Do Trees Feel Pain?

I had that thought as I drove thru my development this evening.

So many trees were lost during Frances...big, beautiful green banyans that provided shade to humans and homes to wildlife...and were just gorgeous as can be to admire and appreciate.

The winds caused by Frances were absolutely terrifying and most of the damage occured from 11p to 2 am, during the darkest part of the night. I can't imagine watching all those stately trees ripped from the earth. It would have been horrific.

If the trees could have screamed, would we have heard them over the wind??


The Final Post of Hurricane Frances

(Wrote this post in bits and pieces from Sunday until right now, early Weds am...the names mentioned in this post are fictitious...or at least that's what I promised I'd say)

8:37 pm EDT

That’s when the power (electricity and landline phone) was restored. Cable access and cell access still down.

We have ELECTRICITY!! YES! Thanks FPL...you totally rock!

Don’t really know where to start or what to say.

This Hurricane Frances was not fun at all...not one bit.

We did manage to have fun, tho.

Quinn and Kevin and Jillian are the very best people you can ever hope to be cooped up with in a natural disaster. Very innovative, creative, and ever so slightly wacked. It also helped that we had plenty of ice, Coke, M&M’s and alcohol. Thank Goodness For ALCOHOL!

So far, we’ve killed off the Maker’s Mark, Johnny Walker Red (the really tall bottle), Jack Daniels, Capt Morgan, Skye Vodka, half way thru Ketel One, all the beer, most of the root beer, and we had just started on the Powerade and Ketel One.

We’ve played TONS of card games....Poker, Go Fish, President, Bullshit (which we renamed ‘W’). I also learned I cannot lie worth a damn, so playing Bullshit/W was not very fun for me.

The not lying part did come in handy when we played Truth or Dare. Learned some very interesting things about my roomies. Let’s just leave things at that. What happens at Kathy’s stays at Kathy’s...words to live by!

Like I mentioned earlier, the hurricane part in and of itself was not fun at all. It took forever to get here and with the power out , there was a lot of ‘is it here yet’? combined with edgyness and frustration. And once it got here...whoa.....it was a monster. Frances howled all night. It scared the crap out of me...Jillian too. I crashed on the couch, too scared to sleep in my room. Jillian did the same on the floor next to the couch.

Never have I ever (hmmm, that was another one of the games we played) seen or heard winds like this. It was unreal...more like surreal. And it didn’t let up....it just didn’t stop. I kept praying it would, but no, it took its sweet time to leave. As someone who fled CA after the Loma Prieta Earthquake to come to FL, the irony of being terrified in a hurricane had me making comparison’s thru-out the night. And the conclusion I reached? I am a wimp...and don’t like natural disasters. And as Kevin says, Vermont is looking better and better with each passing day.

Once the night passed and daylight finally arrived, we were out the door as soon as we woke. The temperature inside the house was in the mid-90’s all night and we were about to pass out.

Walking outside, I knew how Dorothy must have felt after the tornado. The 40+ foot tree that graced the greenbelt outside my house was uprooted...and the two taller trees off to the right side of the driveway were uprooted as well.

We took a walk half-way around my complex before being forced back inside by the rain...almost all the larger trees were destroyed. Incredibly surreal. It made us realize how lucky we’d been.

Passed the day doing what we’d been doing all along...drinking, playing cards, Kevin and Quinn playing the guitar, drinking some more, telling stories, discussing politics and sustainable, renewal energy resources and how all homes should have BBQ’s, especially when they encounter a hurricane. Yeah Quinn...I got the message. BBQ is now on my list of must-have’s for the next hurricane.

It was still pouring outside, but at least we were able to sit on the back patio, which was maybe 3 degrees cooler than the 96 degrees it was inside....you think I’m kidding?? Ask Jillian...I’m not!

Around 6 the need for warm food led Kevin to put 4 cans of soup on his engine block for several hours...and at 8:10 we had a very hot gourmet meal of soup in a plastic cup, with chocolate blackout cake and ice cold milk for dessert.

And right in the middle of Kevin’s impression of Bill Cosby feeding his kids chocolate cake for breakfast, the power came back on.

We screamed. Then cheered. Then screamed some more....USA USA USA...don’t ask me why...it was spontaneous. Kevin attempted to throw Quinn the in lake behind my house. Jillian and I blew out all the candles. And we heated food up in the microwave just because we could.

We were happy and it was over.

Baruch Ata Adonai...thank God!

Now, several days after the fact, I am still amazed by just how lucky we were. Many Floridians are still without power. Incredible damage to homes, boats, trees. Estimates for damages are between 8-13 billion.

This was huge.

Thanks Quinn, Kevin and Jillian for helping me get thru this. I hope when you look back on the summer of 2004, you will recall your initiation into the Hurricane Club with more happy memories than anything else.

Too bad we never took any pictures, huh???



Is it Saturday yet?

This has really been a day from hell.

Stupid-ass South Florida drivers who cannot grasp the concept of a simple 4-way stop....almost got killed twice on the way to work and three times at lunch. Hey assholes....no light = 4 way stop...one..at..a..time...it's really simple when you think about it.

Insane amount of clients called in today...some were asking how we were (thanks Jen and Tom for calling over the weekend!!) and some just irate that we had to close down Friday (sorry...hurricane was coming...something we have no control over) and then we had the AUDACITY to be closed on Monday...a holiday...go figure.

