After Irma

This guy.


Way back in 2004, after the rash of hurricanes that I went through, someone gave me this thing as a holiday gift.  I’m completely stumped as to what it is.  A talisman?  Totum?  Spirit ward?  Golum?  Gargoyle?  Whatever it is, it was packaged with an explanation that the object was intended to ward away hurricanes.  After being through 4, it was a thoughtful gift.  It’s been hanging in the kitchen since the day I moved in.

Well, I’m not sure if the object has a shelf life or an expiration date, but 12 years later, along comes a hurricane.  My initial thought was, the hurricane is going to miss us and go to South Carolina.  Then the track changed and it was going to go just east of us.  Well, ok.  The west side of the hurricane is the less intense part. Then the track changed again and Irma was going to the west of us.  That’s not so good.  The track changed one last time and resulted in a direct hit on my neighborhood.

Good going, thing.  Way to do your job.

The power went out at about 8:30 that night, with the eye wall expected to hit at around 12:30am, in the dead of night.  We took in about 3 hours of sleep, which was becoming normal – 2 or 3 hour blocks of sleep here and there to keep alert.  Woke up around midnight with the weather getting steadily worse.  Since the bedroom windows were facing the storm, the rain was hammering the glass and being generally distracting.  We then moved to the living room.

I planted myself in front of the front window, on which I had finished putting shatterproof film before the storm.  Our neighborhood’s power was out, there was still light coming from somewhere in the distance, so you could see shadows of trees blowing around.  Sometimes you would see flashes of lightning or maybe power transformers, or car lights or whatever.

The eye wall came and it was impressive, although not exactly scary.  The only shocking moment for me was during one massive gust where the rain being carried dropped the visibility to near zero.  It was like being in an automatic car wash.  And within about 10 minutes, it was generally over.  We went back to bed.

I woke up the next morning to see what was left.


My jerk neighbor, whose trees I’ve complained about for a very long time, finally got his comeuppance.  One full tree down and many limbs broken off.  One limb fell on my/his/our fence, but that section was already damaged from a previous fall, so it was not really new damage.

I knew those trees were going to be trouble, so we purposely parked the cars in another location so they wouldn’t take any damage.  They got pelted with leaves, but that’s about it.


I immediately started clearing debris, and most of my neighbors had started doing so as well.  The winds were still gusting pretty good, but the skies were mostly clear.  The power came back on at 12:30 – an outage of only 16 hours.  Much better than I expected.

And after all that, My house and vehicle took zero damage.  No shingles were lost, no screens were torn, no windows were broken.

This guy.  He’s still on the job.


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