Well...it more like pinched us, like Chamorro style pinch. Like, "eeh na cin-ute", which I am totally grateful for by the way. Usually a typhoon will make it's way towards us and I'll roll my eyes and ponder the inconvenience of it all. I am so clueless when it comes to getting ready. I grew up watching everyone get ready, but paying little attention.
So, last typhoon that hit us, we lost two new picnic tables and had to use my scented candles for lighting. My husband is from California, no typhoons there. Only earthquakes and fish tacos. We ended up sitting in the living room with the kids b*&ching about having no power, no water and no TV. And, staring across the street at the houses with generators, wondering if we shouldn't go over there with our puppy dog faces and beg to be let in so we can share the cool air space. Okay, that was all me.
This time, I actually prepared (a little). I went to the troop store and got some burgundy for the ambiance, real candles and pre-packaged food. Then I trecked up Capitol Hill for some typhoon food, you know, spam, sardines, junk food and bread. My dad and Glenn were at Sara Market the same time I was, so I also got some free propane for the portable stove, bread and a can of tuna. Chamorro parents always feel like they have to cut in line in front of you at stores and pay for your stuff too. Hear that? No one's complaining here. If I had known, I would've stocked my cart with brand named ketchup, cheese, expensive shampoo and that hallway mirror I always wanted to buy.
Childhood memory moment: I was tempted to buy navy biscuits. I actually stood in the hallway for a good minute or so and reminisced about how my grandma would give us navy biscuits with globs of butter on them and how good they tasted when I was eight years old. Never mind that they could be classified as weapons because they were so hard they could give someone a concussion. Then I remembered how she was so warm and huggable, and smelled so motherly and how I miss stealing her money from under the blanket she always put on the poker table. A dollar here, a dollar there. "Hayi suma'ke salape-hu?!" Okay, rambling...
The point is, I prepared. I even stood outside on the patio, with one hand on my hip and the other pointing strategically, instructing my 14 year old son where to place the potted plants. "There Tony", I said in my most convincing mommy-knows-best voice, "in the corner at the back of the house where there is less wind velocity". I even reminded my husband to be sure and switch off the breakers for the big appliances in case of a power outage. We were prepared for the air-conless night and the soba breakfast. I was proud and rightly so.
Last night, the power went out for a little while. My hubby switched off the breakers and we went back to sleep. When I got up, at 6am to get ready for work so I could take my typhoon shift at the office, the water in the bathroom sink trickled out and there was still no power. I very patiently brushed my teeth and debated if I should wash my hair or save water for the rest of my family who were still in bed. I cupped as much water as I could, making sure to get every drop. I took a shower, carefully turning the faucet on and off, using as little of the precious water coming out as I could. A good mother saves the best for her family, a good mother puts her family's hygiene above her own vanity. I dutifully skipped my Aveeno face wash. Today was an Oil of Olay soap kind of day and I would just have to sacrifice.
My bathroom was candlelit and I thought about how I must get into my car and go to work before the weather gets worse. Then... I opened the bedroom door, and there was my husband, drinking brewed coffee and scanning the morning newspaper on his computer with the gentle hum of the Toshiba split unit tenderly waking Sommer from her sleep. And, there I stood. Me and my non-blowdried hair, my non Aveeno-ed face, my two minute plastic Hard-Rock-kids-cupped showered body.
Oh well, at least I now know exactly how many cups of water I can ration myself with in the next typhoon. My typhoon survival skills are honed and ready. No shame in that.