It’s surreal going through something you’ve so often seen on the news, I’ve lived in Florida now going on 8 years and we often have the watches for the hurricanes but they’ve always swung away.
Not this time, no matter how much we spoke to the Weather Gods, prayed or told the weather man on the tv that he has it wrong and to go check his facts (ok maybe that was just me but still!) they kept saying a storm called Irma was going to hit us, and not just one part but all of Florida. Surreal. The anticipation threw everyone into a tail spin, panic set in and things got a little crazy a bit like expecting your mother in law to visit… Maybe yours is nice, ok perhaps Cinderella’s stepmother? Cruella D’Ville? ok you get the point.
It started and what we have seen on TV in the past became reality.
Hearing first hand the wind that sounds like freight train, you hear people describe it like that. I can now tell you they aren’t lying. The wind whistles too.
Feeling the walls shake and sound like a hungry stomach, again it doesn’t matter if its brick, wood or Mobile home. They shake. The creeks and groans have you walking around wondering if everything is staying attached at the seams.
Watching the trees and palm trees thrash about like bad 90s rave dancers high on LSD. I’m not joking, perhaps you are too young to remember the 90s or perhaps know what Rave is… wild dancing to really fast music. The trees were just not wearing any funkadelic clothes. I’m not surprised that so many trees fell, snapped in half or lost limbs the way they were moving about.
Sitting, waiting, not knowing whether to go to sleep and wake up with no roof or stay awake rechecking everything constantly. Waking up in the morning after eventually passing out and stepping outside to see trees down, the consistent sound of sirens and car alarms, people inspecting homes for damage. Roads deserted. Surreal.
We didn’t get it nearly as bad as so many in our little city, we weren’t nearly as badly hit as South Florida, Naples or the Islands. I experienced only a small glimpse of what they went through and it is without words.
The biggest most profound reality though is that of the people.
As I walked down the road near my house pulling branches to the side people waved, smiled, asked how we fared. Strangers caring, we all went through something, we all have something connecting us. It’s not “they’re repbulication” or “they’re democrat”, not poor vs rich, black vs white, I wasn’t that foreigner, they weren’t American.
We were and are all just humans with a shared experience.
A huge thank you goes out to all those that stepped up and worked tirelessly to get us all back to normal with power, internet and a semblance of normality. Especially all those who travelled from out of state AND Canada. It was surreal and a serious goosebumps moment seeing the Electric trucks flying Canadian flags drive through our streets. You drove thousands of miles to help us, we are forever grateful to all of you, those close and from afar. Thank you!