Can’t Happy. Too Florida.

I live toward the tail-end of Tornado Alley. Tornadoes happen here. I’ve written about that. I don’t like tornadoes, but I’m used to them. I’ve never lived where tornadoes aren’t. I climb into closets in the interior of the house and I pray that if I go, it’s sudden.

In contrast, my mother grew up in Florida. My whole life she’s said tornadoes are worse than hurricanes, because you know when the hurricane’s comin and you can leave.

It’s better the devil you know, I suppose.

When we lived in Georgia, we had a hurricane. I don’t remember what year or what name. I know my husband was gone, because I remember hauling all the patio stuff into the shed myself, almost getting trapped in there behind the grill, and thinking that one should never have more on the patio than one can fit in the shed. The Army said the risk was ours, we could leave before X time on X day or prepare and stay. We prepared and stayed.
What I can tell you from this experience, my only experience with hurricanes, is that winds around 80 miles per hour can pick up wrought iron patio furniture from behind your neighbor’s chain-link fence, and hurl it at least 50 feet into someone else’s fence, and even through someone else’s window. Wind like that spun a boat on its trailer from its spot to the center of the lot. I don’t know what all happened, but the stuff you associate with storms did happen — trees down, exterior damage to homes, water damage.
We were, this was, all about an hour from the coast.

My parents are like, five minutes from the coast, way down in Florida.

My eldest daughter is in the panhandle, which is better, but still.


The horrors in my head are loud, the images clear. My anxiety is bad. It’s important to realize that this isn’t because I have anxiety disorder, this is a normal reaction for a human concerned about humans she loves.

This is maybe a bit worse since I only recently lost my father.
And maybe because both my grandmothers died in Florida.

I hate to be emotionally vulnerable here, on my blog, because I try to keep it light, to put a humorous spin on my anxiety and angst. Maybe once this is out there…

My parents will relocate to a safe space in a nearby location. A private, formidable, supposedly sturdy building. This is what they’ve always done and obviously, they were fiiiiine.
This should put my mind at ease? I should worry less? I should fall asleep easily?

I am not capable of nonchalance. Perhaps nonchalance is a requirement of Florida dwellers. Like love of sun and palm trees. I have none of that.

And the worst part? How will I know when they’ve made it through? I will have to wait. I am always nervous when I wait for the all clear, but the news usually says nice things like “No fatalities” or “Minor damages” before that call comes, and I don’t think Hurricane Irma will be like that. At all.

I could really go on. I could. I could rant up one side and down the other, but I don’t think it would help at all, because I’m starting to wane in energy.

Watch as I try to re-frame this shit and look for silver linings:


Not feelin it right now. I’ll keep trying.


Never have I hated Florida more.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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61 Responses to Can’t Happy. Too Florida.

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    You are so normal in this…and for once I wish I could say “it’s that nasty anxiety creepin’ on you, so once you remember it’s anxiety screwin’ with you, then it’ll all be okay.” And I also wish I could say, “it’ll all be okay, Joey” but I know you know that we all know that this is a big beast with its eye on Florida. Until after the shit hits the fan, Floridians can only do the best they can to be safe…and that includes evacuating early and safely.

    This is scary big…and a scary big deal. I hope and pray that your family stays safe and that the worst that happens is property damage. I have some extended family in-land, though I’m not sure in-land is going to be enough to spare them altogether.

    I’m grateful that we have these early warnings and I hope that everyone in the path follows whatever plan they have to stay safe well ahead of time. I hope that everyone there is helping each other prepare and helping each other hunker down in safe places. And then we all wait.

    I hope you do your best to find some rest now, because you know not sleeping is only going to make you feel worse as you wait. I will be sending good energy your way and keeping you and your family in my prayers.


    Liked by 3 people

  2. scr4pl80 says:

    Sending hugs and prayers. I really cannot imagine. We have earthquakes but except for the “big” one in 1989 have not had any close enough to us to do any real damage. That one knocked a few things off the walls but that is nothing compared to what I see in Texas and Florida. Hoping your family will be safe so you can relax.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellen Hawley says:

    Good wishes aren’t a hell of a lot of help, but there all I have to offer, so I’ll send them anyway. Hope everyone’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jad says:

    My thoughts are with Florida too, it is just awful, the waiting for something which could be catastrophic or it could end up being nothing. I live just outside of Houston so I know a little of what Florida is going through right now… I so hope it ends up being nothing, but like you and like many others I don’t think its going to be nothing this time round, I hope I am wrong!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Hope gets confusing in these situations, because it comes close to denial — given the projections. I am sad to know you’re among the multitudes in Houston. It must be devastating. I’m glad your thoughts are with those in Florida, and of course, with all those who are struggling. Thank you for your kind commentary.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ghostmmnc says:

