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Monday, October 31

Was it Only a Week Ago?

Last Monday (was it only a week ago?) Hurricane Wilma blew in and out of Florida. She was one of those guests who comes in, makes her presence known and then takes off. She made a hell of an impression on many lives here. After last year’s one-two punch from Frances and Jeanne, my area of the state didn’t have much left to give Wilma. We offered up what few trees we had left and she scooped them up. Farther south where last year’s hurricanes were gentler, Wilma kicked some home-owning ass.

For everyone in the US this is the fall season. This is the time the leaves change colors and eventually flutter into brown heaps on the ground. South Florida has few deciduous trees and therefore we don’t see the seasonal changes others do. This year it is different, out leaves fell to the ground with the trees still attached.

Our electric was out from noon last Monday until about 7:30 Wednesday night. I am not complaining. My neighbor across the street still has no power. Our local electric company has set a date of Nov 6 or 9 to have all the power restored to this area. Thank goodness our weather since Wilma has been seasonally cool with low humidity.

We, here in this sweet house, are back to normal. Okay, our brand new, as of earlier this year, privacy fence is leaning at a funky angle but that will be corrected by the fence company in days to come. It’s still providing enough privacy to keep the neighbors from peering in and seeing us running around half dressed.

The most aggravating thing after Wilma exited was our DSL, which was out until last Friday. No internet availability is frustrating when all hell is breaking loose in the news.

I did hear and see some things on the news that I felt were way overboard. Wilma hadn’t been gone 24 hours and already people were raising hell because FEMA wasn’t here handing out food, water and ice. Give me a break, the ice in my freezer hadn’t even melted yet. We had bread, peanut butter and canned soups that we hadn’t even thought about having to eat yet. Who were these people who were raising hell and why hadn’t they prepared a bit? Remember we had about a week’s notice that the hurricane was coming, and ice and water aren’t out of the budget for the majority of folks here. You don’t have to be wealthy to be prepared with at least water and food. What were these hell raisers going to eat and drink on Tuesday if the hurricane hadn’t hit?

We saw long lines of cars waiting to pick up free ice at the local mall as we went to check on Mr. Pop’s lab on Wednesday. Lots of hefty new cars in that line. We still had ice in our freezer at that time, even though the power had been off since noon Monday.

See, we had our regular ice cubes in the freezer before the storm and we had added a bag of ice just in case. The bag of ice was still in good shape when the power came on Wednesday night. Okay, yes I did have to toss just about everything in the fridge and freezer out Thursday, but we had cooked several things on the grill as they thawed and been smart enough not to stuff the fridge or freezer with perishable foods the week before the storm. Preparing for a hurricane isn’t rocket science, it’s common sense. You may not be able to keep your roof from ripping off and you sure can’t stop a tree from deciding to take its last rest on top of your house, but you sure as hell can prepare ice and buy peanut butter and bread. Bottled water isn’t expensive and it keeps for quite some time. If you buy only a case a week at the beginning of hurricane season, within a few weeks you’re stocked up and you have nothing to worry about.

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be the gourmet breakfast of choice. I know this for a fact, as I experienced it twice last week.

Was it only last week? It sure was, but as I think back about it this morning it seems like much longer than that. It seems like we hopped on a giant boomerang and took a quick trip out of the ordinary and now we’re back. It was a hell of a ride.

Later today I’ll tell you what I think about what’s going on in the political news. Hell yes, I’m still pissed off!

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