The saddest part of the end of hurricane season is the cessation of the use of the word hunker.
What a fabulous word and society only cracks it out and dusts it off when a soul-crushing, city-destroying hurricane is on its way. That's unfortunate. Very few words stand up to the word hunker in both multiple uses and varied meanings.
I've told the story before of the 'possum we found after it had crawled, crept, snuck into our garage only to stuff itself into the underside of a grandkid's riding toy. The 'possum was waiting for night to fall so it could stumble over to the cat's food and stuff itself stupid.
Our daughter, a thousand months pregnant, claimed that she'd seen the 'possum wobble into the garage and disappear into the bottom of the Happy Tots Pedal Truck. We didn't believe her. We thought she was drunk on pregnancy hormones. She wasn't.
When my husband tipped over the riding toy, a mammal with approximately ten-thousand teeth, snarled its howdy-do.
That toothy beast had hunkered down inside that riding toy. We poked the toy. We shook it. We rolled it over and over. That 'possum didn't budge. Finally, we had to turn the hose on it to pry it out of there. Soaked, miffed, and wildly uncomfortable the 'possum shuffled off to hunker down under the garden bridge, and that, Dear Readers, is a fine, fine example of what it means to hunker.
When hurricanes threaten, the word hunker flies around like a kid on a pedal truck. Get food, water, batteries, and some food for the cat because life, as you know it, will be like someone with a giant garden hose trying to pry you out of your safe place. The power will fail. Inside will be hotter than outside. Your air will cease to be conditioned. Day will turn to night. You will feel threatened, frightened, and annoyed but hang on tight unless you have a bridge you can scurry off to hunker under for a bit.
Love the word. We should use it for more stuff than killer storms:
Life is hard, but I think I'll hunker down and give it my best.
Hunker down and keep the faith.
Hunkering down, I refused to be offended.
They tried to shake me out of my faith and hope and charity, but I hunkered down.
You can't make me quit because I'm hunkered down like a 'possum stuffed under a garden bridge.
Move along; I'm hunkering down.
Or I'm getting ready for the next swirling monster of wind and rain so that I can hunker down when the storm howls.
Let's keep the hunkering going. That's all I'm saying.
Linda (Playing 'Possum) Zern