Last Friday, my family and I risked everything as we drove to my brother-in-law, Tim’s house in Portland. Rain pelted the windshield as we listened to warnings of the storm-to-end-all-storms, and the post-apocalyptic mayhem that would surely ensue. It had been all over the news for a week. But when it’s family, you go. And we had a 70th birthday to celebrate.
On Saturday just before the party, the sky grew dark, the wind picked up, and the rain went sideways. At the last minute, Tim and I drove to The Big Box Store for emergency supplies, just in case. When we got there, it was like the apocalypse had already come and gone. Not a candle on a shelf, no flashlight in sight. Batteries? Forget it.
We walked and found a stack of large 7,000 watt generators between two empty aisles. “It’s better to have one and not need it…” Tim said. These things weighed 200 pounds and could power two refrigerators, a microwave, all your phone chargers, a guitar amp, and a home theater system. All for $999 dollars. $999 dollars!
Tim wanted one and he was adamant. This family get-together would not be caught in the dark. “Just make sure you can return it,” I said. “And don’t open it unless we really need it.” That was his green light. Out came the card. With a swipe and a ‘No thank you’ to the extended warranty, we were proud owners of a big, heavy, expensive thing.
It got me thinking, I don’t have any weed.
If the power goes out, and we’re stuck with no tv, no internet, only candlelight and some books, I’d like to get high. One thing is for sure, an ounce of Sour Tsunami costs a lot less than a $999 generator! Anyway, Tim would never go for it. He’s a straight-laced businessman, a ultra-achiever—I’d never once seen him stoned.
When we got home, our families were busy getting the house ready for guests. There was no good place for the generator, and because it was so heavy, Tim decided to leave it in the car. “We’ll get it out if we need it,” he said. Then he left to pick up my father-in-law to supposedly take him to a movie for his birthday, but forget something and have to stop by the house first to pick it up.
I hit the snack table. People trickled in. My cousin, the tattoo artist. His wife, the teacher, and their kids. A half dozen friends, and a cousin of my wife’s whom I’d never met and whom she hadn’t seen in over a decade.
Someone noticed a cloud break “Hey, the sun’s coming out,” she said and pointed out the kitchen window. It looked like the wind had died down too—the trees nice and still with leaves all over the ground.
Everyone ate snacks, and one lady got drunk and yelled at the baseball game on her phone. Then the moment came. The door opened and my father-in-law stood there as we all yelled “SURPRISE!” He said he’d already figured it out, that he knew something was up when no one would answer his texts. We all gave him hugs and from there on, it was a good time. Laughs, presents, cake, kids screaming and running around, teenagers on their phones, inappropriate jokes coming from my father-in-law in the kitchen.
After everyone left, and Tim took my father-in-law home, we all sat on the couch—the two families—chilling out. The power never went out, and the storm was practically gone. We had prepared well with the generator as insurance. If we’d gotten stuck in the dark without it, there may not have been a party at all.
But something I hadn’t prepared for was the lack of herb. Storm or not, it would have been nice to have remembered the vapo-pen. Oh well, I thought. I can enjoy “Inside Out”—for the 5th time—without marijuana.
As the kids got quiet and started falling asleep on our laps, I got a text. It was from Tim, sitting two butts down on the couch. It read “after kids go to bed u guys wanna get high? (Happy face emoji).”
I showed the phone to my wife. She smiled and gave me a nod. Really? Tim? I thought. Wow! I typed into my phone, “good man! (happy face emoji),” and I meant it. Tim is always prepared, and he does what it takes to make everyone feel welcome.
Family coming? Storm of the century on its way? Why not stock up on some recreational cannabis? We've got two stores in Bellingham, where you can get everything you need to prepare for the best: