A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘storm’

The Storm is Over

I missed Thankful Thursday yesterday. It was a-stormin’ so there was no work, and no internet. I figured it makes sense to cover the storm and the things I’m thankful for all in one go since they’re linked.

Hurricane Irene! I didn’t know about her until Tuesday when I got to work. People were talking about battening down, buying the necessary items, etc. I was ready for a day off. We worked all day on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, we got to leave at 12:30pm. I cycled to my place to get things together. I packed lots of clothes (since I’m clearly staying at Babe’s until we move next week Thursday), and a few canned goods I had. And the flashlight. My sister was supposed to pick me up at 1pm. She missed that part. By 3pm, I’d lost all hope. My brother couldn’t get me. I called Babe who asked if I’d be okay to stay at my place if I found no ride. I said I would, but the conclusion was that it’d be better if we were together, at Babe’s. A few minutes after we hung up and my hope was about gone, Babe called to say my sister was just there. Somehow, she thought she’d be picking me up from there. How? I don’t know. Anyway, the day was saved! She came and got me, and took me to Babe’s. YAY! I’m thankful for my sister, and all the people who care enough to go out of their way to help me and make sure I’m comfortable and safe.

Got to Babe’s, and there was happiness everywhere. We were SO freaking happy to be together. I unpacked the food items I brought along. We decided to eat the perishable stuff before the electricity went off. Leftover spaghetti it was. We watched a a couple of movies and slept. Our sleep patterns were weird. The shutters made it quite dark in the house. I got up first on Thursday morning and made us some breaky. Right before I finished, Babe got up. Perfect timing! We enjoyed breakfast with the door open until I complained about mosquitoes. For some reason, if there is a mosquito anywhere near, it WILL find ME and bite ME. I get horrible red welts from them. They go away as long as I don’t scratch, but they iiiiitch! These days, Babe is pretty much my personal mosquito assassin, killing them very quickly. There is more at stake than pretty skin. Dengue fever is still pretty rampant in the country. We know of three people who have been in hospital with it in the past month or so. Our friend was down with it for almost two weeks. She’s back to work, but still feeling like garbage. I’m thankful for health, and my personal mosquito assassin.

Hurricane photos:

St. Matthew's Anglican Church (where my dad goes)

An uprooted tree that broke through the sidewalk

They started to clear this street up.

One of many fruit stalls on a strip under the bridge.

It doesn't take much to flood the streets on this little, low-lying island with no drainage.

Photo credit: My friend Olivia

There wasn’t much rain (by hurricane standards). More wind that anything else. Tree were uprooted. Fruit from trees were strewn about. Lots of hanging limbs. (This is just the Nassau account. It seems that some of the other islands took a very bad beating. Mayaguana reported 40 damaged homes yesterday. We won’t have a complete assessment for a little while. Relief efforts will likely have to be very widespread (across several islands), and lenghty.) Before daylight this morning, we heard chainsaws going. Cleaning up the streets will definitely take a while. Personal property will take a while to get back together as well. Luckily, Babe’s place is fine. We didn’t suffer. We had enough food and water. The electricity came back on in time for us to sleep in a/c last night, so that was good. There have been times when the whole island has been without power for over a week. We never lost running water. I’m thankful for electricity, running water, drinking water, and enough food to eat.

I had to be to work today. Blah! I don’t know why, really. No one is really going to buy furniture today, right? People need to take down shutters and plywood, assess damage, clean up yards, restock refrigerators… You know… The important things. Nevertheless, I’m at work. I’m thankful that I have a job to go to, and payroll was done early this week. WOO!

I got lots of nice messages of well wishes and concern from my blog friends. Thank you all. They were all well-received and appreciated. I’m thankful for you all – my online family and friends. 🙂

In closing, a note from Jennajadee at We’re Jumpin’. Being Thankful doesn’t have to be about “God.” Being Thankful is about being thankful in what you’ve got. There are people in this world who don’t have clean water, a nice place to sleep, or even a bed to rest their heads. Look around you. What do you have to be thankful for?

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Oh, Irene!

The hurricane is still coming. Her name is Irene. She has some people in a frenzy. The lines at water depots are pretty long. Department stores are full of people, searching for flashlights, batteries, battery-operated radios, etc. The grocery store shelves are probably pretty empty in the canned food aisles.

Most businesses are closed, or will be closing at 12 noon or 1pm. We’re still open. It’s kind of ridiculous. This is a furniture store. No one cares to buy a chair to rock in during the hurricane. People are not shopping around for dinettes. It’s all about hurricane preparedness at this point. Why are we here?! The account payable lady has already sent our money to the bank. We’re paid. The salespeople have no customers to sell to. The receptionist has no ringing lines to pick up. The warehouse staff have no shipments to receive. WHY. ARE. WE. HERE?!

I’ve asked around. Two of the senior people here suggest that we’ll be closing at 12noon or 1pm. Like the banks. And a lot of other businesses. They’re annoyed that we’re here as well. I feel like they will do what they can to get us all out of here as soon as possible. The account payable manager has come in my office about three times looking for the general manager. She’s definitely wanting to push the issue. I’d like the GM to come back soon so she can be pressured, and then EXPLOOOOODE. And by explode, I mean let us all GO HOME!