So rather than work overtime returning the 150+ calls I have to now return, I am just walking away from it all. It can wait cause I am outta here. And I have to stop at Publix on the way home. And we still have a curfew. And I am in a beyond horrible mood.

Not really complaining...we all have alot to be thankful for...I just want it to be Saturday in the worst way so I can get on a plane and fly home and see my family and friends and JUST FORGET about work and hurricanes and all things political for a solid 10 days.

Saturday can't come soon enough.

Thanks Jen, John and Steve (go LSU) for making my day :-)


Quick Update

It's over.

No structural damage, however lots of trees uprooted. No landline, sporadic cell, no cable internet.

Posting from work....it's weird being back. Some of my friends are still without power and quite a few weren't able to make it into work today. Palm Beach Co is still under curfew from 8pm-6am.

Bottomline...we're alive and incredibly lucky.

Will write more when I can post from home...not sure when that will be.

Thanks for all your calls and well-wishes.


Hurricane Update #5

This is scary.

Windier, noisier, lots more rain since the last post. It's basically gonna be this way for the next 12 hours at least. Landline still working....power still off.

We're all fine...have my radio going (battery-powered) so we have an idea of what's going on.

Best to check www.sun-sentinel.com for more up-to-date info...don't want to post anything here that isn't 100% accurate. Hearing reports of lots of damage nearby.

Will keep ya posted closer to 6-7 pm EDT tonite if I can.

:-)


Hurricane Update #3

Things are starting to look better.

Winds are slower...100 as opposed to 145..Frances is targeted to hit farther north of us...better for us, sad news for those now in her path.

We've had no measureable rain or wind since update #2.

Have spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, blogging, internetting, hanging out with Quinn, Kevin and Jillian with a J...not a G.

Am really tired...maybe getting to bed after 3am for the last 2 days has something to do with that...anyway, am calling it a nite.

Will fill ya in first thing Saturday am.

nnsd for now.


Hurricane Update #2

Dawned on me that you might be interested to see what I see...

So here are some links to the Sun Sentinel Traffic Cam....click on the Glades or Yamato Offramp Cam to see what the weather is like about 8 miles east of where I live. The cams have been up and down all day, so keep checking back if it is temporarily down.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/traffic/sfl-trafficmap-webcams.framedurl

As for the local online publications, check out the Sun-Sentinel :

http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Palm Beach Post :

http://palmbeachpost.com

Just had a really strong feeder band move thru...lasted about 20 minutes now it's fading...will be like this from now until Frances arrives.

She's been downgraded to a CAT 2 for now...definitely a good thing.

And one more resourceful tip to share...baking soda is GREAT for cleaning stubborn tub grime!


Hurricane Update #1

Figured it might be easier to update everyone this way as opposed to calling on my cell. As long as I have internet access, this might be the best way to go.

Quinn and Kevin finalized boarding up the library window last night. Since it looks out over the lake and would be ripe for flying objects, it seemed like the logical place to start. The only other area I'm overly concerned about is the front door...all glass with a glass side-panel. Well, we'll just have to punt on that one and hope for the best, since I'm not boarding up our main entrance.

After all their hard work we hit the pool last night...the sign on the gate said it was closed until Tuesday...what the hell, some rules were made to be broken and after K & Q spent most of the day in-line for me then sweated their butts off boarding up, if they wanted to go swimming, then they were going swimming.

Got some minor stuff done last night...had a hard time staying focused on what to do when all I wanted to do was watch for updates then not want to believe what the updates were saying.

Fell asleep on the couch watching updates...woke up at 3 watching updates to find out it was downgraded to a CAT 3. And tried to fall asleep thinking it would be gone in the morning when I woke up. Fat chance.

Woke up at 10 with a migraine...stress-related I know. Gillian from the STORK STAFF has joined us...her supporters partner had a problem with her staying there during the hurricane, so now we have a foursome for card games!

Feeder bands are starting to hit...sunny with lots of rain...weird weather here in FL, gotta say that. And to think I left CA cause of earthquakes. Too funny!

Time to get more stuff done. Taking breaks to post will probably help me keep my sanity. Plus it's a way to keep in touch with you guys! Lucky you, huh???

For those of you that know me well, you know that when I get stressed I get quiet and want to be in a quiet place...or I start to clean... or I just vege and surf the net....and right now I need to clean and get both upstairs bathrooms ready as our escape rooms.

The heavier feeder bands aren't due to hit for another couple of hours so I might even get out for a quick walk just to burn off some of the stress...hey, it's better than hitting the bottle, right? Besides, we're saving all the booze for later tonite!

TTYL.


Riding the Storm Out...

Perfect title for a post about Hurricane Frances, dontcha think??

And yeah, we WILL be riding it out. Not going anywhere...have nowhere to go other than here...and would be too worried if I left my house to go somewhere else.

So Quinn and Kevin and I will stay put and see what happens.

While I was at work today all my roomies chipped in to help.

Jacob sanitized the guest bath tub and cleaned the rest of the room. Quinn and Kevin stood in line at Home Depot for over 4 hours for plywood and tape and drill bits. The three of them have already earned their place in heaven.

I tried to stay focused at work but had to pack it in and call it quits around 2:30...just had too much to think about doing before the end of the day.

Will update as I can over the next 24 hours. The winds are increasing with each hour and it's not even close to us....that scares me.

Keep us in your thoughts and I'll keep ya posted.