Here in Coastal Maine, we're in the orange "Alert" section.
On Saturday, Deus Ex Machina and I visited the grocery store - as is our usual Saturday routine. Usually, this time of year, on a sunny Saturday late morning, it's quiet. In fact, we usually see the same shoppers.
There's Phyllis, who is ninety-two and comes to the grocery with her dog, Dexter. She likes to chat with people in the store, and I don't see that she's doing any shopping. I guess she's told Deus Ex Machina that she comes to the store for her exercise.
She likes to tell jokes, too. Her favorite is When a man goes bald in the front, they say he's a thinker, and when he goes bald in the back, they say he's a lover, but when he goes bald all over, he just thinks he's a lover. In a conspiratorial whisper one Saturday morning, she said to me that she thought Deus Ex Machina, who is not bald at all, was probably both a lover and a thinker ;).
Then, there's the sweet, older couple. The husband pushes the cart while the wife picks the groceries. It makes me think of what Deus Ex Machina and I will be in a few years.
There are some quirky shoppers, too. There's the lady, who doesn't wear pants. Just a long white, short-sleeved, mock-turtle neck and a pair of sandals. I think she's a freelance writer, who spends a lot of time at home, alone, writing, and can't be bothered with fashion. Afterall, she is *just* going to the grocery store. Seriously.
I love the fathers who are shopping with their children, and the young couples who are shopping together and the odd individual here and there, who obviously lives alone.
Sometimes, during the summer, it might be a little more crowded, but usually, especially, this time of year, it's quiet, and there are just the normal handful of folks browsing the aisles.
This past Saturday was a madhouse. The store was packed. Getting around the aisles was a crazy, slow process, but people weren't angry or agitated - just focused.
And in nearly every cart, there was one of two things: bottled water or alcoholic beverages. We chose the latter (a case of Vermont-brewed Woodchuck hard cider while we wait for our apple ale to finish its ferment) ... and we also picked up a replacement filter for a Brita 2 1/2 gallon water dispenser.
We also bought some ice cream, and the girls are hoping for a power outage ... so that they can gorge themselves on freezer treats.
**Please note that, while it may sound like I'm being a tad nonchalant about the whole storm, that's not it. From news reports this is a very serious storm, and I am taking it seriously.
We will make sure that yard toys, tools, and other scraps outside are secured. The iPods, computers, and batteries will be charged.
While I joke about buying ice cream and hard cider at the store instead of more useful preparedness items, the fact is that, for the most part, we already have what we need - as I discovered when I was taking stock for our shopping on Saturday. I found, in our stores, plenty of lamp oil (for our five oil lamps :), several boxes of wooden "strike anywhere" matches, candles of all shapes and sizes, and six cans of sterno cooking fuel - which I'd forgotten we had.
We're about as prepared as we can be, and so I'm not being cavalier. I'm just comfortable that we'll be okay, come Hell or high water, and if predictions are correct, it's likely to be a bit of both.