Goodbye, summer. We hardly knew you.
How quickly those sun-drenched months came to a close this year. Always seems like there will be so much time — so much FREE time to just settle in, relax and enjoy the slow life. But the slow life isn’t ever slow. And before you know it, it’s gone.
It’s September already. September! The doorway to fall. Sure, it’s still 95 degrees outside and your underwear melts to your waist every time you walk outdoors. But September signals it’s over. Kids go back to school. Work gears up again. The streets feel busier and more bustling. People get more serious, more hurried and less relaxed. Vacations are just a distant memory.
In September, the light starts to change. Can’t you see it? The sky is bluer and brighter. The shadows linger longer across the land. The sun drops quicker from the sky like it’s late for a dinner party, and the dusk drowns the world in browns and golds.
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Yes, it’s time. As storms line up in the Atlantic and Hurricane Earl tip-toes by us, we should all review our hurricane planning. Don’t be caught unprepared and unaware. Come up with a plan, buy some supplies and listen to the advice of experts. And in that spirit, let me offer up a few of my own helpful tips that will get you ready should the big one strike.
• Batteries — Make sure you have enough C batteries. Tons of C batteries. Enough to power the International Space Station. Why C batteries? Because if your house is like mine, every portable lamp, every radio and every other piece of survival equipment you have actually runs on D batteries. And you won’t have a single one of those.
My C battery stash — so large the floor in my closet is sagging under its weight — is thanks to my aunt. Every Christmas she buys my daughter a toy that can run for 5 years on a single C battery. But because she expects we will keep it until the next millennium or maybe because she owns stock in Duracell, she also buys dozens and dozens of backups. Every year!
So all of these batteries are sitting there, waiting to be used and leaking battery acid all over the shelf. And when a real storm comes and I stumble about in the dark looking for them, I will realize the irony of stocking so many unusable batteries, then have a good laugh about it. That will lift spirits better than lighting my house or finding out what emergency personnel are saying on the radio. Continue Reading »
Listen to my latest commentary on WJCT, the NPR-affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida. This was from a column I wrote called, “Dad on a Fence,” and it ran on air Aug. 30, 2010.
If you’re having trouble listening, try click this link: http://www.nutshellcity.com/dadfence.mp3