Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Drama, without Disaster, A Worrier Reports . . .

Here's a little video I made yesterday morning, when I couldn't get to work because the storm shut down our little ferry. While it was at it, it tore up a few docks, smashed a boat or two, and I thought it was going to steal our copper firepan from that stone terrace. The chairs are very heavy, and I was sure they'd be fine, but then again, I've never seen quite that combination of high tide and stormy waves before. 

The waters did subside in time for me to get on the 9 ferry. By then, our department secretary had found my stack of exams and distributed them to my students, even found a colleague willing to invigilate them until I arrived. Funny, even after all these years teaching, missing student exams during formal exam period is always a big anxiety of mine. Last Friday, hurrying to campus for my first exam of this Exam Period, I found my back tire flat (we keep our car in a paid parking lot in town, there being no bridge to our island). With only 45 minutes until the exam started, myself with a heavy-ish backpack and the campus 40 minutes' brisk walking away, I called a taxi, then while waiting for it, called my husband who picked me up hours later on inflated tires to whisk me off to Vancouver. Disaster handily averted.

So when I heard the weather warnings on Monday afternoon, I made sure my exams were tucked neatly into exam booklets, all stacked in an easy-to-find spot on my desk, and I made sure our secretary knew exactly where to find them. Tuesday morning, when I learned our ferry wasn't running, I emailed her and set my back-up plan in motion. No disaster here either.

Right now, I'm home marking all those exams. We have another storm raging, powerful waves ramming massive logs against that wee stone promontory you see above, rain pelting down on the skylights I don't stand beneath in case the wind whips a bough off the nearby trees and smashes it through the glass. Drama. But I've dodged disaster twice in the last few days, albeit my own exaggerated versions of same. Today, I think the best place for me is by the fire, finishing up the term's work and perhaps even making a Christmas plan or two . . . .

And once in a while, I'll interrupt my marking to check in with your comments. You can tell me what stormy dramas you've lived lately. Or whether you're anxiety-prone like me and tend to see potential disasters more often than those around you. And whether, if that's so, your anticipatory worrying occasionally ends up being useful, as was mine in the case of my preparations Monday afternoon. . . .Or you can simply Oooh and Aaaah at the drama of those waters. . . . Whatever you write, I'll be reading with interest . . . 

30 comments:

  1. Even though a flat tire, or exam proctoring, might seem small compared to full-on disasters, our adrenaline systems don't seem to always feel it that way. Glad you are home, and safe. We're waiting for your storm to show up 'round here. Crossed fingers for everyone.

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    1. Fingers crossed, sandbags ready, and candles right at hand. Take care!

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  2. I am off to Panama, on Friday, where they have had two earthquakes of considerable size in the past few days. They apparently have had 33 already this year. It should be interesting. We are having glorious weather in Colorado with plenty of sun. However, I am from northern Idaho and lived for a long time in Seattle so I know about stormy weather.

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    1. Oh my! There's room for some worrying in that travel equation. Bon voyage! (and be sure to report back!)

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  3. Mater, In Courtenay we are currently enjoying the new waterfront in our back yard! We have a little lake in a low spot. Lots of places along the ocean at Point Holmes where logs have been flung up across the road. Cheers, Kris

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    1. Yikes! I heard things are getting dire up-island. Hope you manage to keep the water out of the house. Drive safely! Stay dry. . .

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  4. Hi Mater, I thought of you when I saw that storm forecast on tv. Wow! I`m a worrier too, so I feel for you and I`m glad that everything worked out ok re. the exams. It`s snowing very lightly here, and it will continue for the next few days, but so far our winter weather has been good.

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    1. It's warmed up so much with this subtropical storm (where it started, apparently) that it's hard to imagine ice and snow, although we were at 5 below only two weeks ago. . .

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  5. I enjoy dramatic storms when I can appreciate them from the cozy comfort of a warm room indoors. Going out in it, not so much. I'm glad you had your backup plans in place and were able to work around the weather. Hope the marking goes smoothly and quickly.

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    1. Of course, in my experience, the storm often looks stormier from that cozy comfort. . . . I ended up going for a run today and without the visuals of the dancing waves, I could appreciate that the temperature was surprisingly mild.

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  6. Yesterday we also had a storm around here which closed the bridge to my little island. That is quite normal in wintertime. After all we live in Norway, the definition of bad weather:) The big worry is that these storms are becoming more frequent and so many of them so much stronger. And the temperature is higher. This afternoon there is a high tide and the medieval warf in the city is flooded by around 70 centimeters. These visible signs of climate change is a bit worrying, I find. And not least that all this vile weather is so much scarier, and more often dangerous.

