Crap! That’s Pensacola Beach on theTV!

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It is never a good thing to wake up to the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore broadcasting from your home town. So first off, my darlings, pray for us. Not just that our home will make it through another storm when the damage from three weeks ago has not yet been fixed, but that DH and I don’t hurt each other.
See, everyone has different ways of dealing with Hurricane Season. I’m an “OMG, it’s coming. There’s a big red X on top of my house, and it is gonna hit right here” kind of girl. Let a storm form off the coast of Africa, and I am in Publix, laying in my store of bottled water, bleach, and white bread. (Why the white bread? Heck if I know. But ask any native Floridian – come a named storm, and the grocery shelves are bare of white bread.)
DH, on the other hand, is more into the “why panic before you have to?” school of hurricane preparation. When DD#1 was a baby, a named storm (Opal, I think) was moving in on us. DH was home, working on his dissertation for his PhD. All day, I called home to let him know the latest from NOAA — who was evacuating, what the latest forecast said. When emergency services told everyone to leave their offices early and go home to prepare, I was shocked to find no bottled water, no bleach, not more than half a loaf of bread on hand.
I asked why, and DH assured me that he’d been waiting for me to get home so we could assess the sitch. I’d assessed it — we were by God evacuating right then! So, over DH’s protests that it wasn’t really necessary, I packed up the baby and the wedding albums and we set off.
Only to discover that the evacuation routes were bumper to bumper. The cop at the foot of the I-10 entrance ramp said it was an estimated 2-hour wait from there til one actually got on the Interstate. So, we turned around, headed home, and hunkered down.
In the hallway, we built a nest out of mattresses and I slept in there with the baby all night, while the wind whipped and the rain cascaded down. In the wee hours of the morning, in total darkness because the power was out, there was a massive noise — and a pine tree came to visit in my bedroom.
I took pictures of the mattress nest and the wrecked bedroom. I figured one day they would be on the Weather Channel as a warning: “All that was ever found of this family was a camera with these heart-breaking photos…”
The next morning, DH came as close as he gets to apologizing. He’d been so caught up in writing that he hadn’t really paid attention to the storm — or to my frantic phone calls. He’d actually been a bit annoyed that I kept calling when he was trying to work!
I swore that from then on, I would be evacuating with my children, with or without their father. But, about ten years later, when Ivan blew through town, I had forgotten how awful Opal had been, and I let DH’s nonchalance convince me to stay. This time it was the den that got the pine tree addition, and it came about 3 feet from the skull of our niece as she slept on the floor of the den.
Never again. If it is a hurricane, I’m out of here. DH can brave the storm; me and my babies will be in a nice motel somewhere in North Georgia or the Carolinas.
As of Noon, Sunday, June 24, 2012, Debby is only a tropical storm. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Florida cracker, and I don’t run from a little rain and wind. But if this b!tch gets upgraded to a hurricane (even Cat 1), color me gone!

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