The Hurricane Experience

Irma was a big storm. She skulked around in the mid-Atlantic while Harvey had his day. And just as folks were wondering what the next hurricane would be named, there she was. A Category 4 growing to a 5. That’s one might wide storm, one which could straddle Cuba or Florida. So we watched as it turned Carribean islands into mincemeat. The predictions swung back and forth, passing through St. Pete one day, which would subject our home to a 20-foot storm wave, and next day, tearing up Miami.

Cooee, it’s only me, Irma.

Hurricane Irma by Antti Lipponen

Hurricane Irma by Antti Lipponen

Come Thursday evening, our domestic idyll, being in a Category A, was under a mandatory evacuation order. Time to leave. Filled the car up with gas, wifie, Monty the Dog, and after a drop of indecision, Susie, the daughter. We left at 2 am Friday morning. Around 4 and Ocala, we joined the rest of Florida. They were queuing up at the few gas station still open for business or scarfing down comfort food outside Mickie D’s. Google Maps directed us off-freeway, and down progressively narrower and narrower roads. The GM we christened Brenda after Private Eye’s name for her Majesty Elizabeth Queen of Great Britain, second of that name. Her pronouncements on our route had a certain logic, so we followed them until finally balking at an un-metalled road, and making her reroute.

I drove until a very creditable 6 am when Susie took over. Then it was my turn to curl up on the back seat with the puppy. I woke to sunshine and progress. For we had passed Jacksonville and were in Georgia. We had replenished the gas, which had apparently include a humorous episode when Wifie experimented with the various holes on your modern gas pump in order to find out which ones accepted a credit card.

Dog wrangling

Follow Hurricane Irma Forecast by Cayobo

Follow Hurricane Irma Forecast by Cayobo

Now that I was awake, it was time to replenish the people and drain the dog. We pulled into a Georgian gas station to check the facilities and buy coffee. While we bought coffee and lazed in the car, a small dog trotted past. Ami, one of Wifie’s Facebook friend and an animal warrior, had recently posted pictures of dogs tied to a post and left to the tender mercies of Irma. Maybe this was another freed by some callous slob, and need of rescue. So our heroïne set out on a quest to capture the beast. He ran around the station several times. He eluded several stalwart fellows who join in. Eventually, he trotted off down a dirt track, only to reappear at the far end. I foolishly followed in the car. He stopped. The car stopped. I got out. Armed with Susie’s quiche. I walked a few yards down the tree-lined lane, sat down and offered the doggie chunks of eggy goodness. He enthusiastically gobbled them down, but, alas, he did not come quite close enough for me to safely grab his scruff. Once out of quiche, it was time to go.


As we rolled back down the trail, a patch of mud which we had rolled over forwards became a sticky pit of woe, trapping the back wheels. The ladies exited the car, and excitedly pronounced that the car situation would require AAA intervention. Tragedy was avoided when I drove the car forwards and out of dat ‘ole. My reward was a rousing round of applause.  This was the last mishap before making safe harbor at Hilton Head.

Outlander …


Do you care for a wee barny?

We stayed for four relatively event-free days. Several nights were devoted to Outlander binges. I like the series: once the inciting event, a  journey through stone and time, has happened, everything else – the castles, the vulnerability of women and sexually-tinged bigotry against them, the studied ignorance which passed for knowledge and the horrid costs endured by less fortunate – is plausible and well done. Caitriona Balfe does a wonderful job as her character Claire Frazer battles with her ludicrous situation and finds through it all, Jamie.

… and Lost

On the first morning of the hurricane party, I set off with the puppy to explore the neighborhood. The other dogs of the house with their walkers whizzed by, and puppy and I continued to explore and explore. I had taken the precaution of taking the power of the GM with me but had neglected to mark our home. As I retraced my steps, rescue arrived in the form of a black Lexus.

After a downpour or two, Irma thankfully ran herself out and it was time to set off back home. GM came through again with flying colors. We passed a couple of honey-colored horses enjoying their field, rolling in a new pond, and cantering its bounds. In a small deciduous wood, perhaps a hundred white heron stood waiting while sheltering from the storm. We found our home as we had left it. Irma’s ire had left it untouched.


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