Monday, August 27, 2012

One Woman Faces Down One Big Storm: Michele vs. Isaac

Michele and I have been friends since childhood. A pretty, quick-witted girl grew into a strong, bright and beautiful woman. Her town in Florida has been hit hard by previous hurricanes and this time was slated to be slammed by Isaac. Her emails began arriving Saturday night, with periodic updates since. Tinged with defiant humor at first, they turned scary today. I'll post later to let you know when she and her neighbors are out of danger.

Saturday Night:
So far, I'm having a lovely hurricane.

Thursday, my husband and his friend flew off to follow the Miami Marlins for a triple header in Los Angeles. The boys are having a blast. I'm here alone.

Thursday afternoon, our air conditioning started leaking. Repairman said we needed two new a/c systems--$9,000 and I shouldn’t use the a/c in the meantime! Temperature is in the 90’s, humidity over 1000%. And today, Isaac decided to hit the Keys.

I cannot close my shutters which we installed after Hurricane Andrew. My son is coming tomorrow A.M. (if this hurricane doesn’t strike by then) to close them. He’s as handy as I am with anything mechanical. And I have two left hands.

I've gotten drenched 3 times walking the dogs. I was almost run off the road by cars on my way to purchase water & dog food. Water in FL is more valuable than gasoline and practically sold out.

But other than that, I’m having a lovely hurricane.

I've already eaten 1/2 jar of choc. covered toffee (delish and purchased in Costco if anyone is interested) AND...7 choc. chip cookies I baked with 7 more to go.

Did I say having a wonderful time? Well let me clarify then that I hope your day is better!

I’ve got to laugh --crying will give me wrinkles.

Oh, where did I put the damn potato chips I bought for a special occasion....

Sunday Morning:
Heard from a friend in New York complaining about the humidity there. Spoiled brats!!!!!!

I went to bed at midnight. Was awakened by American Airlines cancelling husband's flight out of L.A for Monday morning.
I'd better bake a new batch of cookies before we lose electricity. Right now, high winds and flooding are predicted for this area.

However, let’s not forget the people who took the brunt of this---especially Haiti--thousands had to be evacuated. Please think about making donations to relief charities for Haiti.

Sunday Afternoon:
My darling children came over early this morning and battened down the hatches. I thought all one had to do was simply close those darn shutters. Not quite. You need a PhD in engineering to figure them out. Thanks again my sweet children.

My house is now the host for a number of frogs, chameleons and other creepy crawlers but at least they're safe from the outside elements. My pool has become a pond and there is so much water around the house that if need be, I'll be able to sail away.

Husband and friend are now due to arrive home at 4:00 tomorrow. Poor guys – they’re missing all the fun.

And oh yeah, Stein Mart is having the sale of all sales today without me. They'll probably go out of business in November because I wasn't there today.

The wind is picking up and we're under tornado watch as well.

Damn, have no more choc. chips, so can't bake more cookies. Am hunting for something high in sugar and fat.

Monday Morning:
When there’s a hurricane, I always get-in-touch via e-mail with Floridians (some are home alone) with copies to friends elsewhere who may be worried. My idea is to keep our minds occupied and our spirits high.

I don’t drink or do drugs but did share my chocolate/marshmallow/Craisins/Chinese noodles-in-lieu-of-peanuts recipe and gave out my secret of where I got the choc. toffees. You’d be surprised at how easily we surrender our deepest secrets under the threat of tornadoes and hurricanes.

Seriously, I try to make a joke of it and after a while, we're all laughing. I suppose that's the way I face the possibility of annihilation by a falling tree or the roof going airborne.

It’s still raining, pool is overflowing and we continue to be under tornado watch. But so far at least, we've been very fortunate. A lot of us have been through hurricanes before--horrendous. This was merely a tropical storm and I'm hoping it will fizzle out here. Many were not so lucky. Others are in its path. I'm thinking of them as I'm grateful for our escaping the worst wrath of Isaac. They need our thoughts and prayers.

Monday Afternoon:
I thought we'd faced the worst of the storm and laughed at its puniness. Well Isaac had the last laugh.

I'm trying to get out of the house to pick up my friend who just had surgery and Isaac’s laugh is reverberating all over the County. The walls are shaking with thunder and the rain is coming down in torrents. I keep checking my roof to see if it’s still holding.
On one hand, I know I have to leave, but on the other hand--when I hear the thunder and the power of the rain--it’s scary.

We all thought it would be over this morning and life would go on as usual. But it is lingering as if to have the last word. I’m sure the streets are flooded as my pool is past the overflow mark.

But...will this be my last missive?





  1. I hope she's all right. Growing up in FL, I went through several hurricanes. They're nothing to mess with. And nothing to be driving around in. The good news is, they pass by eventually. Then there's the cleanup, but that's a problem for another day. Hoping all is well where she is.

  2. Having grown up near the Atlantic coast I've been through many hurricanes, the scariest being Hazel, which hit us in the dead of night, howling like I've never heard wind howl and roar before or since. It also shook the house to the point the downstairs ceiling cracked and had to be pulled down in a few weeks later! I've been very fortunate though that I've NEVER had to go through a hurricane alone--that would be very frightening indeed. I wish Michele well and hope her hubby is back home soon.

  3. Willa~I know by the middle of the storm, Michele had lost a mango tree--uprooted by the force of the wind. But as long as she and the dogs are safe and the house is standing, that's inconsequential.

  4. Thanks, Nancy. I'll keep everyone updated. I was living in the Mid-Atlantic when Andrew struck. I have a memory of Main Street in downtown Ellicott City, MD being flooded so badly it looked like a river ran through it. Some colleagues at work had to be evacuated from their homes in low-lying areas. Very frightening. And, yes, much worse to have to brave it alone.

  5. I'm glad I'm here, not there. I also remember hurricane Hazel. They let us out of school, and I remember my father coming home from the office in the worst of it. The funny part was that my Latin teacher was named Hazel S. Bell, so we all had a lot jokes about THAT. The scary part was my mom (w/ the electricity off)trying to cook canned vegetable soup over a candle warmer. The pot sat there for hours, never getting much above room temperature.

  6. Hurricane's are scary--and I feel for anyone in the path. Stay safe and keep your spirits up.

  7. Hurricanes are scary for all in their path. Stay safe and keep your spirits up.

  8. Rebecca, I don't remember hurricanes hitting New York City when I was growing up there. But my parents were still living in the city in 1972 when Agnes struck. I tried to reach them, but the lines were down. Turned out they got through it with only loss of electricity and phone, but nearby streets flooded and there was some damage to single family homes in the neighborhood. Not long after, they moved to Los Angeles which never has hurricanes.

  9. Right, Eileen. That part about keeping your spirits up is central to Michele's attitude about most things. She's a very positive person.

    I guess as the Brits say, one must, "Keep calm and carry on."

  10. Sounds scary, Michele. Know you've got lots of us with our fingers crossed for you, your family and your friend. Need prayers? You've got those, too. Keep us posted.

  11. I really appreciate your (and every responder's) thoughts and prayers, Chassie. In spite of the humor, I was really scared. The response on Toby's blog to my situation was amazing. Wow! I can't believe others were interested in my group therapy sessions.
    During the storm, I calmed myself with comfort food and gained three pounds. Tomorrow, I'm getting my hair--thick, long and curly--cut. That should shed about two pounds. Looking forward to better weather for all.