Let me preface this post by saying I am not dismissing the seriousness of Hurricane Irma. Instead, I am representing how blasé I seem to be.
I almost forgot to blog tonight. After work I went to get gas and pick up some groceries/hurricane supplies. All anyone is talking about is the hurricane; it’s consuming. When I arrived home, I curled up to watch last night’s episode of the Real Housewives of OC (this is my guilty please, no judgement please). Then I remembered! It’s blogging Wednesday! So, here I am. And I might as well talk to you about this monstrous storm heading my way.
This is not my first hurricane, I have grown up in Florida. Honestly, they are my preferred natural disaster. Why? Because we have warning ahead of time! We know for at least a week that it’s coming, how strong the winds are, how much rain it’s delivering, and we can prepare our homes. Tornadoes? Earthquakes? Nope. Luck of the draw, no thank you.
*My heart has been aching for those stuck in the flood waters of Texas. I was worried about friends of mine in the state and looked at google maps constantly to see how close their homes were. I have scoured Facebook walls of those I know who went to volunteer, rescue or deliver supplies. And I know that kind of destruction is possible again with Irma. I worry for those in the islands, the Florida keys and Miami. I hope that people heed the warnings and evacuations.*
Personally, I am feeling rather okay here in the center of the state. I know that we will certainly experience some serious effects of this storm, but each time I check the models, it seems to shift further away. Last year, my mom and I flew through Hurricane Matthew on our way to Rome. I remember being so concerned, but we were all fine. No floods, no damage, no injuries. I guess I am expecting that again this year. I do not feel the need to pick up sandbags or board windows. I would rather supplies go to those that need it most. If the projections shift back, and we are expecting a direct hit, I may reconsider. We will bring patio stuff in (or dump it in the pool) and trim branches. We are first time home owners after all.
I do, however, like to be prepared in all aspects of life. So yes, for hurricanes, too. Mike picked up a case of water the other day. I brought home some flashlights that I had left at school for a science lesson. And today after work, I went to fill my car with gas and get supplies. I had no problems or wait times at the gas station so I felt strong heading to Publix.
Here’s how THAT went:
When I pulled into the (full!!) parking lot I thought to myself, “I may not have the patience to handle this.” and “How badly do we need food? We wouldn’t starve, right?”
Then, I reminded myself how brave I am and I persevered! I drove the lot and ended up finding a close spot, like, second car close. (Veronica-1, Publix-0)
There were no shopping carts (buggies- for you crazy people) up front. But then, like an angel, a nice young Publix man brought me one. He also warned me that is was chaotic inside… fantastic. (Anyways, Veronica-2, Publix-0)
I started in the produce/deli (like always, it’s the invariant right of marketing, gets me every time) and picked up some apples. I saw some people waiting in a line. As I followed the store around to the meat section, this mysterious line continued… people waiting for another shipment of water! Wow, no thank you. I did not need another gallon of water that badly. I pressed on. (Veronica-2, Publix-1)
I carried on, picked up some necessities (like eggs) and some pantry-type foods because we don’t have much but we should if the power goes out. Things like cereal, granola bars, chips… anything that doesn’t need to be chilled or cooked. I kept overhearing customers asking employees for bread or water to no avail. I passed by the canned foods aisle, but that looked like a scene from the hunger games, so I pushed on. Of course, water was gone, as expected. I like La Croix and Ice and those others flavored, sparkling waters so I did get more of that which I will drink either way. BUT hiding behind some boxed drinks was a stashed loaf of bread. I’m the kind of person who sometimes stashes goods in case I change my mind so I know this trick. Not smart in this crisis induced situation because finder’s keepers…. I took the bread. The bread aisle was decimated. (Veronica-3, Publix-1)
Of course, they were out of many things I hoped to get, but that’s okay. None are essentials. I made the hesitant trek to the checkout lanes. I picked what I thought was the shortest line. You know when you pick the short line, but then the people are slow, so you watch all of the other lanes move but yours? Yeah, that was me. I was in line for a good 15 minutes. (Veronica-3, Publix-2)
The oh-so-slow people in front of me were SO RUDE! Yelling at each other. Yelling at the employees. Blah blah blah. The woman insisted that her precious lunchables were Buy One Get THREE! Um, when has that ever been a thing? Give me a break. The cashier and bagger checked the ads, coupons, went and did a price check… obviously, this lady was wrong, but they gave her the three for free. She proceeded to tell them they were giving her attitude and were being disrespectful. Then the manager came over to approve the change and the woman told her how awful the cashier was and that she should be fired… on and on and on. As she was leaving, she told the cashier to stop staring her down or she’d climb over, and as she left she called her a B. I had enough. I made a point to very loudly say to the manager “Are you kidding me? I have been here the whooooole time and your staff has done nothing wrong. In fact, they have been bending over backwards to accommodate the ridiculous request and were harassed the whole time. They do not need to be fired, they do not need to be ‘talked to’ and I was impressed how composed she stayed while being called names to her face, because I would not have been so polite.” I applauded the staff and apologized to them for having to put up with that. Come on, these people work for low wages and are working hard to restock shelves/carts while panicked customers yell at them. We are all in this together. Try smiling, it won’t kill you. (I don’t know if this is a point for me, or Publix)
I left the store, loaded my car and walked my cart back. I usually do that anyways, but there were none in the store so the least I could do is bring one back. Of course, an older gentleman was waiting for one so I brought it to him. Then my car-parked-next-to-me-neighbor had a flat tire! I felt so bad and made sure he could call triple A. He had a good attitude about it. If we all had better attitudes towards each other, scary storms might not be so bad.
Anyways! I survived. I think I beat Publix, but who knows. Either way, if I can survive that mess, I can certainly survive Irma.
Hurricane prep tips? Fill your pitchers and bottles of water before the storm for extra drinking water. Fill ziploc bags with ice so your ice maker makes more and you will have ice to help keep food cool if you lose power, and it will eventually melt to make water. Fill your tubs with water so you can wash things and flush toilets. Clear a space in a closet/bathroom if you need to seek shelter- stock it with water, flashlights, etc.) AND buy wine. Lots of wine.
I hope you all stay safe! xoxo, Veronica