Mary’s in Charlotte w/burglar alarm on.