    So many platitudes that could be said, but do nothing to really ease your mind. Just know I will be praying for the safety of your loved ones during this storm. ❤ (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Praying for the safety of your family and all Floridians. Big hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Benson says:

    All I can offer are good wishes but you have them. As well as prayers for you and your family. I’ve never been through a Hurricane so I can’t begin to imagine. I am sure I would be one of the first to head North with the slightest chance of a Hurricane, and I probably wouldn’t stop until I hit Tennessee.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laura says:

    I, my friend, will also hate Florida on your behalf. I have some relatives in the pan handle area myself but admittedly a good deal of my ill will toward Florida has to do with how often they screw us in election years. Regardless — dammit, tornados, leave Joey’s family alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. puppy1952 says:

    It’s awful being in that state of uncertainty and worry. Trusting that it will be over soon and you’ll get that ‘we’re okay” call

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a nightmare. Hope everyone comes through okay, but I’ve seen the reports. Best wishes for you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your feelings are very understandable to me. We all worry about our loved ones especially when they are living in an area experiencing a natural disaster. Hope you are able to get early communication from family.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I might have been picking up on your vibes this morning as we drove home from grocery shopping. I said, “I don’t think I could handle the sustained level of vigilance and worry involved living in Florida.” Now that I read your post, I realize that I could not sustain the level of vigilance and worry involved with family living in Florida.

    My husband, of course, figures we’d have nothing to worry about. We’d be living in a rock solid, immovable dwelling, loaded with precisely the cache of food stores and potable water we’d need and the power would be back on in, pfft, only a few days.

    I held my tongue.

    I’m glad you wrote about it and I hope it has helped, somewhat. I will join the chorus by offering you my prayers.


    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thanks so much. I do appreciate the prayers and the sympathy.
      Yes, I think immovable is the ideal. The trouble is that although I KNOW my parents are careful, thoughtful, experienced planners, no one knows how long it will go on. So yeah, sometimes it’s only a few days, but there’ve been some that power, and water, have been out longer. I strongly suspect this one will be of the longer sort.
      Hugs, Maggie. Many thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes…it is so hard to happy today! I’m worried about the “how will I know they are okay” as well. Right now my family is in line to be in the eye. Shelters are filling to capacity. This definitely goes beyond anxiety. I hope your family comes through unscathed. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers along with all those who’ve chosen to stay. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      And the same. I pray for them all as well. The faith required, for EVERYONE to make it through, pretty heavy stuff. So many struggles, so much help needed. *sigh* I have to tell you, i was so relieved when I read your post today. It comforted me to know you shared my feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan Antion says:

    We have friends and family in Florida, and I am thinking about all of them. I’m still thinking about the people I know in Texas. I’m thinking about people I know in Mumbai (which had worse rain than Houston but we never heard about it), in Mexico (earthquake) and near the fires burning in WA/OR and CA – sheesh, what the heck is happening on our planet?

    I’m not normally a worrier. I look for silver linings, I error on the side of optimism, but this is a hard time.

    I hope your family and friends are and remain safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      The world is a mess right now, that’s fersure. It is hard, hard to stay positive. I appreciate your optimism and certainly appreciate your fine comment. I hope your people get through, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The anticipation, the anxiety has been building for days…and I don’t have family there. Hugs to you, Joey. Nothing else to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Valid. The worry would exist if only for strangers, as it does with so many instances where people are struggling. That worry is real. When it’s ‘our people’ it’s magnified. Thank you for the hugs, and as ever, your insight.


  16. marianallen says:

    I’m not “liking” anything in the post, I’m “liking” you. Also: hugging. I have no words to calm your anxiety, because the only words that will do that are, “Hi! We’re fine!” I’m hoping everybody gets that call.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jewels says:

    Sending prayers for the safety of Joey’s loved ones… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. J-Dub says:

    It’s Irma I hate. Just like I hated that bastard Harvey. Prayers for you, your loved ones and everyone affected by these catastrophic events.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. loisajay says:

    Whereabouts in the Panhandle is your daughter, Joey? The uncertainty is what’s killin’ us. And now it is taking a more westerly turn? Who knows…

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      She’s right there with you, Lois. 😦 I’m so sorry you’re dealing with the uncertainty. I am a pretty good muddler, but I don’t think I’d hole-up through this one. Who knows is right. I suppose it could defy all the models and spin back out to sea. I’d like that. I’d count that as a miracle.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. JT Twissel says:

    I hope all your loved ones come through the storm unharmed. I have an uncle and cousins in Ft Meyers.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Myas says:

    For something like this, liking the post doesn’t imply zippedeedoodah by any means. I’m here. No, you won’t stop worrying, sleep easier, or any of it. I’m from New York, moved to the midwest not intentionally, just the way it happened (that’s another story), and experienced tornadoes here. Don’t like ’em, would take a hurricane any day, have lived through those. Then we were 50 miles from the city – it makes a difference though we still had considerable flooding, power down for up to 4 days was the longest, things like that. I’ve never been up close and personal a few miles from shore in a hurricane though.

