Around here we welcomed September in with the remains of Hurricane Ida. For the second summer in a row, far inland, we’ve sustained hurricane damage. For storms like this it’s not so much a question of if there will be damage, but rather “how much?” It was complicated by the paper wasps. It’s like a 1970s natural disaster movie. It starts at the end of August.
I was going out to put the recycling bin away (more on this later). When I opened the garage door I was stung three times by a paper wasp (or maybe two)—twice on the face and once on a finger. The previous day when I’d taken the bin out there hadn’t been a nest, but 24 hours later, angry waspids were protecting their territory. I couldn’t even get the door closed. We don’t have any bug-killing spray on hand since we believe in live and let live. But I do need to get into the garage. Due to my weekly schedule I couldn’t get to the hardware store before Friday. Fine, let the Hymenoptera have the garage.
The next day—actually later that day—Ida began to arrive. We’ve had extensive roof repairs since moving in here. We’ve had two-thirds of it replaced entirely. Then the rain started. The plumber came before it got bad to replace a cast-iron radiator that we had moved so I could repair the drywall behind it. While doing that I repaired the ceiling where water from ex-Hurricane Isaias leaked through. The roofer had patched this part after Isaias, so we thought we were good. By mid-afternoon there was water dripping from the ceiling again and the repairs I had made crumbled into the bucket set there to catch the water. So it goes. Outside the street was closed due to flooding. I couldn’t get into the garage to check for damage because, you know, wasps guarded the only door (still open).
It used to be that weather was a neutral topic to discuss. Of course, it’s become politicized now. Having a climate-change denier in the White House for four years made the topic dangerous to raise. This area used to never get hit too badly by hurricanes. Global warming, however, has changed everything. I got up the morning after wondering where to start. It was still dark and a cricket had come inside to get out of the weather. It chirped as I came down stairs. Everything will be all right.