Little inflammation on the prairie

We’re having a hurricane today, because of course we are. I said good morning to my Google Home, which is saying a lot because you know how I detest the phrase “good morning” or anything close to it, and yet that’s how you get your Google Machine—as my mother calls it—to tell you the news of the day. You have to say, “Good morning, Google” and every day my insides rankle. Then your Google Machine says, “Good morning. June.” or at least mine does. Then it tells you the weather, the headlines, you know the drill.

Today, Google Machine ended with, “A hurricane local statement has been issued. Have a good one.” And by the way, he won’t tell me WHAT the local statement is, and if you ask him, he defines what a local weather statement is. Computers. We don’t have them all mapped out yet.

Anyway, a hurricane. Sure. Sure, we are. Of course we are.

In my Little House series, not that I wrote them, there’s one book titled The Long Winter, and I hate to spoil things for you but there’s a long winter involved in the plot, a winter that actually happened. I mean, all winters actually happen, but I’m saying Laura Ingalls Wilder describes a horrific series of storms that really did hit her town in 1888.

This is a picture taken near her town with iPhone 1, where the snow is as tall as the damn train, which is what I might have titled my book instead of The Long Winter. Look at that tiny man atop the train. We’re talking snow.

What happened was, these storms would swirl up, starting in October, y’all. October. There was no pumpkin spice anything for Laura Ingalls Wilder, because out in the prairie, if there’s a blinding snowstorm, you have to stay home. If you’re wandering from, say, Ye Olde Starbucks to your house? If you miss your house because you can’t see due to the storm? You could just keep walking endlessly into the open prairie and freeze to death like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

Also I like how the 1888 coffee shop is Olde English. The coffee shop that polishes your furniture.

The snow storms of 1888 were relentless. They’d swirl and howl and refuse to wear a mask and carry on and Wi-Fi was spotty at best and everyone had to huddle in one room where the stove was. It would blow for days like my college roomate, then blissfully shut up, unlike my college roomate, then a day or so later another one would come. They had to tie a rope from the house to the stable so they wouldn’t get lost between them and do the dreaded walk of shame into the prairie.

Now we pay big money for cryotherapy to freeze. I’ll bet inflammation wasn’t a big deal on the prairie.

Eventually the trains could not get through and the whole town ran out of food and Laura and her family lived on just wheat UNTIL APRIL, and Ma’s keto was shot to hell.

My point of telling you all this is this: At one point Pa, who was mellow and cheerful and whom I loved as a kid and now when I read his antics I’m all, Jesus. Get it the fuck together, Pa. But anyway Pa, who was usually so happy-go-not-lucky, at one point stood up. He was full of wheat and rage. He shook his fist at the wind and said, come at us, motherfucker. Come at us. Go ahead and try. Then Laura allegedly sings some inspirational song that I feel certain was a plot embellishment from old Rose Wilder Lane, Laura’s daughter, who incidentally wrote a book called Let the Hurricane Roar and here we are full circle.

And that’s how I feel about a hurricane during a pandemic. Oh, let the damn hurricane roar. Stop trying to fucking scare me with everything. If everything’s a priority, nothing’s a priority. Cut it out.

As I typed this, daring whatever to come my way, poor Iris just threw up all over the vintage tablecloth I washed and ironed two days ago. Also, that was the last of her food, and I have to put on a mask and my haz-mat suit and get her more later today if there’s not a hurricane blowing through town. So now she’s meowing for food and I’m all, You just HAD food. It was there in your stomach. If you’d keep things in their rightful place you wouldn’t be in this dilemma.

I did call the vet about her yesterday, and the chippie who answered said she didn’t think they HAD ear gel there, but that she’d ask the vet and call me back but she never did. I know they will call me eventually this week, with the more detailed labs, and now I am picturing a yellow Lab with great attention to detail. Sort of a Lottie Blanco Lab. Labby Blanco.

If you were going to get a Lab, would you get yellow, black, red or the controversial silver? I saw a silver Lab puppy once and I have never forgotten how beautiful it was.

