Hi everyone! I hope things are going well in your corner of the planet. My corner is preparing for a hurricane. Hurricane Irma. It’s a pretty powerful storm, breaking a record in category 5 and right now, I believe it’s raging over the Caribbean.
I woke up this morning to the darkness of shuttered windows, and it makes me wonder how people live in cold places that are dark for months. Part of my morning routine has always been to walk around the house and open every curtain to let the sunlight in. So this sucks. Thankfully we have a few more windows to board up so there are some pockets of light that I can drink in.
Because it’s summertime in Florida, it rains almost daily– normally early morning and mid-afternoon. It doesn’t stop to let you prepare for an upcoming storm. It also means that if I want to step outside for some early morning sunlight that I’ll also be stepping into early morning humidity. I’ll take my chances inside. The darkness will be upon us soon once all the shutters are in place. That sounds dramatic.
My supplies are in order. Of course, looking at recent disasters in other parts of the country, it’s easy to feel that one can never have enough supplies. One has to make choices. The lines for gasoline are either extending out into the streets and around corners, or the gas stations have run completely out. I filled up my tank on Tuesday and I am almost down to half a tank now. I’ll need my car to get to safety if there are any sudden changes or in the aftermath. That means if I’m going anywhere at this point, it’ll be on my bike.
Thankfully the schools have closed for today and tomorrow because driving my kids the 20 minutes to and from school everyday through school zones has been the primary reason for my dwindling gas tank. I refuse to spend an hour of my life waiting in line for gasoline; that is, of course, I could find any.
There’s lots of tuna, peanut butter, beans and candles. Years ago, I lost the car I had just paid off when Hurricane Wilma decided to drop a tree on it. Couldn’t really prepare for that.
The nice things about losing power, though, is that the stars become very visible, and neighbors empty their freezers, and everyone gathers around bar-b-que grills to share what they have. That’s been my experience. Oh yeah, and families have no recourse but to read, play games and talk to each other by candlelight. There is much beauty to be had in a blackout.
Most often, these storms threaten, but they pass along without much trouble. We are all hoping for one of those. Except for the children. Kids are always excited about the possibility of a good storm to bring some excitement and stories into their lives. I remember thinking the same about Hurricane Andrew when I was a kid. When we finally got power back and realized that all of Homestead had been leveled, it was a rude awakening. Still, you can’t blame a kid for wanting a story to tell. I still tell the story of how, when I was a kid, my dad braced a storm donning a raincoat in order to support our still young avocado tree against the raging winds. It’s still giving us avocados today! It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
If you’re riding out this storm this weekend in whatever part of the country, be safe out there and I wish you all the best.