Yesterday was a hurricane day. Growing up in Florida, I’ve been through a lot of hurricane days, with yesterday being the most anti-climactic that I can remember. Thanks, Isaac, for a whole lotta nothin’. **Side note – I say that, but in reality, obviously, I am thankful for nothing when it comes to hurricanes. At least we have the chance to prepare for natural disasters, and I would much rather prepare and have nothing come of it than not be able to prepare at all. And, of course, my thoughts and prayers are with those who were actually affected by Hurricane Isaac.** This particular hurricane day was determined all the way back on Saturday with the county calling of school for Monday. 48 hours is a long time in hurricane land. Way back on Saturday, we were still in the “cone of uncertainty.” By Sunday morning, right about the same time Walmart ran out of water, we were no longer in said cone. Yet, schools and government offices were still to be closed… which pretty much still made everybody think that there was some serious imminent danger headed our way.
We did some minor stuff at home in case we got heavy winds, like putting the potted plants in the garage and moving the patio furniture up against the house. At work, we pulled all of the patio furniture inside just in case. By Sunday afternoon it was pretty clear that we didn’t need to put hurricane shutters up. It was pretty windy & rainy Sunday night, but nothing too crazy. All of that meant that, this morning, I got to put all of the patio furniture at work back outside. I was standing out on the patio, moving tables and chairs at 9:00 with the sun beating down on me. Sure felt like a hurricane day. Not. And, other than bands of rain and wind every hour or so, the only reason it felt like a hurricane day was due to the ghost town feeling around town. Not many cars on the roads, not many people out for lunch, not many businesses open. Needless to say, I was happy to cut out of work a little early and spend some time with my family… my family that didn’t have school or work and therefore pretty much just got a free pass to play all day.
The best thing about Hurricane Isaac (or Tropical Storm Isaac as it was when it passed near-ish to our area) was the surf. You see, we live on the southwest coast of Florida. When a tropical system comes into the gulf, we have the potential to get really good surf, which doesn’t happen that often on our side of the state. However, if a storm is too close to the coast, the surf is to choppy and rough and therefore sucky. Hubby, being a surfer, went from being hopeful that we were going to get a storm to slightly depressed that it was going to be too close for good surf to super excited that it had moved far enough west. If you know any surfers, especially in Florida, then you know that they are probably the only people that really look forward to hurricane season. And, yes, Hubby woke up at 6:30 this morning and hit the water at sunrise.
Though I didn’t mind being at work, I was bummed that I couldn’t spend the day on the beach with him. Hurricane days out on the beach are some of my favorite memories. It is gray and windy and rainy, but also very warm and balmy and sticky. As the storm surge comes in, the beach starts to disappear and things just look so… different. And beautiful. The waves start out small in the morning and grow exponentially until the wind gets on it too much and the waves get blown out. The quickness of it all is what makes hurricane swells so different from regular swells. It is such a peaceful and humbling feeling to be sitting on a surfboard in the rain.
When we were in college, we used to come home for hurricane swells and spend the whole day out on the beach. We’d get out there as soon as it was light out. I’d surf with the boys until the waves got too big for me. The current moves really quickly with storm swells, so there was a lot of drifting past the best break and then walking back up the beach to do it all over again, the storm surge creeping up higher and higher with every drift. I’d sit on the beach and just watch the boys doing what they love best. I’d watch the rain and the wind and the way it moved things around. Or, I’d nap in the back of the Toaster (our beloved Honda Element). Oh, how I love sandy beach naps in the Toaster. We’d grab some lunch at whichever beachside restaurant had the balls to stay open and hit the water again until the waves were too blown out or the rain was too hard or the wind was too dangerous. I loved those days… with the salt sticking to my skin and my hair.