Anyway, I have to go. The Poet and I are splitting a magazine this week. She doesn’t work Mondays, so they sent it to me to start it, and I worked on it all day yesterday. I am hoping to get a few more pages done before she gets to work, and by “gets” I mean she turns on her computer. My goal is for her to say, “Oh, wow, I don’t have to do much of this at all!”

Then she’ll wander into the prairie with her celebratory Olde Spice latte, never to be seen again.

Love,
Ten-Topics June

90 thoughts on “Little inflammation on the prairie

  1. I would simply like to mention that while I am A college roommate of June’s, I am not the roommate she is referring to in this post. Thank you.

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  2. I recently got two black lab mixes from our local shelter. One in Jan. and one in Feb. The school closure in March was the perfect opportunity to potty train. They are the best lanky, lazy, lovebugs ever.

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  3. I have a 13-year-old yellow girl. At one point I had my yellow girl and a black boy. I am not sure I could ever choose which was better. I would have to have one of each again.
    There is a red lab??

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  4. I loved the Little House books SO much. Such a sweet memory, of devouring them as fast as I could get my grubby little hands on them.
    Blew her keto all to hell. Ha!

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  5. One of our coworkers stopped me in the hall one morning. “I saw you driving in the opposite direction of me on my way to work. Why were you driving home at the start of the day?” Drive of shame. But not too much because I am married to that man from the other side of town. I will tell you who the asker was and if he has a blog name you can tell the other commenters.

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  6. This post was hilarious! I also thought Pa was so cool until I read the books again when I got older, but especially when I read that book Prairie Fires.
    It REALLY shines a light on his antics.

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  7. We have a silver lab. I mean technically she’s silver (or so I was told), but she’s really a charcoal gray color. Black with a silver tinge. And she’s only almost 6, but her muzzle has been white starting since she was 3ish. She’s been the best dog! Very smart and obedient (when she wants to be), very patient with the kids (even the 2yr old terror), and loves when people come to visit.

    I have always thought it would be fun to have one of each at the same time though. But that’s probably just a dream.

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  8. There is no question that yellow labs are the only perfect dog. At least no question in this house. That said, my neighbor now has a silver lab, and it is very cool looking, but leans to weimaraner in looks.

    Any tinder men texted you “blow me” today? Opportunity wasted.

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    1. I can’t comment on just one part of this so I’m just going to tell you this post was so enjoyable that I’m going back to read it again!
      Hilarious and fun!

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  9. I didn’t read the Little House books as a kid. One day during silent reading I decided to read a Little House book. I read a couple more and came to the conclusion that Pa was a major jerk. Tropical storm here in New Jersey. I’m having a lot of fun watching a big tree in my yard sway back and forth. My neighbor has already come over to make sure I’m aware that it looks like it will fall. Thanks, but I’m not blind or stupid.

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  10. I read a book called The Children’s Blizzard about the winter of 1888. It’s excellent. True stories about what happened. I also had the Little House books as a kid. I read them aloud to my girls and still reread them every few years.

    I think you could write a series of books. A series I would reread often like visiting old friends.

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    1. I reread my favorite children’s books every couple of years. Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, Charlotte’s Web. Little House and a few others. They still stand as good books.

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  11. I am almost sure you’ve probably come across this book, but on the off chance that you have not, it’s a very interesting and detailed account of Wilder’s life, including the political climate at the time: https://www.amazon.ca/Prairie-Fires-American-Dreams-Ingalls/dp/1250182484/ref=asc_df_1250182484/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=292959357010&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11091503268035352592&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001271&hvtargid=pla-571665089988&psc=1#customerReviews . I have to say that the book made me love Pa less, because they left a relatively safe and prosperous location (the house in the woods) for the hell of the prairies at that time, because of his wanderlust.

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  12. “If everything is a priority, nothing’s a priority.” So dang true. My sisters and I adored the Little House books. We read them in order and wanted sunbonnets and fried apples and onions. The TV series, Meh. Any Lab is a good Lab.

