You may have noticed that my posting schedule got a little messed up this week. All for a good reason. As most of you know I live in Florida…the Sunshine State unless it’s hurricane season. I’ve been living in Florida my entire life. (27.5 years to be exact!) I’ve dealt with hurricanes/tropical storms most of my life.
I’ve “ridden out” storms in my parent’s living room, under blanket forts with my brother, under the stairwell of my grandparent’s home which resulted in sleepless nights and worry. The first 2 months of my sophomore year of high school was spent evacuated at my grandparent’s house almost weekly because of hurricanes. It’s just the nature of the beast living here.
Never have I ever felt as scared and as nervous as I did with this storm. We eagerly watched Hurricane Matthew’s track for almost 2 weeks watching it loom closer and closer to our beloved state. When they announced that the storm could potentially make landfall in my hometown my heart sank. I begged my parents to evacuate and up until Wednesday, they were planning on staying. They finally gave in and headed to stay with my grandparents.
My husband works at a hospital in food service. Because he is a manager, he had to go into work at 7pm Thursday before the storm hit. He packed an overnight bag with 3 days worth of clothes and I made him a lunch pale filled with PB sandwiches. It sucked watching him leave knowing I’d be riding this storm out by myself in our home…with our dog. I kept telling myself, “I can do this.”
I grabbed all of my blankets, pillows and changed into comfortable clothes. Making the best of a crappy situation requires some comforts such as those and lots of junk food. My favorite memories from dreaded hurricanes past were spent with my family sleeping in the living room with the local news on and focused on storm updates. We were all away from each other for this one.
I lost power around noon Friday and quickly turned on the weather radio Judd set up for me. That little weather radio became my news source, my weather updates and a voice in what would be an otherwise too quiet house. Gus and I hunkered down and braced for the worse. We had a lot of wind and a lot of rain. I kept that little weather radio on all night at a low volume so I never felt alone.
When I woke up Saturday morning there was a weird feeling in the air. The neighborhood was quiet. We had a bunch of leaves and little tree branches in the driveway but no damage to the house. I grabbed Gus’ leash and took him for a nice long walk to survey the damage in the neighborhood. It appeared that we faired well during the storm. But others were not so lucky.
While I feel thankful to have faired well my heart breaks for those around my community and the state that were affected by the storm. Seeing all of the flooding and destruction really puts everything in perspective. What matters in these moments of disaster is staying safe. Houses can be replaced. Lives cannot.