There's a calm to survival and a kind of tension that when its
over one can still feel.
One moonlit night years back,
my friend Malcolm Mooney and I bounced across the sands of the ocean side in Truro on Cape Cod. It was then I learned that
the moon lights only the side of the dune that faces it. The results of this fact on that night were near disaster.
Riding up the dark side of a dune, somehow we underestimated the steepness
of its incline and instead of climbing it to churn down its other side, we tipped the buggy upwards first and then over backwards
and I recall thinking as I flew through space, "Try not to hit Malcolm."
What must have occurred in the space of seconds seemed like an eternity. My system on full alert,
my senses heightened, I recall carrying out my plan to stay in control and to avoid hurting Malcolm.
Despite the black, the image of my hands was clear in my mind. Five fingers spread,
I placed a hand here and then there on the inner side of the roof before we landed with a jolt. With no recollection of an
exit to tie my cartwheels to my no longer being in the buggy, invisible in the dark of the shadow of the sandhill, Malcolm
beside me, blind in the darkness, the two of us laughing and crying at once and patting one another here and there and hugging
and asking again and again, "Are you all right? Are you all right?"
And then it was over. Somehow, I don't remember how, we righted and boarded the buggy and drove homeward
as if nothing had occurred out of the ordinary.
of us ever mentioned it again. An totally encapsulated event, it was too simple on the one hand and too complex on the other
to ever share. It comes to me now only because of Hurricane Irene.
two days now we have been battening down, filling our gas tanks, readying cash, checking our water supply, reading the papers,
checking the television, calling each other, planning for just in case . . . just in case the lights go out . . . just in
case the winds reach 60 miles per hour . . . just in case it floods . . . just in case the answering machines won't work .
. . just in case the cell phone goes dead . . . just in case . . . all the time hoping that nothing happens and all are safe.
Awake in the night to the sounds of the winds and the
rains. Tired in the day for reasons inexplicable. Grumpier than usual. And more gregarious. And laughing more than usual.
And making sure to account for where everyone of import in ones life will be . . . and whether or not they are ready.
My son takes his boat from the water and primes the gas-run generator for
his home. Divorced these long years, his father and I function as a pair of responsible parents and the three of us take down
the awning from my son's store. Just in case.
the wind has broken a window. My son covers it with black foam core. Not the time to cut and install a window in its usual
The weather forecast changes constantly: The winds
will arrive at 2:00 a.m. The winds will arrive by 9:00 p.m. There will be no winds. There will be winds. You have it wrong.
The weather becomes something over which people argue.
Then finally, agreement: For our area Irene has been downgraded from Hurricane to Tropical Storm status. Winds will gust to
between 30 and 60 miles an hour. It will be done here in Po-Town by 2:00 in the afternoon after which the rain will stop while
winds persist until 9:00 in the evening.
opening all over the place to house the homeless, most of whom will come from low-lying floodzones, but some because of power
outages and the damage of fallen trees.
we are, the electicity stays. The winds are kind. The rain does not puddle. The ground is absorbent. For us it is over.
Instead of elation, a kind of a sense of let down. It's over. Is it over? Let's eat together. Let's visit.
Let's check out that everyone dear is okay. We know there is severe flooding and probably millions without power. But we are
here. And we are all okay. Tired. Not really hungry.
Roberta in Po-Town, Safe
My website links have all be down so long and now that they have been repaired I have so much to do to catch up that I'll
1. Tuesday's Earthquake with its epicenter in Military, VA, shook the whole East Coast of the United States.
According to the WSJ twelve nuclear power plants reported unusual activity.
2. Many of the nuclear power plants
in the USA are old and have problems. Vermont Yankee is seeping nuclear materials into the waters and land around it. Indian
Point sits on a fault line. Although not all power plants are of the same design, both of these are built on the model similar
to one used at Fukushima.
3. Also according to the WSJ, states are being urged to offer KI pills to ward off thyroid
cancer in the event of a meltdown.
So what else is new? Not much. And who wants to discuss this subject? Like nobody.
me ask you? Do you understand and could you use the concept of Time Distance Shielding to save your own life and the lives
of the family in the event of the presence of ionizing radiation? Do you know that when a nuclear plant goes down that unlike
the Chernoble plant, it shuts down rather that blowing up and creating what in effect is a plume? If you lived thirty miles
from a nuclear power plant and it went down, are you informed as to how it might or might not affect you?
My bet is
that even if you are informed on these matters, your loved ones are not and its the last thing you want to talk to them about.
Well, such an attitude is a disservice to them all. That's why I wrote Jolt: a rural noir. Nobody
wanted to talk about survival in the event of a mass emergency. And certainly no one wanted to talk about nuclear survival.
One woman told me that if the plant went down she'd get a lawn chair, put on her bathing suit, and go out and get a nice burn.
So let me ask you. If you and you loved ones cannot fully answer the questions I have posed above, why have
you not then purchased a copy of my book, Jolt: a rural noir? It's a fun read. Full of interesting characters caught
up in varied relationships. With their own problems. Then there is some terrorism, dirty bombs, and a meltdown. Watch them
balance relationship maintenance with efforts to provide for mass numbers of forced emigrants seeking food, shelter, and medical
attention. Learn what they learn. Observe how having a few people informed on the issue of nuclear survival and general survival
really can help in times of mass emergencies.
Do yourself and your loved ones a favor. Order your copy of Jolt:
a rural noir today at prices less than the cost of a dinner out.
Roberta in Po-Town, Author, publisher, and survival