Trading a Labor Day Cookout for a Hurricane Party

Everyday Adventures

On Monday night I told Todd that part of me wanted to throw an impromptu Labor Day cookout but the other part of me was all “what are you thinking?!” So I asked him which side of me he agreed with, more, and it was the latter. Probably for the best, even if I wanted to keep things low key I’m, well, me and I would end up exhausted afterwards, so yeah.

But now, with Hermine brewing away in the gulf, the weekend might be spent drying out from the rain.

While I am, like most of the locals I know, completely unphased by a tropical storm off our coast, working where I do means that even these smaller disturbances have to be taken very seriously. Contingency plans in case an evacuation is required, preparation for sheltering in place, and notifying the required agencies and so on and so forth. It’s yet another eye opener courtesy of my new employer.

Back when I was 9, Hurricane Kate hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 2 storm and was the last one to have any significant impact on Tallahassee. We rode out the storm in our trailer, and I was sure I would never be able to sleep that night while Mom was seemingly cool as a cucumber. I remember thinking that it felt like God was just tossing God-sized barrels of water against the different sides of our home before finally falling asleep, and that Mom stayed awake all night. My brothers would have both been under 2 years old, so I don’t think they remember it at all.

The next day, when the eye passed over us, I remember the quiet, but that was, perhaps, the last thing I really registered. We were only without power a couple of days since we lived just off the main east-west street through town, and had a gas stove so we could still cook for ourselves and all. School, however, was closed for a week and we had to make up the time at the end of the school year.

In the back of our neighborhood a small tornado had come through and taken down several trees, though I don’t remember if any homes were damaged.

Since then, the worst we’ve had were soaking rains that caused trees to fall, a few microbursts here and there, and otherwise bad storms, but nothing to really worry about. Schools and some businesses may close, but someone joked today that, well, the schools are closed, that means tomorrow’s going to be a beautiful day. It’s happened more than once.

Such is the atmosphere and attitude that breeds the Hurricane Party mentality. That and a c’est la vie take on life in this part of the country where the storms give you 3 days notice and seldom live up to the hype. Of course, with every storm there’s always a possibility of loss of life or property. So be safe, be smart, and, if you do have the day off because of the weather, stay safe and keep a weather eye out.

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