I was booked to fly to Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday. Needless to say, I canceled that trip. I briefly thought of changing that ticket to my annual Christmas trip to to the Florida Gulf Coast, but alas Anna Maria Island is now in Irma’s bullseye. I sure hope that corner of Gulf Coast paradise between St. Pete and Sarasota survives.
In the meantime, I’m back in Houston. My home and neighborhood are unscathed, but parts of the rest of the city are still digging out.
I wrote extensively about hurricanes in For the Love of Mike. Mike and I mourned New Orleans (one of our favorite cities) while it drowned in Katrina, only to weather the Rita hysteria a few weeks later. Mike wisely insisted we stay put for what turned out to be a non-event. The unpredictability of hurricanes is just one of their infuriating traits.
I was in India in the aftermath of Ike, which left us without power for ten days. Mike and I talked twice a day, upon rising and retiring as we were on opposite sides of the planet. He was not a happy camper, but hey I was in India by myself which is no picnic either.
In looking back upon my hurricane experiences, it occurs to me I’ve attended hurricane parties in both London and New Mexico. I was visiting friends in London when Ike made landfall. Their family was evacuating Galveston while we dined on homemade tacos and drank margaritas. We all breathed a sigh of relief when they got across the causeway to safety.
In New Mexico I threw two dinner parties to ease the tension of waiting for the Brazos River to crest and wondering if the levees would hold.
“You’re taking this well,” a guest noted.
Well, the wine helped. But under such circumstances, there’s not much one can do but wait and see.