I’ve made a few calls. I called some of my favourite cousins to make sure they’re okay and have started to get prepared. All seems to be well. They’re wrapping up at work, and getting ready to go home. This is good. I’m glad. One of my cousins will be at Ma’s house. Good to know the great-grandmother won’t be home alone, although I know she wouldn’t mind, and would probably be a-okay. I tried calling my dad at home, but got no answer. He never goes to work before 11:30, but maybe they have things to do there. I’ll try again before leaving. I can only make calls while I’m here. No phone at Babe’s. My family is going to be trippin’ because they won’t be able to reach me. My siblings all have Babe’s number, so they can reach me in case of an emergency.

I’m still trying to figure out if I can get a ride to my place to get some things, and get back to Babe’s. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t want to leave Tatum (bicycle) here. I’ll need her to get back to work whenever we’re due back in. Maybe my sister will pick me up from Babe’s, take me to my place, wait a few minutes, and then take me back. Hmmm… Just seems like a lot to ask of one person. I hate being an inconvenience. We’ll see how it goes!

Of course, songs about rain are necessary additions to this post, so here ya go!

Hurricane A-coming!

It’s Tuesdaaayyy! I’m sitting at my desk, semi-working. I left my glasses at Babe’s. Whoops. The system I have to use at work is one of those black and green screens. Sucks for the eyes. I usually leave my glasses here since I only really need them for the computer. And driving at night which is pretty irrelevant right now. I accidentally left with them on my shirt on Saturday. Oh, well. I gotta work on this incoming shipment slooowlyyy. Maybe I’ll be done by lunch time.

There’s a hurricane on the way here. Hurricane Irene. It’s supposed to be a category 3 by the time it hits us. It’s looking like it’ll hit on Thursday morning. People are working on battening down houses with shutters and/or plywood. Babe and I need to make sure we’re ready. She has no net and I have no cellphone, so I can’t even reach her to make sure we’re on task. We need to get more tuna, corned beef, maybe some grits, some pasta… Things we can make easily, quickly, and in the dark. I don’t know if there’s a flashlight there. I have one at my place, but really, I can either to to my place, or to hers. Both is out of the question. Especially since I don’t know when the rain will start, and I don’t want to be robbed again.

The Bahamas only gets hurricanes. Well, tropical storms too (which can turn into hurricanes). Hurricane season is June 1 to November 30 every year, but we tend to get hurricanes in August and September. Close to the time for school to open. One year, I believe we went to school for less than a week, and then ended up out of school for almost two weeks due to a hurricane. Hurricane Floyd. It was a category 3 and had winds of over 110mph. Most of Nassau (the island I live on) was without power for 2 weeks, and running water was scarce. That was one time I was glad my family over-prepared. My uncle bought about 7 5-gallon bottles of water. I thought it was a lot of water, but we ended up heating it for baths as well as using it for drinking and cooking. In 2004, we got two hurricanes back-to-back. Ivan and Jean. They weren’t too strong, I don’t think, but we had to stay indoors until they were both over.

[The electricity just cut off. The generator kicked in about 2 minutes later. This is what we have to look forward to. Our power provider already sucks pretty hard. During the summer, it’s worse than usual. LOTS of power cuts. In July, a lot of people complain that they were without power 3 times every day for varying amounts of time. It’s clear that they’re not able to provide consistent, reliable power to the entire country. Oh, get THIS. There was an article in the newspaper about a month ago where they asked people to use their own generators to lighten the load! Yeah, right! Use generators for power, buy our own gas/diesel to fuel them, and STILL pay the electricity bill?! No, thanks! Ok, rant over.]

It’s extremely important to be prepared. Hurricanes don’t scare me at all. I’ve been experiencing them from I was a little girl. The earliest that I remember is Hurricane Andrew of 1992. I remember it being lots of fun. We used kerosene lamps (which I always thought were VERY cool), candles, and flashlights. We ate small, light, meals, different from what I was used to. I got to help get ready for it. I was in the backyard with my uncle, his friend, and his friend’s children. The men were on the roof, securing shingles and trimming trees. We, the children, picked up fruit from the ground, and my aunt took the fruit from the trees. Being inside with loved ones, with no electronic distractions, was a cool experience. After that, whenever a hurricane threatened, I got secretly excited. Of course, I could never tell any adults because they’d tell that’s silly, and that hurricanes are dangerous. I know they can be dangerous, and can cause lots of damage.

Still, I think hurricanes can do a lot of good. We’re forced to live like many before us. All together, indoors. No computers. No iPods. Limited running water. Less light. We learn to use what we need, and only what we need. We eat to be satisfied. We spend quality time with one another. We interact. We become engaged in conversation. No one is watching the clock. No one is concerned about when it’s time to go to bed, or time to get ready to go somewhere. There’s nowhere to be. Nothing to do. All we have to do is BE. Together. Is that really so bad?

Anyway, I’m kind of rambling here. This has been a nice break from the dreaded black screen with green type. Back to that now. Hope it’s a great week for everyone, and just gets better! wish me luck as I try to find a ride to my place to get a few things to take over to Babe’s place. 🙂

What natural disasters are most likely to strike where you live?

What, if anything, forces your family to spend quality time together?