Sunday, September 10, 2017

#HurricaneIrma - Go Away Irma! It's rude to show up where you aren't invited.

I love living in the Florida Keys.  It is truly a paradise. Life has been good.  

And then there was Irma.

Being long-time residents of South Florida, my husband and I have weathered many storms.  And like so many of our Keys neighbors, we had every intention of riding this one out, just like we rode out all the rest.  

Whether it was the dramatized news reports or my dramatized relatives, somehow my anxiety levels rose and I insisted that we leave and head to higher ground... much higher... like North Carolina higher.  Although hubby didn't really want to go, he loves me and decided to give in to my anxiety.  (Smart man)  

He told me to pack up those items that were most important to me and put them in the car.  I grabbed my Keurig and 3 bottles of wine.  He just stared at me.  Yes, my brain cells had totally flipped out.  Then I realized what he meant and I put the coffee maker and wine back (reluctantly) and grabbed my pre-digital-age photo albums.  And I grabbed my little dog, her favorite blanket and toys, enough dog food to last until the end of time, her favorite pillow-bed, her bejeweled leash and her water dish.  I figured that everything else can be replaced.

We closed all the shutters, tied down the boats, packed our bags, and loaded everything into our least-gas-guzzling vehicle, my Toyota Prius.  Yes, halfway up the state of Florida as we passed mile-long lines to gas stations, I got out and actually kissed my Prius that still held half a tank.  We didn't need to fill up until we were well into Georgia.  

The trip, however, was not as pleasant as previous trips had been.  Traffic was at a standstill.  All the way north through Florida, Georgia and South Carolina!  We creeped along, inch by inch.  By 9:00 that night, after noticing that all of the Rest Areas were filled to capacity, we knew we needed to find a place to sleep.  Thankfully, my awesome daughter (who lives in North Carolina) got on the phone and actually found a hotel room for us that allows pets!  "It's only 18 miles north of you" she said.  Only 18 miles.  It took us an hour and a half on the Interstate to drive that freakin' 18 miles.  Nonetheless, we had a bed for the night... or at least part of the night.  We were back on the road at 3:30 a.m.

 The drive from the Florida Keys to North Carolina normally takes us about 12 hours of driving time.  This trip took 27 hours.  Twenty-seven hours!  But we are here now and we are safe.  And maybe some day my husband will start speaking to me again.



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