“Better them than us.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase. Here in New Hampshire, we’ve got a pretty safe habitat going on. Sure, it gets cold. Freakin cold. The nor’easters suck. (Note to that author who wrote that book set in NH: We do not have Northeasterners. Please.) People do die in the winter here. People do drown in ocean riptides. But tornadoes are very rare and usually pretty low on the F scale. (And usually touch down in Mass rather than up here.) Yes, the occassional hurricane will come in and batter the coast and make it rain really hard over here. (Once again, usually Mass takes the brunt.) Earthquakes are also very rare and very mild. Alligators don’t eat people in NH, tarantulas don’t spring up and land on your head, and you’ve gotta be either stupid or really unlucky to get bit by a poisonous snake. Oh, and we don’t dodge many lava puddles, either.
We are probably one of the safest places in the world as far as natural disasters go. Occasionally Hampton Beach residents will get evacuated if a hurricane comes a little too close, but it’s not part of my everyday world, that’s for sure. Better them than us.
Then I got internet access. I joined communities. Signed up on lists and message boards. Now I’m in the blogosphere. And I worry Every. Freakin. Day. it seems like. People mention things they heard on the news and I’m running for the computer.
Tornadoes are touching down in Oklahoma? Earthquakes in Japan? Bombings in London? Earthquakes in California? Hurricanes in Florida? Unexpected record-breaking lows in Minnesota? A school shooting? Drought? Fire? Somebody I “know” is probably being affected.
I was in Staples picking up ink just now, (I needed ink for the Brother fax AND the Lexmark printer. Oh my aching checkbook.) and I heard a couple talking about the weather down south, and the guy said “Better them than us.”
And I thought of Larissa and her family, with trees down and baby birds missing and evacuation plans in place and wanted to shake him until his teeth rattled in his head. It really brought it home to me how much more aware I am of the planet I live on and what’s going on in other places. And how truly global the romance community is.
So to Larissa and others in the path of the storms, and to our English friends, my thoughts are with y’all.
(Being a part of the online community also introduced y’all into my vocab. I don’t know why nobody else in NH uses it—it’s such a handy word.)
(And NH isn’t necessarily safe for everybody. One day I ran into a friend in the Walmart parking lot—no, not with my truck—and we were standing around talking. After a particularly lengthy battle with wind chill, we were enjoying the balmy weather. It was about 15 degrees, but calm and sunny. So we’re standing out there in just sweatshirts and a woman walked by us. Judging by her face, she probably weighed about 90 lbs, but she had so many layers of down and fleece and you name it on that she could barely walk. And she was still shivering. You should have seen the disgusted look she gave us. And we weren’t even laughing at her!)