Last week, the Farmer casually mentioned during dinner that a neighbor believes he spotted a mountain lion on his property. I am already on the alert for coyotes and skunk, we are now adding mountain lions to the list of species I try to avoid while walking to my car at 6:30 a.m. So shortly after dinner, I googled what to do if you are approached by a mountain lion. I’m thinking scream and run like Forest Gump back into the house but they actually tell you NOT to do that. You are to raise your hands over your head to appear larger than you really are (not a problem, got that covered) and talk very loud in a very low voice to intimidate the lion. You also should not shoot the lion as it is an endangered species (as opposed to, say, ME?). That’s what you SHOULD do. Here’s what I likely WOULD do: 1) Freeze 2) be mauled by a mountain lion.
But I cannot dwell too much on this issue because there are much bigger issues going on this week. My beloved homeland of New York (along with other east coast locations) has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I am relieved to know that my family members are all safe and accounted for including those that are police officers and firemen. We all them a big debt of gratitude for risking their lives to save ours everyday. My sister on Long Island has been calling me to keep me updated and to keep herself from losing her mind. She has no electricity. We reminisce about hurricanes of our youth. “Gloria” was a doozey. I remember sitting in the basement listening to the sound of lawn chairs and pool covers tumble through the neighborhood. We had no power for a week. We used candles and flashlights to make our way during the evenings. The highlight was being able to eat all the ice cream in the freezer. No school for a week! Gloria was, for us young ones, glorious! Well, for a kid anyway. I’m sure it was less than for the adults. They had to worry about things like if our roof would survive, what was covered by insurance doing the storm and if we were ever going to get our lawn chairs back from where they blew three streets over. The answer: 1) yes 2) not much and 3) not in one piece.
And while I know that New Yorkers are hardy folks who can pull together to help one another in need, I also know that we can fast become intolerant and irritated with one another. My sister has been updating me on post-Sandy reality. The lines at open gas stations are literally a mile long. People are panicking that they won’t be able to get to work or fuel their generators. Fights have broken out. People’s homes are being robbed when they leave to stay with family members who have power. This is the part of being a New Yorker that I don’t miss. If you have an opportunity to donate to the Red Cross, please do so. The devastation of Hurricane Sandy is hardest on the elderly and the poor. If you live in Minnesota, Wells Fargo allows you to donate to Hurricane Sandy relief through their ATM’s and you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting 90999 and typing “REDCROSS”.