Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricanes like Sue and Me

Don't remember what year it was, but Sue and I took a highly-anticipated vacation to our favorite spot in Destin Florida. A week on the beach would cure our ills. So we thought. The "crazy magnet" had other ideas.

We'd been watching the weather because we ALWAYS go to Destin in the off season, hurricane season in other words. There was a storm bearing down on our location. The day after our arrival, a Tropical Storm passed to our east and hit Panama City. That's cool. No big deal. However, Thursday, of that week, a category 1 followed the previous one and this time came directly over Destin. No evacuation or anything like that and it wasn't a big deal. The biggest problem was that the beach simply ceased to exist, it was now Gulf right up to the foot of the hill below the condo.

Set the time machine forward about 8 years, Sue and I go to San Antonio. Sue's a Texan, Dallas-born, but had never been to San Antonio to see the Alamo. So we coupled our trip with a business trip I was taking to shoot pizzeria photos. A little wind-storm known as Katrina had just finished demolishing the south. Hurricane Rita followed her into the Gulf and was bearing down on Texas on a straight path to San Antonio. Grrrrrr. We cut our vacation short and TRIED to get out of San Antonio. 12 hours later, we arrived in Florida at 2 am. We spent the night in Orlando and caught a plane home the next day.

Same time machine, just set it for this week. Hurricane Ike creamed Houston and promised to track northest into the Ohio Valley. Where we live.

Sunday was fun. But first, a geography lesson: Jeffersonville, Indiana is on the Ohio River in the southern tip of Indiana. A THOUSAND miles away from the Gulf and Houston. OK, now that we know where Jeffersonville is and have established that it is basically hurricane-proof, back to Sunday. About 10 am, the wind started. About 10 years ago, a friend and I got drunk, passed out in our tents and slept through two tornadoes that passed a mile north and south of our tents. I haven't seen wind like that since that day. We saw it Sunday. Our trees were at a 90 degree angle most of the day. Our trees aren't Divinely Designed to sway in the wind — they just break. And it went on until about 3:00 in the afternoon!

Today's Wednesday. We've been without power since about noon Sunday. The power company guys drove through our neighborhood last night and made the mistake of getting out of their truck. Three of my neighbors and I jumped on them like fleas on a warm dog. We weren't angry, just wanted to know if they had any idea of how long it would take to have our power restored. Friday or Saturday. Oh, crap.

Don't get me wrong, we're VERY grateful for what we have. We've had it much better than those in Houston. Certainly much better than those in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. But we're 1,000 friggin' miles away! What, we get the hurricane but don't get the beach?!

I owe my soul to that damn, pink, drum-banging rabbit and the Ice Man. Sounds like a horror film, huh? Being stalked by a deranged rabbit and a creepy, skinny, pale guy named The Ice Man. Actually, what I'm referring to is the Energizer Bunny (we've been buying about $8 worth of batteries per day) and anybody that happens to be selling ice on a given day (it's a game we play, Who Has the Ice Today?).

How the hell'd I write this post? I popped into the office today to charge my cell phone, check my mail, catch up a few loose ends and then get back home to open the windows and doors and of course, pay my taxes to the Putrid Pink Bunny and play "Who Has Ice Today?".

Oh, well. Just another crazy magnet episode. I suspect there will be more.