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  13. “ If you keep things in their rightful place you wouldn’t be in this dilemma.” So true! Be safe out there, June! Tie a rope from the house to your car.

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  14. Thanks for leaving this post up until this second shifter had a chance to read it. Exceptional story weaving today.

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  15. This post is so good. My mother, grandmother and I all read the whole series at the same time, passing the books along to each other. I can’t get enough of any The Long Winter reference because that was my favorite and it seems extra relevant now. My man (I hate saying boyfriend), we met a couple years ago and somehow early on I discovered he enjoyed some LHotP too! We make jokes at Christmas about how all we are getting is a small length of ribbon wrapped in old, used brown paper.

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  16. Lovely post, June. Hope you hear from the vet soon. Poor Iris and your tablecloth. I’m afraid to comment on LHOTP except to say that I loved it. I would take all the labs. I have a half lab, the other half poodle. OK, a labradoodle. His dad was a yellow lab and mom was a black poodle. How that makes a cream-colored dog is beyond me, but that’s what happened.

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  17. Iris, poor girl. Ima look up some sh*t now.
    You own an iron? I have one, but I sew and it was a wedding present in 1977.

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  18. I didn’t know silver labs are controversial. That would be my pick, since they are the least common. Plus, if they are bred with Weimaraners, that seals the deal. I have a Weimaraner/ Doberman and she is the most amazing dog. There were two of them at the shelter, sisters, and in hindsight I would kicked all my concerns about having 2 dogs out the door and taken both.
    Lovely post June. I just watched an episode of LHotP the other day and I can’t believe how cheesy was but I still love it. Anyone watch “Anne with an E” on Netflix? It’s good.

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  19. I have never read the books but my mom watched the show every now and then. Now I feel like I MUST read them immediately. Intrigued, I am.
    I’m just outside of Richmond, Virginia. I work for the gubment and they expected it to be crazy today so I actually got the day off! Now I will never get another one because the only thing we are in danger of is a sunburn. Sure, we got a shit ton of rain early morning but it’s all nice right now and there isn’t any damage. I’d also like to note in my book of ironic shit that Danna has lived through that I lived on Oahu for seven years. Throughout the entire seven years we had near hit after near hit. I had to move across an ocean and a continent to even get a taste of tropical storm. What can I say, I like the dramatics of the before the storm feel.

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  20. What a great post!!
    I do think I may need to read those books too. I have a long lists of books to read, but with me falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow it’s just not been happening!

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  21. Yeah but…was it shared here about an advert regarding No Poets allowed to rent a room? Lol. Sorry. Just tickles me.

    Oh Iris, Iris, Iris.

    Here at my house I will sometimes only discover a pile of cat vomit when the indoor ferrets find it and start eating/stashing it. You’re welcome for the visual.

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  22. Hope the vet calls you soon. I hate when I am excited about something and want to get an answer and I have to wait. Ugh.

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  23. A friend’s son is a new-ish Marine with a wife of 2 years and a baby about 5 (?) weeks old, stationed where the hurricane came ashore last night. I think. I may not have my facts entirely straight. I know they had a pretty direct hit. You would think with all that everybody would be a wreck but with this being the pandemic year they were like – OK, hurricane, whatever, it’s just one more effin thing. Are we done yet? What’s one more dang life-threatening thing?

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  24. Excellent post — I laughed aloud, which is what I need to do more often. So thanks.
    “If everything’s a priority, nothing’s a priority.” Yes, definitely.

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  25. I am living inland for this hurricane and guess what? This storm is not coastal but will be coming here instead. OY. On the one hand I am relieved for my shore house, which I still own and for my nephew who is busting his butt working on it before he buys it. There are too many trees there. He plans to remove a bunch of them. I just find it ironic that it is coming here. We had a lot of rain, wind, thunder and lightening last night. I had dogs clinging.
    I would get a yellow lab, I love them. My parents had one but it was too much dog for them. Shane loved me because I would take him in their above ground pool. I lifted him out with my arms to protect the lining. Why are my shoulders a mess now? He would leap for joy when he saw me at their door. My dad wanted me to have him because he loved me so much. I declined because two cats and a Basset Hound was enough for us. My brother got him. He was a character. When they made him leave the kitchen for begging he muttered under his breath as if he were saying asshole or something. He had to have the last word.
    Your writing is brilliant, you make me laugh and feel every time. Pathos and humor is an amazing combination. You really should be a VERY famous writer.
    May the storms be gentle on all of us.

