Hurricane Grill

Bialas 2011

This would be lovely if the river wasn’t so perilously close to our homes. 

I read so many posts on Facebook last weekend talking up “hurricane parties” and the various cocktails to be served at such.   I saw tons of signs in stores warning us to gather emergency goods, stock up on water and canned goods and bread.

I BAERed a bit, but still took heed and bottled up gallons and gallons of water.  I know what it’s like out here in the wilderness when the power goes out.  (Ok, we’re 10 minutes from one of 3 real cities in Orange County and can access just about anything with a short drive, but still…) .  We have wells out here – not municipal water – and those well pumps run on electric.  No electric, no water, NO WASHING, NO FLUSHING.

It’s gross.

Woke on Tuesday morning to find this bucket floating where our newest section of
broccoli was growing.  WAS being the operative word.

In case you don’t know, you CAN flush a toilet by pouring a bucket of water right into it.  Very handy information to keep in your mind because you never want to be without a flush for any length of time.

And please don’t waste good drinking water for that purpose!  Fletch reminded me to leave a veggie wash tank in the barn full of water (because I bitch on a regular basis that no one remembers to empty the tank on a Saturday afternoon when they’re done — mainly because they move on to the next important task, but still.  They should know by now to do whatever they can to keep me from bitching.).  THANK YOU FLETCH!  We needed that water!

Yes, we NEEDED that water…. because THIS apparently wasn’t enough.  *sigh*

That is, we needed it until the Wallkill River rose up so high that our septic tanks and leech fields were under water.  FYI: when the soil surrounding your sewage receptacle is completely saturated, your sewage has nowhere to go… so don’t bother flushing.  Thankfully, my septic was the last to be surrounded and I could mock-flush until late Tuesday (I think it was Tuesday.  It may have been Wednesday — this week has been a freaking blur and we’re all still a bit confused).

But you ‘make do’ because it never lasts THAT long.  Except this time.  We were out of power from early Sunday morning until late Thursday evening.

Yes.  I have showered and feel much better now.   Any romantic notions I had of spongebaths by candlelight have been shot to hell thanks to Irene.

The water wasn’t even HIGH at this point (she says in retrospect), and yet it was as high as we’ve ever  seen it.  The kids kept busy by playing in the water, and listening to me constantly yelling at them to keep away from fast-running water and GET THOSE SHOES BACK ON!
Kids can be dumb. 

I also made sure my pantry was stocked with food that can be easily prepared on my propane grill or gas stove.  I don’t think I’ve EVER had Pop Tarts in my house… and yet here they are sitting on my kitchen table waiting for a hungry and sugar-starved boy to tear open their cheapy foil wrapper.

Pop Tarts are NOT as good as they were in the 70s.

I THOUGHT I was prepared.  And when I woke up on Sunday morning to find rain water pouring in around the accordian thingy around my air conditioner I groaned with annoyance and rigged up a neat little system that wicked the water away from the wall and into a bucket.  Good thing, too, because by the time all was said and done, that bucket had a good 4 inches of water in it.

I’d like to thank my mother for demonstrating this concept to us when we were young children.  The magic of a washcloth moving water from one cup to another in a cool bathtub is astounding to a 5 yr old, but it’s a life saver to a <be nice, I’m over 40> woman with a leaky A/C.

As for the food…. it was my thing.  Feeding people makes me happy – because can’t food make all your troubles disappear?  That’s what I tell myself every time I’m engaged in a threesome with Ben and Jerry.

Food may not have made our troubles (and the water) disappear, but it did give us all a chance to sit down, catch our breath and bond over this natural disaster that has shaken us to our collective core.  I made sure that I prepared things that were easy and I even shopped for paper goods – as a general rule, I don’t use disposable plates or cups or utensils unless it’s a big party.

We ate an awful lot of hot dogs.  And I still could eat them again, so I guess it wasn’t as bad as it seemed at the time (which was breakfast on Wednesday).

I pretty much had to use up the contents of my freezer or lose the stuff, so links of Italian sausage went on the grill along with a big pan of sliced onions and peppers.  Foil kept the heat in until they began to soften, then I mixed everything together and served them on hot dog buns.   It wasn’t difficult, but it was delicious!  And it was complimented nicely by the Smirnoff Ice I had in the cooler for Dad and me.   Because I’m all about stocking up on the essentials.

Nope – that’s not a shoe we found floating in the river.  That’s how my mother likes her hot dogs.

“What?  Why do I have to take a bath?  I’ve been in water all day!”

5 thoughts on “Hurricane Grill

  1. so sorry about your fields etc. What a horror. Trying to be grateful is tough in this situation, but you and your family stayed safe.
    That Walkill was wild. I was up in Rosendale, NY where it also runs, checking on my mother on Thursday. Incredible destruction up there with now-dried mud on everything along the road. In one spot I could see where the river had moved about 2/10s of a mile over, making its way through a corn field, and, had apparently been up to the depth of my car ROOF in one spot along Route 213. Mother Nature at her most furious. I certainly hope Katia dissolves and that we don’t get to meet her.

  2. Dear Kasha, Doris and Sonny – Glad to know that everyone was safe. We missed you at the market Friday. Glenn and Susan

  3. Glad that you could write about it. I know now that I wasn’t alone. I know how you feel. We had the same situation, the well, the pump, the water, the toilet, the stove, the refrigerator, the lights…..everything runs on the electric that we didn’t have for days. I was ready to check into a hotel and then God said “Let there be light” and it was over. Amen

  4. Kasha, thanks for sharing this. I think about you guys a lot every time i drive through Pine Island and see the devastation of the farm fields.

  5. It’s gonna be a long, hard road for local farmers and anyone whose lives were upset by this weather ‘event’. We’ve seen such an outpouring of support and assistance of all kinds from friends throughout this whole ordeal and we are eternally grateful.

    Besides the farmers, though, there were many businesses that had to close for a few days or are still without services. Let’s remember to support them too!

Comments are closed.