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    1. It's true, Givi, the mind easily jumps to the reality of climate change during these meteorological demonstrations . . . And here we both are, island-locked by storms, so very far apart. . . take care.

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  7. That sea is far too close for comfort. Storms have been raging in the north west of the country but we had a quiet day.

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    1. Yes, it's disconcertingly close, thanks to the relatively infrequent coincidence of a very high tide and some heavy storm action. I'll be happy when the drama takes place just a few metres further away!

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  8. Oh the wind and waves....made me shiver! Hope things have calmed down for you!

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    1. It's much calmer now, thanks, but oh my, is the water ever muddy!

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  9. Invigilate! A new word for me to play with! Thank you. We are just now preparing for what is promised to be a rip-snorter of a storm (and very welcome, if it helps fill our reservoirs), so I read this post with particular interest and much emotional resonance. I am sure that tonight I will be waking regularly to consider whether it is too late to go batten down something that I should have battened down this afternoon before the rain began.

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    1. Yes, although it's not a very playful-sounding word, nor is its synonym, used by LPC above, "proctoring." Mine's all done for another term, at least.
      Hope your hatches are all battened down, and you're huddling in cozy comfort!

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  10. It's been a wild ride this pineapple express!
    You're lucky that those chairs have not floated off to sea...I think that Courtenay is taking a beating too.
    Hope you have lots of wood chopped and candles at the ready as it sounds like there is more on the way so stay safe and cozy.

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    1. I did get some more wood chopped today and I've always got flashlights and candles ready. . . .it looks as if we might get some sunshine this weekend. Fingers crossed!

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  11. A small but intense drama: (background - there were signs of workers on my street late last week)...walking home from the bus after a long day...wicked wind chill...dark...tired...wait...what is that parked on the street...a water trailer!!!! the water must be off...no no no! I want to wash...flush my toilet...I am entertaining this weekend...too cold to fetch buckets of water...waah...waah...the world is against me...look in the mailbox...the notice from the city...oh, wait. Jubilation! They are replacing ageing infrastructure. No interruptions to water or sewer. Not a water trailer that all.

    I stood there and let the intense physical reaction happen (is this endorphins?). I used the leftover energy to clean my kitchen. I even removed and washed the stove knobs.

    Hope everyone at your end is safe and warm!

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    1. Oh, that would have got my adrenaline pumping as well, although I'm not sure I would have used it to fuel a kitchen-cleaning ;-)
      I hate having our power out because our sewer pump stops working and I love me a flush toilet! And a shower! Running water is a beautiful gift that I am happy to take for granted. Glad you've got yours with no interruptions.

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  12. No drama here, but oh how the wind blows and the rain pelts. Tim is building a new garden shed and he went out on Monday night before the storm hit to put a few more screws into the roof and make sure the tarp covering it was fastened tightly.
    You are well organized with your back-up exam plan. Isn't it great when it all works as it should?
    The waves crashing against your little outcropping are indeed strong. More on the way, I hear, but perhaps the tide will have settled down by then. Stay warm and enjoy the cozy.

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    1. Important to keep those tarps fastened -- anything not tightly secured will have surely flown away these last few days. I don't think we're done yet, but I'm looking forward to a sunny break. . . you stay cozy too!

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  13. I am very much like you. I anticipate what can possibly go wrong and try to come up with plausible solutions. I always need a back-up plan. Monsieur always says "things will go as they go". He can live with a lot more uncertainty than I can. Your "happy" chairs look awfully close to the ocean! I thought of you as I got notifications of ferry cancellations. Hopefully, there is some calm before the next storm.

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    1. My husband is the same, much more ready to take the problems as they arrive. I suppose it makes a good balance, although I sometimes think my worrying gives him some of the flexibility to be relaxed ;-)
      It looks as if we may get a bit of sunshine before the next bout of bad weather. Fingers crossed.

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  14. I love wild storms from my warm chair, next to the fireplace, knitting in hand.
    We've just started to get battered by our first storm of the season, but being inland, it won't be anything like yours!!
    I imagine problems before they happen. What if this, then what if that. My husband waits for the roof to fall in before he worries about anything. Perhaps that's why I have hypertension and he doesn't!

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    1. Yep! That's pretty much the difference in our family -- my guy is not a worrier, and I know he's healthier for it!
      Enjoy that knitting, taking shelter from the storm, now that you're back chez vous.

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  15. We've just had spectacular hail storms , but the island ferries gave up for a while .
    The furthest island , Vlieland , being two and a half hours away , it would have been a ghastly trip , anyway !
    Hope your weekend was calmer ...

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    1. Oh, I get seasick just thinking about that 2 1/2 hour ferry ride in a storm! I had a lovely weekend -- hope you did too!

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