I’m not sure where I was this particular preparedness tip, but someone once suggested you should go on cleaning spree before a big storm hits. I knew we were going to have a windstorm on the front range of Colorado so I decided to wash my hair and shave my legs. My husband gathered up all our laundry to be washed. We got through one load when the power went out.
We’ve long maintained particular habits around storms. At the first hint of weather we go to Costco and the grocery store. The day before we wash dishes and clean the kitchen. Every room in the house gets vacuumed. We scrub down the bathrooms. The idea is that if you lose power for an extended period you will appreciate having a clean home. In the cold and dark you don’t want to be surrounded dirty dishes. The extra time to feel you live in a clean house is well worth it.
Usually it amounts to nothing. Maybe the power goes out for a day. But you get the pleasure of clean clothes and a fresh hours. You come to appreciate storms for bringing about a better home. It makes you feel more comfortable being prepared for the worst. Because it’s enjoyable. Just a little mental trick to not get overwhelmed by crisis.
Sadly today in Boulder County about 10 miles away a massive grass wildfire went up in flames. I could hear the wind gusts and smell the smoke. We saw the plumes of wire. I was gripped with panic that the winds would change course and head towards us. Sadly our neighbors in Superior and Louisville had to be evacuated. 30,000 evacuated in a rush as the fire leaped a highway. I just watched a press conference where I learned 580 structures were affected. Rumor has it my Costco might have burned. The one where we found the whole Serrano ham. This disaster is happening in our community.
And yet I’m safe. I washed my hair. I did the pre-storm rituals. I’m alright. I spent the morning anxious and sure I was out of sorts. That maybe I needed to do something to fix my bad mental state as there couldn’t be a good reason I was out of sorts. But it turns out that an actual apocalyptic event was bearing down on my neighbors.
Incorporation of the existential horror of a changing climate grass fire the middle of a pandemic while we all go about our work day making money is just normal life now. I took pitch as the evacuation orders went out. Alex was on a Zoom call running numbers. Every day is chaotic at the end of empire. So make sure to wash your hair before trouble. Carry a pink towel for drying off. And don’t panic.
Please pray for Boulder County tonight. The winds have night died down and many are without the safety of their own homes.