Monday, June 11, 2007

(Not exactly) Spoleto 3: Tropical Storm Barry.

I knew we were at the coast when I realized that the TV in our hotel room defaults to The Weather Channel. Not that I am complaining: I have been known to be a Weather Channel fan. Blame it on growing up in Tidewater Virginia, I suppose, where I learned early the importance of constantly watching hurricane tracks and projected paths, just in case.

Not that my enduring attention to all things weather makes me prepared. For instance, even after a discussion with the PP about packing rain jackets, did I pack mine? (Do I really have to answer that question?) Luckily, a certain outdoor store became the store where I dropped the most money. We called it the store we visited every day, because the first time we bought sunscreen, the second time my (fabulous) new rain jacket, and the third time lots of brightly-colored ankle socks to wear with my sandals. I even spent more money there than at knit! (I must admit that this is partly because I have bought so much yarn elsewhere of late, and I was trying to be restrained....)

Anyway, the PP and I woke up the morning after our arrival to find ourselves socked in. If you have ever lived at the coast you know what I mean: about 98% humidity, no breeze, spitting rain, gray everywhere you look. We realized then that we needed to get that replacement raincoat right away, and hurricane expert Dr. Lyons confirmed our concern that the weather would only get worse. I never got that distinct low pressure headache that Yarngineer described (I have before, and yow they are intense), but as the day went on, the wind picked up.

We could not help but laugh, though, because the night before we had seen The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, a Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht number I had been eager to see ever since I heard Ute Lemper sing songs from it. (Do you know "Alabama Song," which was covered by The Doors? It is from this show.) Anyway, the opera has as a sizable plot device a hurricane, and so we had spent some time during the turn from Acts I to II (I think) watching the storm come in, destroy a city, and then barely miss the city of Mahagonny.

So as we watched the Weather Channel, with its little arrows, they looked for all the world like the arrows on the primitive maps in the show.

But Barry was no hurricane. I realized the difference between people used to coastal storms and those not in watching reactions to the storm. Should we evacuate? asked the PP.

All scoffing aside, the wind was pretty intense, not in a destroying buildings kind of way, but in a way that made umbrellas everywhere fear for their skeletal systems, and it did quite a job on one of the Spoleto banners hanging near our hotel. (That thing being whipped around was like gunfinre.) And we just got used to having the hems of our pants and skirts soaked.

At least now I have an awesome new raincoat.


Anonymous said...

i once spent an evening at your parents' house during a hurricane. the power went out, so we lit candles, and then one of their kitties tried to sniff the candle and ended up blowing it out. that must have been about 1997. it amused me though.


Magpie said...

I am flabbergasted to learn that the Doors covered Alabama Song. I need to get home to iTunes ASAP!