Take Me Somewhere Else
The strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Irma, was at a category 5 before she found her way into Florida. Irma was originally forecasted to hit the east coast of Florida. It turns out she wanted to visit the west coast instead. That’s where Tim and I reside.
We felt Irma’s strength which had been lowered to a category 3 prior to reaching us. Our world got dark at 8:05pm Sunday, September 10. That’s when the electricity went out. The storm didn’t even reach us until 2am, six hours later. But she let her presence be known when she arrived. The wind is always scary to listen to in the complete silence and darkness. The windows rattled, the doors sounded like someone wanted to get in. The rain was coming at us sideways. The perfect way to KNOW the rain was coming at us sideways wasn’t just because we could hear the darts of water hitting the doors and the windows, but because the doorknobs were leaking water. There is no caulking around the doorknobs and this was evident as I had to put a towel at the bottom of the front and back doors because a serious puddle was forming.
Our front door is in a hallway. We could hear the wind whistling as it rushed through this narrow passageway. Yet rain STILL hit our front door. The whistling coming in through the windows was louder than even I can whistle.
Through it all, my dogs (Styx and Stone) slept. They had barked at first because they thought someone was coming in through the doors. But then stopped guarding the apartment once we let them know no one was trying to get in. I had heard horror stories about how horrible dogs were in storms, and how “doggy prozac” had to be used. Or crates. Not with my dogs. I honestly have the best dogs. The storm was at its peak at 2am. Guess who had to go take a piss at 1:45? Styx, my female dog. She went outside and pissed, then went to her lizard-chasing spot to try to find lizards. I had to beg her to get back in the house. We did this game again at 9am in the morning as the storm was finally dying down. She didn’t care that it was still raining or that we had standing water on the back porch. She went right out in it, pissed, then tried to find lizards. She loves the “drying off the wolf” part where I take her big towel and dry her off. So she doesn’t mind the rain at all. I truly lucked out with this dog.
Tim did exceptionally well, as well. Four days of no electricity, I thought I was going to be committing a murder. He’s technologically driven. Everything he’s interested in has to do with a screen or a keyboard or a remote. Four days of nothingness but Florida heat, I seriously thought we were going to fight. I’m happy to say we didn’t. I taught him a card game my Grandmother taught me. I gave him “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” book from my library to read since we LOVE the movie. I’m delighted to say that TIM READ A BOOK! Okay, he only read the first four pages before he decided reading really wasn’t his thing. But he read those four pages! He wanted hot food to eat. Something heavily laden with meat. I had to explain that wasn’t going to happen. However, I did grab a flower pot, lined it with foil, grabbed some wood chips from the complex’s garden, retrieved the rack I use to cool off cookies and wrapped chicken in aluminum foil. That’s how I cooked him (and the dogs) chicken back on Monday on the back porch. He fast learned that what I normally eat isn’t so bad. I don’t eat meat. But I will eat yogurt, tomato sandwiches, Frosted Mini Wheats directly out of the box, Triscuits, stuff like that. I do eat rices, vegetables, and other stuff. But mostly things I can just grab and eat until the big meal of the day comes around. He learned that what I eat isn’t so bad after all and was eating it because he HAD to. Or he was going to starve.
The heat of the day was miserable! It takes a lot out of a person to have to endure the heat without any sort of relief. We used the car’s air conditioner as blasts of relief. We dreaded taking cold showers, but we did it because the salt water on our skin and in our hair was sticky. It turns out that a cold shower was wonderful! The night time without power was horrible, but tolerable. The temperature went down to 74 degrees. We spent a lot of time outside. The stars were popping! Because there were no lights impeding their visibility. We had great views of stars we didn’t even know were above our heads on a nightly basis.
We were truly living like cavemen at this point.
What I learned through this hurricane:
Our sincerest thanks to Tina and Q (our neighbors) who were with us in the dark, the heat, and even walked to us in the peak of the storm to make sure we were okay. He could barely stand in the hallway with the wind whipping through. Tina fed Tim pizza she stood in line for three hours to get in Wesley Chapel back on Monday (because the rich people in the newer community had power). He made love to that pizza. She also let Tim use her power charger to charge his phone so we could listen to the radio.
Also, our thanks to Stella who charged Tim’s phone in her car yesterday. She didn’t have to do that, but she insisted. That got us through until this afternoon when the lights finally came back on and we didn’t have to listen to the shitty Taylor Swift song for the 84th time in the same day.
And thank you to the many friends who checked in on us. And Tim’s family who were worried about his condition and the heat. That was really sweet. Tim has a great family. My family…we’ll just leave that right where it is.
I’m going to calm down a bit before I blog about the electricity mess. So look for that in the next few days.