First things first.
One of my boys said, "Why do we give hurricanes names? Why not Hurricane 1, Hurricane 2...?" You should have heard me stumble trying to answer that one.
Out of the mouths of babes.
This was a huge, powerful, dangerous, hurricane.
At my inland house we had visitors. My sister in law, her husband, my niece, her fiancé, his son, my mother in law, and four, count them, four, extra dogs. Can you say circus? I think you can.
Welcome to hurricane life.
It actually was fun, warm, and loving. And the dogs got along just fine.
One thing I've learned is hurricanes bring people together.
I was at Publix at 7:30 in the morning and it was packed. On the way in I saw a woman coming out with a quart of milk and I said, "You give me hope! There's still milk!" She laughed and just before she got in her car, yelled, "They still have ice!"
Inside, politeness reigned.
You heard more 'no, after yous' than you could shake a stick at. You saw more smiles from people as their shopping carts were filling up. There was a 'we are all in this together' vibe.
Back at my house we all pitched in to move outdoor umbrellas, plants, tables, and anything else we could think of, into the garage, so the expected high winds wouldn't blow them around. I have to admit I enjoyed putting the pool chairs into the pool.
The news was on 24/7 and everyone, I mean everyone, kept reminding us how dangerous this storm was. How to expect things like the power going out and to evacuate when they said evacuate.
Not everyone did.
When I went to bed I turned on a fan. If it went off I knew the power had gone bye bye.
At two in the morning I was awakened by Lola's barking. She had to go out. Guess who got up to open the front door in the howling rain? I got back to my room and...
The fan was still running.
As I got out of bed early this morning I learned we'd been lucky. No flooding, no tree limb damage to the house and we never lost power.
Most of the day it was windy as all get out (in gusts) and the rain kept coming down. I smiled to myself and thought my wife's plants won't need watering for a while.
As Hurricane Matthew roared north, the house was about to be turned into two packed vehicles as the dogs and the families headed home.
During this whole ordeal I noticed something.
I noticed that we weren't black or white or gay or straight or even Democrats or Republicans. Just people. Scared people but just people. All with the same thing in mind, keeping our family safe and getting ready for the upcoming storm.
And hoping to be here for the next one.
Here's a prayer for the folks up north.
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