    I’m a single mom, so my children and I experienced out first tornado together – indirectly. I worked nights at the hospital, this one hit as I was arriving for my shift around 6:30 pm, office people were getting themselves along the hallway assuming the position to kiss their asses goodbye, I ran to my unit and dove into drawing blinds, closing curtains and pulling patients in beds to the center of the room. Then we huddled in a back room off the nurse’s station. I didn’t know if lines were down so I reached to the phone on the shelf and dialed home breathing a prayer my son would be there to pick it up. It hadn’t rung yet as he’d picked it up to dial his mother, nope, friends for some reason to do with the storm. I spoke to him and found out the neighbors were there to take he and his sister next door with them. I hadn’t asked, they knew the kids were home, I worked and helping to protect them was the thing to do. We were lucky.

    Grown kids don’t make it any easier, adult family doesn’t take the weight off your shoulders – when 9/11 happened I got on the phone to my folks to make certain my sister wasn’t taking a flight somewhere … was anyone in the city…

    I have to contact people, I have to know…

    I don’t care if they live in a damn bunker… they’ve been blown up too …. and that’s my family or friends.

    I taught abroad for a while and lived in Istanbul for a couple of years but I was back here when the protests broke out. I have former students, friends, colleagues… I was very much in touch with trying to support their cause while sending messages to make certain everyone was ok.

    Believe me, I feel ya’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It does indeed sound like you’ve dealt with these feelings in spades.
      I love that your neighbors were kindly and took your kids in. I want to hear more of that in the news.
      It’s too hard to guess, too heavy to ponder the worst case scenarios.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It is comforting to know you feel me.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hugs and good wishes. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Joanne Sisco says:

    *Liking* this post is recognition of your anxiety and a desire for a happy outcome. Like you, my anxiety is on high-alert and yet unlike you, I don’t have loved ones in Irma’s path. Knowing how I feel, I can’t believe to imagine how much worse it is for you.

    I hope you get confirmation of the all-clear back from those you hold dear quickly after the storm passes. In the meantime, we will all be holding our breaths … waiting. Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  24. April says:

    Knowing how you feel doesn’t make it any less. My prayers are for you and your family. By the way, love the meme.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. JoAnna says:

    Of course you’re going be be scared and worried some. Especially with the memory of those losses. Living on the Carolina Coast for so many years, I’ve been through many hurricanes. I’m not nonchalant, but like your parents, I know what to do. Try not to watch too much news. They report the worst of the worst. I’ll be praying for your family. I bet they will be very safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Erika says:

    I hope they stay safe, Joey. The destruction this hurricane has caused in the Caribbean has been unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. pluviolover says:

    I hope your loved ones are all well after the storm. But dang…scary shit.
    Moved to Seattle area from FL panhandle (to there from San Antonio, TX) only learn the words earthquake and volcano (it seldom even thunders here).
    Had typhoons on Guam. I was on the team to evacuate airplanes to Okinawa (billeting officer). Would leave family (wife+3) behind to ride out the ‘phoon. Loved walking into billeting office on Kadena Air Base.
    Clerk: “Yes, sir. May I help you?” Me: “Yes, Airman. You may. I need 150 rooms for three nights, beginning tonight.” Clerk: Stares in silence wondering if I am joking or drunk. Calls supervisor. Me: Laughing, “I will be sitting over there when you recover.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I cannot imagine typhoons, so I think that’s brave. Scary for you and your family, I’m sure.
      It’s all scary shit, no matter where you live or what your natural disasters are. I’m just hoping and hoping… alternating prayer and worry. Good times. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Prayers and hugs, Jolene!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. reocochran says:

    I am sad, afraid, worried and trying to keep hope’s flame alive, Joey.
    I always worry about my kids, usual things like car accidents, thieves and mean people.i haven’t had anyone face a natural disaster.
    I wish your parents and daughter do well and the Irma (and next one) go through without much destruction in its wake. xo hugs and positive thoughts sent in many directions. 💞

    Liked by 1 person

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