Dorian bares down as I scramble to get work done

September 7, 2019

Mike Wilcox Editor/Publisher

Hurry up and wait. That’s what I’ve been doing as I await Hurricane Dorian to bring its powerful winds and torrential rain to my new home in Florida.
The hurry-up part began on Friday when I scurried from one of my newspaper offices to pick-up my freshman college-bound son . He was 2 ½ hours away, and then of course we had to drive him to his school of choice, unpack the car, and hike his refrigerator, television and miscellaneous gear up four flights of stairs to his home for hopefully the next four years.

This is not a new situation for many of us, but all sorts of emotions and memories invade your mind. This may be a rite of passage for him, but for parents, who now must let go and let their son experience life without you, it’s pretty darn difficult. You think about when he was born, his first day of kindergarten, then middle school and high school and feelings are two parts sad and one part happy. I know my son will adjust just fine and make us all proud, but walking away from his college dorm brought tears to my eyes.

But they quickly dissipate as I had to rush to the airport to board a plane to Atlanta. Yes my drive is there, so that I can visit my Alabama newspaper and get a carload of stuff from our Georgia house to take to our new house in Florida. My stay has to be extra brief this time around, because Dorian is predicted to make landfall directly at the town in which we now live. And it is predicted to happen within twenty-four hours.

Thus, I get behind the wheel and made the 10-hour trip to my Florida home. On the way I pass scores of power trucks- some from Georgia, some from Pennsylvania, but they are on the way to help us poor souls that will most likely lose power.

I’m now home and feel we have done all we can to prepare for the impending hurricane. It has slowed and now we are told it will not make landfall but instead, will skirt up the coast but because it is so large and powerful will still impact us like a category 1 or 2 would. So what was suppose to bring 100 mph winds and rain in the evening, and then was scheduled for next morning, and now later this afternoon, is simply a waiting game.

Television stations down here blurt out a constant stream of weather reports while the shelves of grocery stores are nearly empty.

Fortunately the wait allows me to write this column and prepare for tomorrow (Tuesday’s) deadlines. I suspect I won’t have power tomorrow so I’ll be working from a cellphone, of course until that dies.

Hopefully the house stays together. I am not new to hurricane destruction. I have literally watch two hurricanes do great damage to homes I owned previously in Florida. I watched one sink a new boat I had just purchased, destroying the boat lift it hung on, and the dock connected to it. I watched as a second lifted shingle after shingle from the house, forcing me to build a new roof and have the entire interior of the house repainted.

A logical question for me might be “Hey dummy if you’ve had two houses badly damaged by hurricanes, why would you move back to an area that is so susceptible to these massive storms?”

As the rain starts beating on the window sideways, and the palm trees are beginning to sway endlessly, I would have to answer that’s the price you pay for good weather most of the time.

But then again, I’m now watching the winds and rain intensify, knowing that this is only the beginning, and wondering why I had walked away so quickly from my son’s college. I could have bunked with my son, enjoy electricity and air conditioning and decent weather. Now I don’t know what lies ahead.

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