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  26. Stampeded over here to comment before you took it down. Really lovely post. I’ll actually be back later to actually comment on the actual post. When everyone on the upcoming unwelcome unwanted annoying Zoom meeting say Good Morning I hope I can get the grump off my face. Maybe I’ll just lean my head on the screen like above horse on the barn door. Oh, right. These are in reverse order so the below mentioned horse on the below mentioned barn door. I now have 25 minutes to wash and curl my hair and dress like I give a gosh darn (love to Tee so I didn’t say dam*).

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    1. I’ve been blogging for 13 years, take *one* post down and now I have to deal with “going to comment before you take this down” comments? OK. That’s … delightful to know.

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    2. The darn statement reminds me of a song my mom and her sisters used to sing:
      We are the Buckley girls
      We wear our hair in curls
      We don’t have a man
      But we don’t give a (giggles) DARN

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      1. Missed half this song….

        We are the Buckley girls
        We wear our hair in curls
        We are too old for toys
        But just right for boys
        and we don’t have a man
        but we don’t give a (giggles) DARN

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  27. You were the kind of partner I hoped for in college when assigned to a group project – look at you trying to get most of the magazine done so the Poet has less? All while dealing with cat puke. I blame my allergies, but I did not even know labs came in silver. My preferred dog breed is Old English Sheepdog. Never gonna happen – stupid allergies.

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  28. By “split a magazine”, I thought you and The Poet were going to share an actual magazine. Then I wondered why The Poet didn’t read it on her day off and then drop it by your house so you could read it. The way Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Ma shared a magazine during The Long Winter of 1888. And speaking of magazines, did they tie a rope from their house to Ye Olde Outhouse?

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      1. Yup. I thought you two were sharing an actual magazine. Reading material for ye olde outhouse. My mom was a magazine junkie and would save me stacks of them. Such a luxury.

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  29. In the early weeks of the pandemic, we had an earthquake here in Idaho that was big enough to be felt in neighboring states. I barely broke stride a I continued emptying the dishwasher “because of course it’s an earthquake”.

    Now I’m wondering what you might be suggesting about your college roommate and blow. At first I thought drugs but the walk of shame remark makes me think otherwise.

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  30. Oh, Iris. Poor kitty. I wish she would feel better. Loved the trip you brought us on through the long winter. That train picture is amazing. I feel the same way about 2020: What’s next? Alien invasions? Ugh.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  31. I agree with what others said, “It would blow for days like my college roomate” is a great line! I really wish that had been me in college. Missed opportunities. I am a pit bull type dog snob but feel like labs are my 2nd favorite dog. I think if you get a lab, you have to get one of each commonly seen color. I have witnessed several families who have black, brown, and yellow labs and think that is the only way to go.

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    1. I would be left paralyzed with indecision and my arms around all three. There would be no other alternative but to take them all home to proceed to eat my house and fill my yard with poop and I’d still love the fur off them.

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  32. My great-grandfather lived in Minnesota and one day he was on his way back from town in his horse-drawn wagon when a blizzard blew up and suddenly he was in a white-out (snow so thick you can’t see your hand in front of your face). He gave the horses their head and hoped they’d somehow find their way home. Well, they pulled the wagon for a while and then just stopped in their tracks, at which point he thought, “Well, crap,” or something to that effect. He decided he’d try to lead them, got down and felt along the reins to their heads, which he discovered were pressed against the barn door.
    I always enjoy your posts!

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    1. What a great story! I’m going to treasure that story all day. I have to do a Zoom gathering at 10:00 AM. I wish I could send my horse to lean against the damn screen.

