Monday, August 18, 2008

Fly's first hurricane

Into every life, a little rain must fall -- and sometimes it's six inches of rain, along with 50-mph winds.

Tropical Storm Fay is headed our way.

JP and I feel we're set for whatever Fay does -- even if she becomes a hurricane, as forecasted.

(Bring it!)

(Update: Fay never became a hurricane. We got a lot of rain, some cool breezes and that's it. Our house is 12 feet above sea level (!) and there was no flooding in our community.)

People here are a little on edge because the last hurricane that came through was Wilma in 2005, and that was a true disaster. Trees blocked roads. Traffic signals were missing or didn't work for about a week. Two of our neighbors had trees fall on their houses and cars; many others had tarps on their roofs for up to a year afterward while waiting for insurance companies to sort out the damage and waiting for roofing companies to get down the long line of people needing repairs. For a short while, you had to boil any water before using it because it had been contaminated. Some places had flooding.

JP and I didn't have electricity for 10 days. He lost a week of work. When he finally did go back to work, because of the traffic signals being down, his commute time doubled. We lost several trees. There was an eight-foot-high, 14-foot-long pile of debris we picked up in our yard.

My wildflower garden was flattened. It looked as though a giant came and stomped it with his boot. I started from scratch with a bare dirt floor and a few stripped shrubs. I made the garden even better than it had ever been.

In the midst of this crazy aftermath, two months later, Fly was conceived. With my garden fresh and budding, and my boy growing inside me, I was inspired to start Growing A Life.

Good things can come out of hurricanes.

But of course, we hope Fay won't be a big deal.

Anything you want to know about my experience with hurricanes or the storms in general? Ask, and I'll try to answer!

- - - - -

Lissete, I was here for Hurricane Andrew in 1992. That wasn't just a disaster -- that was a war zone! I couldn't possibly write a short response to Andrew. That's a whole 'nother post!

MMTAM, since Wilma, JP and have replaced some of our windows with hurricane-impact windows. We also have shutters for our windows and doors. We have enough bottled water and food for several days. Also after Wilma, we had the local power company install a unit of some kind that allows us to hook up a generator to it and power the whole house. It won't run everything, but it will keep the refrigerator running, let us have some lights, and let us cook a bit. That's a huge improvement. We also put gas in our vehicles and have extra gas in cans (for the generator and for the cars) -- after Wilma, some gas stations installed generators too, but it's still a good idea. Those are the main preparations. Of course, if the storm spawns a tornado that wipes out our house, those things won't matter!

Kristi, as you know, Punta Gorda is on the southwestern coast of Florida. I've been there, and I remember it was hit bad by Hurricane Charley in 2004. In fact, I heard Fay is following a track similar to the one Charley took. The track of the eye of the storm takes it through that area, as I found online, "The state's southwestern coast is predicted to suffer the brunt of the storm and was put under a hurricane warning at 11 a.m." No matter where the eye goes, however, it looks like all of southern Florida is going to get lots of wind and rain.

Groovyoldlady, I remember Hurricane David too! It missed us.



Blogger Lissete said...

Hurricanes are the devil! Were you here for Andrew? Actually, I think it didn't go that much North anyway. Now that was scary!

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - cool yet scary at the same time. Why do you think you're prepared? What all have you done? We're landlocked here but I still feel like I should be more prepared for any disaster, particularly when I'm done nursing and can no longer keep my entire family alive just by being a powerful woman!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Yikes! Please stay safe. You seem really calm and collected about it. My MIL lives in Punta Gorda. Do you know if they're supposed to be affected by it too?

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be safe ... but I do believe that beauty follows every storm!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hope it's just more of a bark than a bite...

12:34 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

Good luck and try to keep safe!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Madeline said...

Hurricanes scare me! I still remember how scary Katrina was, and it had died down a bit before getting to us. Y'all be careful. I hope there's no garden smooshing this time. It looks so pretty now.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

Yipes. Be careful and I hope that you weather this storm well.

1:58 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

love your back yard!!

go hunker down and stay safe :)

3:07 PM  
Blogger Maternal Mirth said...

My storm experience is limited to my youth in the Midwest. I grew up in "Tornado Alley" and while I had many brushes with 'nados ... nothing too scary.

Praying for you:)

3:20 PM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

We toughed it out through David waaaaaay back in th 80's. My folks had just bought a new house in Daytona. I remember driving there with everyone all tense and somber so we could tape all the windows on the new house before we raced back to Orlando (as IF you could race on I-4!!) to wait out the storm.

Other than a few trees down and a few trailers roughed up, all was well.

Hope it's as uneventful for you!

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4:41 PM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

Ah...and when my Amazon modules are up - they're down right now because I was ticked at Amazon - I was making about $12 a month. One month I made $30. That's not bad for just floating along and not working!

4:43 PM  
Blogger Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

Yikes! Be safe!!!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've been following you and Jen on Twitter about this. Ditto on being safe!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've had some gusty winds and one 5 minute batch of rain. I hope you have been as lucky where you are!


1:23 PM  
Blogger Munchkins and Music said...

I have never experienced one of those, but they sound so scary! Be safe!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Scary stuff, I've never experienced severe weather before. Glad you guys had a bit more luck this time around.

7:08 PM  
Blogger ames said...

Glad to hear it was not a disaster :)

1:05 PM  
Blogger ohAmanda said...

I love the story behind "Growing a Life".

I went to Miami on a missions trip after Andrew. I couldn't believe how it still looked like a warzone (I think that was about 93?). I just remember entire shopping centers looked like matchsticks.

So glad you were safe during Fay!

6:20 PM  

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