I had been planning a personal beach retreat for weeks. I would read, write, sleep late and perhaps not put on real clothes for two or three days. This all seemed reasonable. My husband and his law partner have been closing in on a trial so I know he would be fairly absent from my life anyway. So I packed a little bag and drove over with a girlfriend who would be dropped off at her own private getaway place on the way. There was little chat about a “system in the gulf,” but hey…this is Louisiana at the end of August. Par for the course. That system is now known as Hurricane Isaac. Before my friend and I had even crossed the state line into Mississippi, my husband was calling.
“That storm is headed right for us. I am putting the dogs in the car and coming over to join you. We will get some of it in Florida, but probably not as bad as at home.”
This was all fine, except that I had not prepped the house for a storm because I thought he would be there to take care o bidness. Anyone who regularly dodges hurricanes knows that the refrigerator and freezer either need to completely empty or completely working off a generator. If neither of these things is addressed, you have a very smelling, gooey, wet mess to clean up when you return home. Often, you have to get rid of the freezer or fridge entirely, for the putrid smells just refuse to go. I conveyed my concerns to my sweetie and he assured me that he would simply pack all the food into ice chests and bring it over to Florida. There wasn’t much in there anyway, for I have learned to weed out most frozen foods by hurricane season. Within thirty minutes he had me on the phone again to say that he was on his way. He had loaned our generator to friends since we wouldn’t need it anyway. Wow! My hero. Superman! He is fast.
“And you took everything out of the freezer and the refrigerator?” I asked in amazement.
“Sure did!” he happily replied. I was impressed. Not only did he save the appliances, but he was bringing food to me so I wouldn’t even have to grocery shop. Good thing because even in Florida stores were boarding up and shutting down for Isaac.
He drove so fast that by the time I had dropped off my girlfriend and picked up some fresh fruit at the store, he had already arrived, unloaded, walked the dogs and was happily settled in. I hugged and kissed him before opening the refrigerator to check the inventory. Inside was exactly three half gallons of milk, a bag of sliced turkey, a bag of sliced cheese, half a loaf of bread and …….that was it. I opened the freezer. Inside was a bag of frozen grated lemon zest, a bag of frozen edamame and a bag of frozen corn. Oh, yeah. Also there was a little container of homemade chicken soup.
“Where is all the food?” I asked.
“In there,” He replied proudly.
“But what about the container of squash I cooked before I left? And the alfalfa sprouts? And all the Kale and carrots and other veggies that were in the drawers? What about all the bags of frozen mayhaws for your jelly, and the ice cream?”
Dead silence. He kept his eyes on the dog. Ok. I got it. Well, maybe we won’t lose power. Maybe we would be lucky this time. With Katrina, we were out of power for weeks, and we were there the entire time. So we notified our neighbors that we were AWOL and asked them to let us know if the power went down…..which it did….of course.
If it were not for the kindness of dear friends, the smelly food would still be rotting in our fancy stainless steel fridge/freezer combo. But because Chris and Al are so altruistic, and because they offered, and because one gets so bored during a slow moving category one hurricane that one will do anything…ANYTHING to have a change of pace.
“Oh, we will go clean it out for you!” Chris interjected with delight. Really! We don’t mind! It will give us something to do.”
Fine with me. I told my husband that they were going to our house to clean out the freezer and fridge. He kept looking at the dog. And incidentally, they did find a bag of frozen fish that I had no idea was there. It was marked, 2010. Wow. That little bag would have been the kiss of death to our top-o-the-line Sub Zero. Just hiding in the back like a land mine waiting for the power to die. Thank goodness for good friends. They saved the mayhaws so Tom can still make his jelly. They saved my hand squeezed, home grown Meyer Lemon juice. They tossed the two year old fish fillets. They did it all in a flash like Batman and Robin. And, thank goodness for the frozen bag of edamame. It came in handy when:
Anyway, when we go home, Tom is going to make jelly, so if anyone wants any, let me know. This batch comes with a great story.