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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Hurricanes


I woke up this morning to the usual grey skies. When a hurricane is on top of you, the skies turn a rich forest green. Otherwise, you're left with grey. We're still dealing with the outer bands, so the winds are warm and whip everything about, and there are spurts of rain that come and go. I have lived through many hurricanes during my life. Although I know there is always danger, I love this.

I love sitting in a cool, dark house with the candles lit, watching the storm outside. I love the mystique, and the power, and the unknowing. I love watching the winds racing through the trees, laying the fronds back like a blowdrier lays back hair. I love the cadence of the rain on the pavement outside.

At night, it becomes more haunting. You hear the gusts of wind and rain but see little outside of your porch lights. Last night in the middle of the night we were woken to a 'whistler'. It's a sudden, fast spurt of wind that causes a whistling sound similar to a whistle that a human would make. It was loud and shrieking, and then just died away.

A month ago, during another fierce storm, we heard an earthshaking thump which often means the neighborhood generator just blew. We woke up, saw the alarm clock was still on, and figured it was something else. We went back to sleep. In the morning, we saw that one of the trees in back (which is over 2 stories tall) had split in half and had miraculously missed everything of importance in the backyard, including the expensive Weber outdoor grill...*whew*.

When I was a child, I remember many of these storms. We always had candles on hand. The electricity was rarely out more than a day or two. Now that our area has grown, we have to wait days or weeks to get our power back. We also had a house which was halfway up a slight hill. One year I was shaken awake by my parents in the middle of the night. There was flooding, and the water was coming in through the backdoor and finding it's way downhill and through our front door. We spent all night bailing out the living room by candlelight. But it was an adventure, and as a child I found it exciting.

Hurricanes and some of these strong, unnamed storms, are like a box of Cracker Jacks. You never know what's inside.

c. 2005

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Saur, I sent your column in ("Must a Journalist Reveal Her Sources?") to the St. Pete Times and here's one of their editorials today:
Their Editorial

AP3 said...

I hope you stay safe!

I think I would probably come to like it too. I do love thunderstorms.... the louder the better! There's something transcendent about it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Aral,

Thank you! You are right, there IS something transcendent about them.

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,

I apologize in advance for addressing the anonymous post.

Anonymous,

Howard has been coming up with boring stories 3 days a week for many years. I sense he could do it 7 days a week if the money was right. If you’re implying that Howard is running out of his own boring ideas and is having to turn to Saur. I say ludicrous.

Hurricanes are scary but I must admit I love hunting for shells and other neat stuff after they have blown through. Please remember if a power line is on the ground sparking DO NOT attempt to move it wearing rubber gloves.

Tabasamu said...

Great writing, as always, Saur. I feel the excitement that you get. I happen to love these storms, too...

SmileDragon said...

I've never been through a storm like that before. I love electrical storms though, they are so beautiful. Funny that I am so afraid of going outside with lightning, but I will sit in my garage and watch all night.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Anonymous, Thanks for the plug! ;o)

Mr. Gator, good advice.

TC, Thanks!

Smilesalot, funny, isn't it...how easy it is to feel safe when we really aren't. I understand exactly what you mean.

Fred said...

Excellent timing. I was an unfortunate victim of a guy named Andrew; I'll post that on Tuesday.

Like you, I thought they were pretty cool when I was a kid. It usually meant no school!

Anonymous said...

Saurkraut,
I, too, love this time of year. I can't remember which storm it was last year, Charley, Jeanne or Ivan, but as the storm went past us (not directly over us), I loved watching the winds blow one way and then switch the other way. I love going to the grocery store and watching people. Some of the stuff they buy is very interesting. Every year when the first storm looks like it's going to effect the Pinellas area my family starts a big puzzle. It really helps calm the nerves of those who don't care for the storms.

The worst part of the storms for me is watching some of the weatherpeople and their theatrics. Oh, and also I've gotten to dislike the phrase 'hunker down'.

Looks like there might be another one on it's way, possibly Emily.

midwest_hick said...

What a blessing...that the grill made it through unscathed...Nothing ruins a barbeque like a damaged grill....lol. (Nice post)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Fred, I know what you mean. I was without power for a couple weeks last summer. For those of you who aren't in Florida, let me tell you that it's like spending endless time in a sauna. And if you thought your carpets and your dogs were clean, your nose tells you something different.

Cooking takes place over the BBQ grill or a large candle. Canned foods become your main staple. Hamburgers and fried chicken are the luxuries you hunt down when you can't stand it any more.

Anonymous, You know, I was just commenting on how this hurricane must have been such a great disappointment to our local news crews. No one had the chance to go to the beach and stand there, fighting the wind and the rain, to tell us that the hurricane was coming. They love doing that! The dialogue is always like this:

Sue: Well, Fred, it sure looks gusty out there. Time to hunker down*!

Fred: Yes, Sue, it certainly is. I've just seen 3 dogs and a lamppost blow by. Oh! There goes a mail truck. I tell you, it's dangerous out here. Good thing that almost everyone has evacuated by now...

(Which always begs the question: Well then what are YOU doing there??? It's not like you can get an interview with the Hurricane or anything...)

*hunker down - worn out catch phrase that worn out reporters and TV anchors use.

Belletempest said...

I have family on the panhandle. My brother called me yesterday from his garage as he was watching Dennis approach. His discription of the storm was as fascinating as yours.
A very humbling expierence.

Kathleen said...

I don't know about the rest of you from the Tampa Bay area, but I felt the news coverage last year bordered torture. The Red Cross should have investigated them for crimes against humanity. Good grief, Guantanamo would have been a cake walk compared to that. Days on end of relentless hurricane coverage. The shark kept circling for days. Eventually, many were saying just attack already, I'm ready to meet my maker.

This was the local stations opportunity to put their talents face on air. Woohoo, did they ever. For those who did not have the option of cable, they were treated to 24/7 of the same people saying the same thing over and over again! Yes, we were informed again and again, and again . . . you get the picture. For God's sake, my dog was reciting the news! If one of the stations had the intellegence to go to normal broadcasting and only break in every 15 or 30 minutes to cover hurricane info, they could have walked away with an huge increase in market share.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Kathleen, *LOL* You are absolutely correct. By the way, I really enjoy your contributions to this blog. I am very glad you've chosen to remain in here.

Belletempest, beautiful handle, btw. Yes, it is awe-inspiring. What's amazing are the photos afterwards; the peeled back mobile home siding, twisted carports, monster trees that are felled as easily as a baby throws Lincoln Logs...

Saur♥Kraut said...

Midwest Hick! I am so sorry I didn't notice your post before. Welcome! Thanks for dropping in.