Catastrophic Major Hurricane, part 1

It’s eerie now. You have constant coverage of storm prediction and warnings and FEMA and every channel is talking about Irma. When you live in Florida, you learn all kinds of terminology, feeder bands, dirty side or clean side, in the cone,eye, storm surge, etc. You are internally programmed to the timing of advisories, 8am, 11, 2, 5, 8pm. The local channels dust off the old weather guys, Max Mayfield, the quintessential hurricane guy, looks exhausted. I keep feeling like at any minute he’s going to look into the camera and yell “It’s a hurricane, deal with it!!!!!” The 24/7 coverage is nuts. I just watched a reporter interview a woman filling a gas can at a gas station and the reporter said “what are you doing?” The woman was very polite and said, “filling a gas can” but I felt a little like I was watching SNL. I have tried not to watch too much, instead choosing to watch all of my recorded shows as I know electricity is a luxury slipping away in 24 hours or less.

I have done my storm prep. My shutters are up, I have gas in my car, water, food, etc. At this point it’s just the proverbial calm before the storm. With the shutters up it’s hard to tell day from night and it’s odd. I took my dog for a long walk this morning and it’s gorgeous out. Sunny and dry, a little breezy. It will be this way on Monday too, just way more humid and muggy. Neighbors are more friendly and you can just feel everyone is anxious. The last hurricane I experienced first hand was Wilma. That was no joke and this storm is way bigger and more intense. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, most people either are a bit scared or at least anxious. I have had lots of questions about whether the boys are scared or anxious. Jason is in his own little cocoon using his pc and playing games, subliminally aware that when the power goes out, he’s done. He promises he will read the driving test prep book, he can get his permit at the end of the month. I am sure he will do this once that’s the only thing left to do. Bryan is watching movies, but keeps mentioning the hurricane is coming. Kind of like the town crier.

The boys will be with their dad for the storm. I hate the idea of being separated, another divorce casualty. My Dad and sister are coming to me. I have shutters and plenty of supplies. I think we may end up playing scrabble or monopoly, which is all good. I’m trying to keep my cats indoors; they typically like to go out so I let them go last night but have coaxed them inside for good. Some of the first feeder bands have started to come through and you can feel the weather start to change. When you look on fb and see your area is in a prayer chain it definitely makes you feel nervous! Ironically every where else will have a way better understanding of what’s happening here than we will. Once you lose power and cable the disconnect from the outside world happens too. My mom’s place was boarded up yesterday with plywood and they have staff and a generator. They have emergency plans for after the storm. While this is intellectually comforting, emotionally it’s still tough not to have her with us. Just wanted to capture my feelings for now.

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