(First posted in 2012, when the Giants really were on their way to the Superbowl. Alas, in 2013 and 2014, they did not even make the playoffs. The recipe still works, tho. 🙂 )
I don’t like to brag, but my team is going to the SUPERBOWL! And with a heart attack OT win! We expected a great game, but this was outstanding!
Sheila wasn’t all that happy about the Giants getting this far, but our fan rivalry is (mostly) good-natured and she took the ribbing pretty well. At least she didn’t boo or wear her (purposely anonymous here) team’s colors during the game.
People descended on the house an hour before the playoff game against the 49ers, ready to eat. The guys from Homicide brought cheese steaks, Sheila put together subs, and I made our famous football soup. This one is a surprise favorite with our crowd, just right for the people who can’t handle my four-alarm chili and can be fixed from scratch to bowl in the time it takes to cook the rice.
Hammett is a Setter. A great, big, loveable Irish Setter we’ve had since he was a pup.
Hammett is a loyal dog and follows me everywhere in the house. He’s more mine than Sheila’s, because I’m the one he sleeps on top of most of the time, but Sheila and I picked him out together. Or he picked us.
Not long after I became a homicide detective, we were in the market for a dog to keep Sheila company on those long nights when I was working a case. A vet friend heard about a recently delivered litter and asked if we wanted one, so we visited the pups when they were ready to be weaned. I bust out laughing at the pile of jumping, rolling puppies in the seller’s backyard – it was hard to tell which paw belonged to which woof. Hammett came bouncing over, flopped down on my foot, and snuffled at Sheila.
I’ve been told that Setters are used for hunting, but I never hunt for animals or birds. I do enough people tracking to satisfy that search/capture urge.
Hammett doesn’t care how many holes I have in my body – he just accepts me for who I am – the guy who sneaks bits of meat to him under the table. And, he still flops his head on my feet. I would miss it if he didn’t.
Hurricanes do a lot of damage. Billions of dollars in property and businesses are lost every year to the incessant slamming of wind and rain on the coastal regions of the Western Hemisphere. Lives are lost or torn apart and homes have to be rebuilt from scratch, all because a collection of gentle raindrops is transformed by nature into a monstrous, angry, catastrophic event.
Even at level 1, the least powerful of hurricane categories, winds of up to 95mph can knock people off their feet, disintegrate roofs and send debris flying through the air. Remember Katrina and the personal and economic devastation it wreaked in 2005? That was an over two hundred mile wide, level 5 storm, with howling winds up to 175mph, the most costly hurricane the U.S. has experienced. And it’s not even the largest hurricane on record. Windows blown out, buildings collapsed, vast low-lying areas underwater for weeks, many uninhabitable neighborhoods in the aftermath – that is the norm for such an enormous storm.
Government agencies help with re-establishing communications, getting water and clothing to the victims and assisting with rescue efforts. But, even at the most basic level, this can take weeks if the roads are impassable or if manpower is limited. Enter volunteer groups – essential to any recovery and rebuilding process.
Experience has shown that since we cannot change nature, the best plan is to get out of the way until storms move on or dissolve. If we evacuate before they hit, at least lives can be saved, if not property.
But, staying out of the hurricane’s way was not an option when Sheila was held by her kidnapper. We didn’t know where she was, let alone if she was on high ground. Her survival depended on us finding her before the roads disappeared.