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Ike, northern style

It was really windy all day. Humid and windy. I was at work until 4 p.m., and I periodically glanced out the window to watch the trees bend and sway in a macabre display of elasticity. It’s fascinating how wood can be both firm and flexible, depending on the conditions.

After work, I came home and made some muffins for the new neighbors (chocolate chip, since my blueberries, the standard choice, had gone bad), some cheesy pasta for my own dinner, which I ate and then delivered the muffins. The neighbor appreciated them, though her little boys wanted to smear honey on them, because they were “too fresh” (really, they meant they didn’t have enough sugar in them. I should have made cupcakes!). Her oldest, a first grader, called a classmate to make a play date for tomorrow. They exchanged accounts of which trees fell down in whose yards. It was quite the windy day, indeed.

When we finished shmoozing, she walked me to the door, and we watched the wind whip the trees around like tzitzis. She commented that she was nervous for the giant tree in my front yard, and wondered if it was tornado weather. I don’t even know if they get tornadoes in Cleveland.

I ran across the street to my home, and called my mother as I got in the door. Almost immediately after I called, my power went out. Then it came back on. Out. On. Then it went out and stayed out. Thankfully, it was still relatively light out, though it was nearly time for mincha, so I knew it wasn’t much longer that I would have natural light in the house. Also, my husband was working overnight in the hospital, and I was loathe to stay in the house waiting to see if the power would come back on as the night steadily crept in.

The flashlight was employed and I promptly packed my overnight bag, laptop bag, and asked my mom (yes, I was definitely still on the phone) to check the Cleveland weather for any severe weather warnings. After ascertaining the safety of an outdoor venture, I hopped in the car and drove down the block. At the corner, I saw a large tree had toppled into a neighbor’s house and a crowd of about two dozen had gathered to watch the tree experts as they extricated the tree from the house. It gave me the heebie jeebies.

My mom told me that my dad told her that we were feeling the effects of Ike. All the way up here in Cleveland!! Not only here, either. My friend Katie’s car was shmushed in Louisville, KY, and my friend Chana’s basement was flooded in St. Louis, MO. I thought that a hurricane would really only affect the states bordering the ocean. But, no, here we are, bordering Canada, and still, we feel the effects. I can’t imagine what it must be like on the Gulf.

So, at the end of the journey was my friend Rivkah, who welcomed me over to her abode. I told my mom and my husband where I was, and tomorrow morning I’ll return to my house and check out the situation.


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