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  33. The gel/cream and suspension (liquid) thyroid medication we get comes from a compounding pharmacy. The vet doesn’t have it. They send the script to the pharmacy. We used both methods until our Betsy got used to it. Cream in the ear in the morning, liquid in her food in the evening. Now we have a routine of just liquid in a very small amount of canned food mixed with water. When she’s finished that, I give her a bowl of food to eat as much as she wants. She gets her doses twice a day.

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    1. I thought it would be a compounding pharmacy for it! My late husband got Magic Mouthwash to help with post chemo effects from one. They delivered it right to your “bedside”/chemo cubicle chair after your doctor or the nurse practioner ordered it. They call it meds to beds… It should be available to all hospital patients.

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  34. Excellent post, June! So funny!
    I wonder what other medicines come as gel? That’s a cool mode of delivery. How great it would be to rub something on your ears and feel better!
    I had similar feelings about Hurricane Hanna. I mean, REALLY? NOW?? WE GOTTA DO THIS NOW? Luckily she turned south, and we only got feeder bands of rain for a couple days.

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  35. I never comment but read every day. Sorry to be so selfish! I’ll try to do better. I promise I’m more of a giver in real life.

    Black labs are the most unoriginal dogs ever. Other flavors are at least tolerable. I know people LOVE the breed because they are everywhere. Black labs will take over the world.

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    1. Aww – I love black Labs. They have the sweetest faces (says the woman with two Pit mixes.) No matter how fat they are and how recently they’ve eaten, a black Lab can still give you a look that makes you swear they’re starving to death. Now, I need to go check the shelter pages for a black Lab.

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      1. I feel like that came across harsh and almost deleted it. I wish people wouldn’t pay a breeder for a black lab. Is that friendlier? Yes to anything at the shelter. And they do have sweet faces and are so “good with kids”. All dogs deserve a good life!

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  36. Hilarious post. Google Machine. You are an amazing writer and never boring. I’m so sorry little Iris threw up, especially right on the clean tablecloth. That’s highly unusual, a cat throwing up in the daylight, I thought they only did that during the night, on an oriental rug.

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    1. You would have that confused with Humphrey who only ever threw up on the most decorative part of the rug so someone, that would be me, would be sure to step full splat into it.

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  37. We have a black lab and my step-daughter has a yellow one. We were just talking about this the other day and someone said the silver labs are inbred or something else strange to get that color so it made me not want one but they are beautiful.

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  38. You’re on fire today, June. Proof positive of why you have such a dedicated fan group. You simply have an amazing talent. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope that the hurricane is mild, and short and that you suffer no ill effect from it. Great post, clever June.

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  39. Well Miss June, you are in rare form today! I’ve chuckled and guffawed and it isn’t even 6:30 here yet. Why am I, a retired person, up this early? Whore-moans. Can’t sleep. Fun times. Anyway, to answer your question I guess I would get a yellow lab. I’ve never seen a silver one and did not realize that was an option. But the yellow ones just seem like they would be good dogs for some reason. To go with my black cat. And thank you for the history lesson via LHOTP. Disappointed that the picture of Pa doesn’t look more like Michael Landon.

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  40. “This is a picture taken near her town with iPhone 1,” Dead. “The coffee shop that polishes your furniture.” Dead-er. I also too, had the whole LHotP series. I remember being excited when I heard that they were bringing my beloved series to tv. Gah! Hated it. I think I saw a grand total of two episodes. I’m with you on the tv version. I still don’t like Melissa Gibert, and I’m sure that’s why. Stay safe Joob.

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    1. When people think I like the SHOW rather than the books? I can’t help but think less of them. It’s the same with anyone who finds the plot of anything “slow.” OK, you’ve just told me you’re an idiot.

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      1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie or tv show that comes close to as good as a book. Can’t think of one anyway.

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  41. This is one of the most artfully woven posts I’ve ever read. I even knew all the references! Well, except The Shining. I’ve never been into being scared.
    Hoping you get through the hurricane without any damage.

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