Musings on a not-so-stormy day.
By Hannah Wallace
It was Judi Gallagher’s idea to blog about the hurricane. She got my attention Monday afternoon from the other side of Pho Cali, as I waited for Rockstar Kim to arrive.
“Oh, it’s coming,” I assured her (secretly relieved someone had finally given me a blog topic). “Only CCB’s out of town”—shouting “CCB” across a crowded restaurant is fun—“so it’s going to be a lonely hurricane party.”
And a lonely hurricane party it was. The guest of honor didn’t even show up.
Once again, the protective bubble around Sarasota and Bradenton allowed nary a breeze, despite our official hurricane warning—which I’d hoped would get us out of work early on Monday. Although, given the end result, I guess I should be happy they closed the office Tuesday for what turned out to be perfect picnic weather.
I don’t want death and destruction, you understand. I just want a hurricane that registers something on my rain gauge. This hurricane killed my grass.
CCB, at a conference in Fort Lauderdale, was getting the wettest weather. “I went through a hurricane in Huntsville once,” he told me. “Well, I guess it was just a tropical storm by then.” “Dude,” I said, “that doesn’t count.” Not that I can boast about being hurricane-tempered when Fay didn’t even rock the bird feeder.
Growing up here, I saw hurricanes as little more than potential school cancellers (congrats to all you kiddos out there who missed your second day). During the most violent storm that I can remember (Anna? Something in the early-to-mid-80s…), the Wallaces took a stroll down to the bay at the end of Pearl Avenue to lean into the wind and see the waves lapping up over the seawall.
It was entertainment, a blip in summer monotony. Still is, kinda. Hurricane prep is like cooking a favorite meal—come time, I automatically buy the right groceries, follow the appropriate steps, and all in the hopes of experiencing something interesting that doesn’t kill anyone.
Meanwhile, the news acts like they’re covering some huge sporting event. Which also excites me, like, “Ooh! Sarasota’s on the national TV! Go, Sarasota, go!” (I am, in many ways, a bumpkin.)
Alas, Sarasota didn’t land the big game this time (I hear that rain was actually a godsend in other parts of the state), so I had to face the day CCB-less, without even the excuse of a good storm to hole up in the house, light some candles and watch the neighborhood garbage cans tumble by.
Instead, I cleaned. I mopped, I dusted, I emptied the stale dregs from the Kegtacular keg. I took pictures. I played Mario Kart. I went shopping, with just the slightest twinge of guilt that the people at Ross still had to work on my mid-week day off. I did laundry. I had to water the crepe myrtle, for God’s sake.
ME AND FAY: A portrait in beer.
I worked myself into a tizzy. By 9 p.m., I’d had enough. I underwent a self-imposed power outage, turned off the AC and opened the windows, lit some candles, drew a bath, threw some Coltrane on the stereo (ok, it wasn’t a very strict power outage). Let the moonlight and the sound of rustling leaves come in through the window, and soaked. Now I know why they tell you to fill your bathtub before a storm. Next time, I’ll be even better prepared.