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.
I CANNOT FATHOM.
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.