Friday, December 14, 2007

The Storm Cupboard

When I was growing up in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Kansas City, my mother kept a well-stocked Storm Cupboard for those days when we were “snowed in.” It was the top shelf of the cabinet high over the sink and was not to be raided except during the worst of weather conditions. Canned soup, canned Boston Brown Bread, packages of spaghetti and jars of home-canned green beans. Oatmeal, coffee, and some Crisco. Also…candles and extra toilet paper. My father kept a Storm Cupboard of his own in the basement with firewood, newspapers, matches, old blankets in a rickety cupboard, and his shortwave radio. We were so prepared!

It’s a habit hard to lose and I maintain a Storm Cupboard of my own here at The Hideaway. It is actually a shelf in my pantry and since no one monitors it, I’ll admit I do raid it from time to time. It came in handy the first weekend in December when the Big Storm hit Portland. Getting out and about was tricky and risky and it seemed best to hunker down here and watch the roof leaks drip into the buckets. After several days the weather broke and just as I was preparing to go shopping and restock, Windy called to say the baby was arriving.

By the end of that week, the cupboard was bare. The cats were on the last of their dry food, and the dogs had a few kibbles kicking around the bottom of the plastic container. I was reduced to scrounging “tail-end” toilet paper rolls from a basket under the sink. And just as I was preparing to go shopping, another storm hit and then it was time to go back to work.

That cupboard got me through two weeks and I am glad I had it to sustain me. Today..finally… after two weeks, I restocked it and I am ready for the East Winds to start blowing.


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