Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No Man Is an Island - Except When It Floods

The whole New England area got quite a bit of rain and wind this past weekend, and by Monday morning floods were clogging storm drains, washing out bridges and sidewalks, and just generally making a mess of everything. Herb called me on his way to work and informed me that we currently "live on an island", since our road was flooded out both to the east and to the west. He warned me not to try to run any errands (not that it took much convincing, given that I take to cold and wet the same way as most cats). He even had to talk his way past a police roadblock on his way home because our road was closed to through traffic. Despite his warnings, I wasn't aware of just how severe the trouble was until I found this YouTube video of a street a few miles from our house:

And once I saw it, it made me a little nervous. Sure, it had been a bit of an inconvenience to put off grocery shopping for one day, but nothing more serious than that. But after I thought about it, I couldn't help wondering, "What if I had to take Ryan to the emergency room?" "What if Herb had been in an accident and I couldn't get to him?" "What if, what if, what if???" It made me realize just how fortunate I am to be able to get anywhere I need to be without much difficulty.

When I was a baby, my parents only had one car. It was a big deal when my dad got a motorbike (he referred to it as a "motorcycle", but I've seen photos - it was barely a moped) so he could take that to work and leave the car for my mom. But before then, and all winter long after then, Mom had two little kids at home and no means of transportation. I suppose there were other people in the neighborhood who did have cars and were home during the day that she could have called on in an emergency. But in this day and age, the thought of not being able to jump in a car and go anywhere until Daddy comes home is...well, unthinkable.

And then there is the magic of the cell phone. Even if Mom did have a car to use during the day, if she broke down, or locked herself out of it (not that that EVER happened), she had to find a pay phone (and a dime) somewhere to call for help. And she had to have any emergency phone number she might need either memorized or written down in her purse (which was probably locked in the car with her keys - and her dime). I am so grateful that I can jump in my car and without having to think of or look up a phone number, call Herb at work OR home OR his cell while I'm heading for the hospital, or wherever else I desperately need to be.

So once again, I'm grateful that I live in an age of technology. It may be something we need to strive to control, to avoid letting it take over our relationships and social connections, but it's also definitely something that comes in handy when used correctly. On my little island, that's even more important than a radio made from coconuts.

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