A couple of years ago, we had 3 hurricanes come right through Central Fla. (Charlie, Francis, and Jeanne), and I thought Charlie was the worst of the 3 (since he was the first we had to endure and we lost our electricity for 7 days in the heat of the summer. We were quite grateful for the numerous cold showers we took and that the house was tile floors--which was cooler to sleep on).
Also, during Charlie, our tree in the front yard (which Ray and I didn't like anyway) fell onto our house (thankfully not going all the way through our house and just partially damaging the roof). And then Charlie caused 3 tornadoes to travel down our street, which thankfully didn't do much damage to our neighborhood.
However, as a result of the '04 hurricanes, we Floridians did learn a few things:
- Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill.
- No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.
- He who has the biggest generator wins.
- A new method of non-lethal torture - showers without hot water. This is for the lucky ones on city water. If you have a well and no generator, it's time to bathe in the pool!
- TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful.
- A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz Budweiser's to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14-pound turkey frozen for 8 more hours.
- There are a lot of trees in Fla.
- Flood plan drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong.
- Contrary to most Florida natives' beliefs, the speed limit on roads without traffic lights does not increase.
- Aluminum siding, while aesthetically pleasing, is definitely not required to keep your house standing,and during wind surges becomes flying weapons.
- Just because you're over 21 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you want. At least that's what the cops told me during a curfew stop.
- Crickets can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.
- People will get in a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.
- When required, most any vehicle will float--doesn't steer well, but floats just the same.
- Hurricanes do keep the mailman from his appointed rounds.
- Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing.
- Cell phones sometimes work when land lines are down, but only as long as the battery remains charged.
- Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!
- If we had a store that sold only ice, chainsaws, gas, and generators...we'd be rich.
- The price of a bag of ice rises 200% after a hurricane.
- Tree service companies are under appreciated.
- MATH 101: 30 days in month minus 6 days w/o power equals 30% higher electric bill ?????
Now that we are more "educated" in the hurricane department, we understand there is another storm headed our way, Ernesto. So all of our anxieties of approaching "storms" is starting to kick in. Our weather channel news reporters are getting all excited and "geared" up to "hunker down". The grocery stores are turning into a mad house with people fighting over canned goods such as baked beans and spam (what a combo, wonder if Publix is handing out recipes with these as your "main ingredients" and I missed out on them, just my luck, hehe). And not to mention the roads (guess we are practicing for when we have no electricity to power the traffic signals, or maybe it is just a typical day on the road in Fla., hard to tell the difference).
So as your day progresses today, think of us Floridians watching and waiting to see what will happen with Ernesto, and whether we will be having grilled spam burgers with baked beans for dinner (can things really get that desperate???).