Earl, and People in Glass Houses

Posted on Thursday 2 September 2010

When we tell people here that we’ve just moved from the Gulf Coast region, they nearly always say, “Ah!  Then you’re used to this heat!”   (Nobody gets used to heat like this.  You just endure.)

I’m kind of expecting the next couple of days to bring an entirely different reaction:  “You moved from Texas?  Ah!  Then you’re used to hurricanes!

Folks… when I look around our fabulously beautiful new home and its surroundings, my one and only thought is…. OMG!  A hurricane would be an unmitigated disaster here.

Forest House

Not only are we effectively living in a forest, we have a glass house — huge banks of windows, many skylights, and a solarium to boot!    Taken altogether, this is not conducive to passive thought when eye-balling a hurricane cruising up the east coast.

Happily, we’re not going to have a problem near as I can tell.

Current predictions have us just outside the probability cone — the ever-changing best guess of where a hurricane will pass directly.  As everybody knows, though, predictions change right up until a hurricane has already passed.  (Think Rita.)

What people often forget about those probability cones, though, is that they’re modeling the passage of the center of the storm, but there’s no magic wall between the outside of that track and the rest of the world.  Outside the cone means lesser-intensity winds, not a calm sunny day.

Hurricanes are enormous storms (CNN).

Because of Earl’s size, effects of the storm are expected to be widely felt. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the center, and tropical storm-force winds up to 200 miles (325 kilometers).

So… Earl passing to our east should mean we’ll have wind here — possibly a real gale.  And lots of rain.


Weather dot com says we might have winds of 18 mph on Saturday (barely a breeze!).  Thank goodness we’re not in Katy anymore.  Here, nobody’s talking about evacuating.  I’m not even sure anybody realizes there’s a storm out there at all.

Which is just as well… cuz there’s no chance we could ever board all of this.

Myself, I’m just hoping all the leaves stay on the trees, because if this heat ever breaks, we’re going to have a spectacular show.

An astoundingly beautiful morning

And we’re going to watch it through all this glass.

Polimom @ 6:02 am
Filed under: Earl , New Hampshire
New School Anxiety

Posted on Tuesday 31 August 2010

It’s 4 am, and (obviously) I’m awake… for the third morning in a row.  Or is it the fourth?  I’m losing track.    But there’s nothing to be done about it until school gets started.

My puffy eyes and foggy brain are a direct result of Adorable Child’s New School Anxiety, manifesting as nightmares every night.  In the latest installment, her school was somehow bombed and only she survived.


And the heat’s not helping.  The current high temperatures (96 for the next three days!?!?!) make for uncomfortable sleep anyway.

This, though, is the last week.  School finally gets underway in a couple days, and these particular demons will be exorcised.  No more fears that nobody will like her, or that she’ll humiliate herself on the first day.

I expect that Thursday night will also be a bad one, since that’s the night before her first varsity game… but after that, she’ll be off and running.

And I’ll be sleeping.

I hope.

Polimom @ 2:34 am
Filed under: parenting
Hello? Is this Polimom?

Posted on Sunday 29 August 2010

Five years sounds like a blink of an eye to me most of the time… but the days following Katrina, and the chaos and emotion that lived on this blog then, seem much longer ago than that.

Is it really only five years?

Amazing to me that this date nearly slipped by without my realizing the significance.  But half a decade and 2000 miles have intervened, and now my world is centered on a very ill mother, a teenager starting high school this week, and a husband who’s trying to hold us all together.

So when the phone rang this evening, I was totally unprepared.

“Hello?  Is this Polimom?”

On the other end of the line was one of the selfless people who helped run the Algiers forums — handled queries, responded to crises, and gave frightened and worried people some solace after the storm.

She was calling, she said, because she was thinking of me today.   She wanted to say Thank You.


I hope she reads this post, because although we chatted about the current state of the city and a bit about our lives, I never did say what I wanted.  I was too off-kilter.

Too late now, maybe, but … Thank you for the call — and thank you, too, for stepping up all those years ago and helping hold the center together in the face of insanity and incredible stress.

And thank you for bringing it all back for me.

Yes, this is Polimom.  I’m still here.


Polimom @ 6:30 pm
Filed under: Algiers , Hurricane Katrina , New Orleans
A Morning with Goldenrod

Posted on Friday 27 August 2010

Okay.  So.  This turns out to be hard.

*deep breath*

Something’s changed the last few days with Goldenrod.  She’s MUCH much weaker, she’s suddenly sleeping a great deal, and she seems to have lost interest in any of the things she enjoyed doing — or at the very least, she hasn’t the energy.

Only a week ago, she drove to the fire station to play dominoes and Scrabble for 3 hours.  This is a bit abrupt…. but I don’t really want to talk about that.  Rather, I want to tell you about the morning.

It was a spectacular morning.  Stunning!  Not quite cool enough to be called “crisp”, but certainly it was fresh and bright.

So I wanted to take Goldenrod down to the pond.

It isn’t just that she hadn’t yet seen it in the almost two months she’s been here, either (and it’s right there!!).  It’s that I’m starting to feel a sense of urgency.

It’s beautiful.  She loves beautiful things… and this is a spectacular place.  I really want her to see some of it.

And so we did.

Goldenrod in the meadow 2

For the record:  it’s an adventure driving through a rocky New Hampshire pasture, but it was well worth it.  (Wish I’d remembered to bring a pillow, though, for her backside!)

We had a lovely visit.  I can’t begin to tell you how very wonderful it was.

I showed her the Cedar Waxwings, and where the girls camped out last month.  We talked about the polliwogs, and how very low the water levels are.

When I asked to take her picture, she gave me a great big smile.

Goldenrod in the meadow

And when it was time to go back, she was too weak to get up.

So I guess this is a good news, bad news kinda post.  The bad news is obvious — but the good news is that she was able to take in a glorious morning.

And wait!  There’s more!

She knows that I’m writing this, and she asked me to give her best to all of you who’ve been asking about her.  She loves you all.

And she knows that she should have probably said something quite a long time ago about what she suspected about her health, but she really wanted to make that trip to see everyone without a cloud hanging over.  I’m still amazed that she made that drive, actually, but I’m very glad she did.

Just like I’m glad she came down to the pond with me this morning.

Polimom @ 10:33 am
Filed under: Family
What is this?

Posted on Tuesday 24 August 2010

And what’s it doing on my New Hampshire pond?

What is this, and what's it doing on my New Hampshire pond?

It looks like a sandpiper to me, but I thought they were beach birds.


Update:  This is, I believe, a Solitary Sandpiper.  Cool!

Polimom @ 8:42 am
Filed under: Wildlife and Nature