Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Few of Miss CherryBubbles’ Favorite Autumn Things...

Fall is my favorite season of the year and I observe many annual autumn traditions of my own making. One tradition involves reading books and watching movies with an autumnal backdrop or theme. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you...

Nothing says autumn like the biggest college football game of the year. Now, I'm certainly not the biggest football fan around, but I am a Nancy Drew fan. So, what do football and Nancy Drew have in common? They both appear in the 1932 fall-themed Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene, the 8th book in the Nancy Drew series. Nancy solves a mystery revolving around an unusual letter she receives at the beginning of the book, but most of the action takes place at Emerson College, where Nancy cheers on her special friend, Ned Nickerson, in the big game.

"Indian Summer is like a woman."  So begins Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, published in 1956 and quite controversial in its time, for revealing those things about small towns that one wasn't supposed to reveal. Sometimes I read the book... sometimes I watch the film version, starring Lana Turner. Sometimes I even read Return to Peyton Place.

The gorgeous fall foliage of northern Vermont provides the perfect backdrop for my most favorite autumn film, The Trouble With Harry. I simply can't imagine the movie taking place in spring or summer. It just wouldn't be the same. Although I have read the book it was based on, nothing, in my opinion, surpasses Alfred Hitchcock's film version.

What are your favorite autumn traditions?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are You Prepared?

The area of Pennsylvania that I live in experienced a major devastating flood six days ago, courtesy of Tropical Storm Lee. My town experienced floodwaters higher than the "Agnes Flood" of 1972, an equally devastating flood that I have childhood memories of. And further back, in 1936, there was another major flood in this area. Thankfully, my house is on a hill, but we were surrounded by water for a couple days, with a travel ban in effect and many roads and bridges closed.

 September 9, 2011. The view from atop the cliff in my backyard.

 September 9, 2011. The building with the pillars on the corner is the town library.

Along with hearing about the recent Tropical Storm Irene flooding disaster in the state of Vermont, the situation of being basically trapped at home without access to necessities, like food and water, really made me wonder if I am truly prepared for that circumstance...  I wasn't this time around, but I will be in future.

In this particular case, my pantry was fairly well-stocked with canned goods and my husband thought quickly enough to fill lots of jugs with water before the real flooding started. Luckily, we were not without electricity. We do have emergency candles, an old-fashioned kerosene lamp, and a flashlight, but no stock of batteries for it. Nor do we have a basic first-aid kit. And we were almost out of dog food for Mr. Lucky. These are things that will be remedied.

 September 14, 2011. My re-stocked pantry... after today's trip to the market.

My town has also been under a boil advisory since last Friday, and until further notice. In other words, all drinking water must be boiled before using. We have a public water system here, as well as a public sewer system, both of which can be contaminated or damaged by flooding. Thankfully, the public sewer system was not damaged.

It is amazing to me to realize how much I, and probably most other people, take for granted in everyday living. Take a moment or two to think about how you would survive without those taken-for-granted things, like electricity, communication systems, or water coming from the faucet when you turn it on... now, let me ask you... 

Are You Prepared?

Links to information about emergency and disaster preparedness:

Disaster Preparedness Kit Video by FEMA

Emergency Kit List from American Red Cross

Preparedness Fast Facts from American Red Cross