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Living in the Moment #HurricaneHermine

As some of you may already know, my husband and I and our three cats survived Hurricane Hermine practically unscathed.  Other than the expected power outage, we had only this heart-stopper:


A rather tall pine twisted and fell between our driveway and our neighbor’s driveway, missing our cars.  As it turns out, even our fence, which helped break the tree’s fall, had minimal damage.  Interestingly, an arborist my husband had recently consulted over some other trees that we want removed, predicted that this particular pine would fall exactly in the way it did.  And the same arborist was able to arrange for a crew to come the next day and take down this pine, although we have to wait for the city to pick up the remains.  Click on the following link below for a time-lapse of the tree removal.  It took about 17 minutes, or …

$100 a minute

Still, I’m feeling pretty lucky.  We ventured out for a bit on Saturday, to get some ice since by then we had been out of power for almost 36 hours.  It still makes my stomach lurch to think of the homes we saw, where trees had fallen, caving in their roofs or crushing their cars.  And I know that as I write this post, in the wee hours of Monday morning, a lot of people still don’t have power.

So I’m very grateful.  In particular, I’m grateful for my husband, for the common-sense survival skills he developed growing up in South Florida when hurricanes were all too common, and for the awesome cooking skills he developed during his two years in the Peace Corps.  He can whip up a mean three egg and brie omelet on a little two-burner propane stove.  I know that without him I would have been a basket case.

I have one confession:  being off the grid was actually nice while it lasted.  We read until dark and then sat in the dark, talking.  And the dark was wonderful … except for the neighbor’s generator, there was a peacefulness to the darkness.  For 36 hours we were untethered.  When I had service, I used my cell phone only to call my mom.  I started to remember how I used to entertain myself before the internet, before Facebook, before blogging.  Somehow I used to keep myself pretty busy back then, knitting, sewing, and writing stories that no one would read.

But I missed all of you.  I missed reading your stories, your adventures, your gripes du jour.  I missed your humor and your thoughtfulness, your poetry. I missed the joy of your latest publications and the angst of your recent rejections.  I missed this community that I now realize I sometimes take for granted.

So I return to the grid, but with a keener appreciation for the wealth in my world:  my husband, my cats, my neighbors, my family, my friends–all those both on and off the grid.

I leave you with a sign of life returning to normal:

Wendy chillin' after the hurricane.

Wendy chillin’ after the hurricane.

Categories: Blogging

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

35 replies

  1. Glad you managed to stay safe. I remember Hurricane Charley all too well. 9 days without power where I was working at the time. My apartment was fine, cause it was on the Emergency Center’s power grid…but work was horrid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan. Ah, Charley was horrific. Those were particularly bad years for many Floridians with Charley, Frances, Wilma, and a few others. We still have a lot of people without power, but they had projected it could take up to a week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy to hear your power has been restored and all is well, Marie. We were down in Myrtle Beach when Hermine came through. It was rough, but interesting to see Mother Nature in action. Enjoy the holiday! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jill. Gee, did you purposely go to Myrtle Beach to get up close and personal with Hermine?? Just kidding. Although we had warning, it was still a surprise that Hermine made a direct hit on St. Marks, a small coastal town only 30 miles from us. I’m really hoping Hermine is my last hurricane 😉


        1. I do kind of like storms. Florida has been interesting that way … I’ve never experienced the kind of thunderstorms in NY or CA that I’ve experienced here. But I am hoping no more hurricanes 🙂


    1. Thanks, Charles. Yeah, it was surreal, but what a relief when I saw the tree hadn’t caused any damage. Even our fence, which it fell on, was only minimally damaged. Driving around today I saw so much debris and so much work yet to be done. Still, Hermine doesn’t compare with Sandy, though.


      1. Nope. The storm missed us beyond a few drizzles and high winds. The day before we were being told it could be like Irene. Not as bad as Sandy, but still a rough one. Some people are now doing the false alarm mockery thing, but I’d rather be prepared for something that doesn’t happen than unprepared for something that does. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad everything is OK! And yes, I hear ya on the days before the internet. I recently spent a couple of days in the countryside and couldn’t even be bothered with my phone. It was so nice just to sit on the balcony, watching the sunset, listening to the sheep bells – with a glass of wine, obviously 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kevin. Indeed, when I don’t have all my gadgets to distract me, I actually get some thinking done. Now if I can just hold on to the real priorities and let go of the knee-jerk stuff 😉


  4. Good grief, Marie! Sorry you had that tree fall in your driveway. I remember contacting an arborist and he told me about the same thing about this pine tree we were worried about. He knew which way the wind blows. And which way the wind blows in a hurricane.(opposite way) It was fascinating. Yes we are all overloaded with the internet ruling our lives. In a way it is a shame.But then again, I wouldn’t be in touch with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you so much, Hollis. That is funny about the arborist. And when we told our neighbors what he said about the tree, then everyone wanted to hire him! Being off the grid, even for a short time, is a good way to reconsider what I let rule my life. And it is important to me that because of the internet I have found friends like you 🙂


  5. Marie, I’m so relieved that you got through the hurricane with so little problem (except for the $100/minute–what?!!!!!!!!!!). So sorry for others though. And I can’t help but wondering what your kitties thought about the whole off the grid thing!!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Luanne. The kitties were a little hyper-sensitive for a day or two (they don’t like thumping noises on our roof) but they settled back into their routine pretty quickly (sleep, beg for food, eat, use litter box, repeat every hour). Yeah, my husband calculated taking down the tree at $100/minute because we were quoted an estimate of $1700 and it took them 17 minutes to bring it down. But it was a crew of at least 7 men, a crane and a bucket, and a chainsaw for each man. It was amazing how fast they worked and how fast they moved on to the next job. What’s really painful is we had already scheduled the arborist for mid-September to remove a couple of trees (not the one that fall, though) and we might have to ask them to take another one or two down. Still, we haven’t had any tree work done in 15 years so … we are overdue 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you made it through Marie, with only a little pain in the wallet. It’s great that your husband was prepared to deal with this sort of event. Preparedness is more than half the battle! Hopefully you won’t be through such a thing again anytime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Phillip! So kind of you to come by. Yup, it really helps to be with someone who has “done that, been there” and is very resourceful. I hope we won’t go through this again, but Florida as a whole is way overdue for some hurricane action. We might just be getting started 😉


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