Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hurricane Hermine

The first time I ever experienced hurricane-like events was the first year I moved to Quincy, Florida, in late September 1998. It’s absolutely true that unless you live in a place where such events are real and have happened, you just have no idea what to expect, nor have you really ever been aware before, how those happenings effect other people.  

It was cloudy, stormy-looking and the humidity was at an all-time high that morning. I went to work, left my children at home together, ages 12 and 3 years old.  My job was 10 minutes from my home and there was power when I left for work.

As the morning progressed the sky grew darker, the wind blew harder and by 11am we were closing down and everyone was headed home. I was given all kinds of advice and instructions:
 1. Take all your chairs off your front porch - they’ll fly through your windows.
 2. Take your wind chimes down and into the house (mostly because they sound creepy when the wind      is whipping them around).
 3. Make sure you have things to eat that you don’t have to cook.
 4. Have both candles and flashlights on stand-by.

I went home, did everything everybody said, and me and my boys were ready to wait it out. We lived in an old farm house – the windows were heavy and solid. But that night, in the dark, when that wind started picking-up speed, it sounded like they were all going to burst into shatters as they rattled and creaked through the force of the storm.

As we all three sat in the middle of my bed, we talked about anything and everything trying to keep our minds off of what was happening. We still had power, so nothing is quite as scary with the power of light. But I knew at any minute that could change, so I tried to keep the level of calmness even, and the level of distraction high.

We would all end up falling asleep together, snuggled-up close and tight, and we wouldn’t know until morning that at some point, the power had been taken out, and we would wake-up to darkness, no television, or updates.

It was still pouring rain, but most of the crazy winds had stopped and that in itself was a relief. It wouldn’t be but another few hours and the power would be restored; but in the meantime, we were all relieved to be able to say, we had just made it through our first hurricane.

Today the feelings of anxiousness are much the same, but much more experienced. I left early for the grocery store, got all the staple items we needed, and a roast and fixings so that we would have cooked food for a couple of days.

The generator is ready, and all the gas tanks are full, in cans and vehicles alike; and all the other preparations are now old-school, habit and complete.

Signing off with hopes and blessings that this time next week finds us all still safe, with no residual after-effects from Hurricane Hermine.

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