As Hurricane Irene (aptly named after my late aunt, I’m sure) bears down on my beloved North Carolina coast, I have been obsessively checking weather websites, the Weather Channel, online NC newspapers, Topsail’s Facebook pages, and whatever other source of information I can think of.  I think some part of me imagines that if I am on top of the storm minute-by-minute, I can somehow relate to her, and thus, somehow exercise an element of control over her.  This is what we call magical thinking, people.  That dog just won’t hunt.

Magical thinking image from (somewhat ironically if you ask me)

I am suspicious that another part of me thrives on this kind of drama. It’s almost the opposite my empath nature, although I don’t think I have words to describe that.  It’s like a horrific accident – I can’t look away.  If I absorb the images completely into my spirit, perhaps they’ll make sense.  More magical thinking.  I know what’s going on – the images just do damage to my soul.

Irene is huge (and my aunt was no little peach either, by the by).  I remember how massive Katrina looked from the radar images, and I’m surprised no one has drawn a comparison.  Thankfully, she has weakened – if you recall, there was the potential for her to turn to a Category 4, which would truly have been devastating, given her size.  Most of the reports are from New Jersey and New York, I suppose because those are the most populated areas, but still, it niggles me a little, because she’s heading right for “my” house at Topsail.  And nobody’s reporting from Topsail, are they?  The house can sometimes feel like it is floating when the tide is high and the waterline reaches the bottom of the dunes.  So as you might imagine, the storm surge is worrying.

The view from "my" porch at Topsail at low tide.

I do love the people on the Carolina coast that newsfolk have been interviewing. Most are locals.  A lot of them are just sitting on the sand, looking at the horizon, watching the storm come.  Sort of like watching a movie.  Or how we all just sit silently and look at the sea after breakfast at Sandcastle.  Those who have lived on the barrier islands their whole life are perfectly content to ride out yet another storm. I suspect that would be me.  Yes, she’s big, but she’s not a Cat 3.

The Weather Channel has been emphasizing the importance of emergency preparedness.  I cannot agree with them more.  If you do choose to rock and roll through a hurricane, you should be prepared with frozen bags of ice water, a full bathtub, batteries, food, gas, flashlights, candles, a knife, and perhaps the Zombie Survival Guide (just in case things get worse, because yes, things could be worse).

I’m really truly not minimizing the gravity of this situation.  We saw the damage in the Bahamas, and I still have prayers going to Patty’s house in the Abacos.  I send safe blessings to those of you who choose to go through it, and peace to those of you who are scared.

But when TWC was talking about emergency preparedness, I would have sworn that Jim Cantore (you know the buff bald guy who is always standing in the most dangerous of places, telling YOU to go inside?) said, “Have a kitten.”  Upon further reflection, I realized he said, “Have a KIT.”  But kitten is what I heard, and kitten is what I’m sticking with.  Beside I love kittens (and I know a few of you are thinking, ‘Yea, me too, I could eat a whole one,’ and to you I say, ‘Stop that.’)

So here, Irene – have a kitten.  It will make you calm down.  I promise.