What does it feel like to make a decision to leave behind the house you’ve made your home in the face of a major storm? Intimidating.
Looking around for last minute items you need to have for a few days, packing up a few items you can’t live with out, consciously leaving behind many things you wouldn’t want too. We boxed up two piles of photo albums and stored them inside an interior room. A few unfamiliar arrangements of prepping the house. The house my husband carried me through after returning from our wedding, the house that carried me while I carried my babies in the womb and home from the hospital. The same house my father-in-law built and the land their family grew up on.
Hopeful that the damage from the storm would be minimal and praying that the storm isn’t a direct hit to our city and deeply saddened by that fact that it will make landfall in someone’s- more then likely a friend or family relative. Bracing for possible destruction.
As we pulled out of the darkened driveway at 3:45am to get to the airport, my almost 2 year old promptly said “bye bye house” with her tiny little voice. A voice we weren’t expecting (since we thought she was fast asleep). Also because she’s never said goodbye to the house. People and neighbors- yes. We all fondly waved goodbye to the vacant storm shuttered, locked down, two story house- hopping our last minute preparations would be enough.
Saddened for the friends and family still here weathering the storm -hopefully in the safety of their higher ground homes. Those who had little choice due to mandatory work, pets with out available occupation, little to no gasoline, the terrifying possibility of being stuck in traffic from basically the whole state and definitely lower half being evacuated – already in line on the roads.
Even a few fellow friends pregnant with out the option of being allowed to fly and to sacred to drive away from a hospital- especially the one with their doctors.
People that couldn’t get flights because they were sold out or not enough time to make real preparations with the original East coast projections. We were fortunate in only needing 3 tickets for our family of 4. An option that wouldn’t have been true in merely 20 days- when my daughter turns two.
Spaghetti models of graphs looking like wired mess – one going east- the euro going west, all outcomes driving straight through our skinny, Swiss cheese piece of land surrounded by water. Our Southern neighboring state of Texas still fresh in our minds and hearts from their own floodwaters, powerful winds of destruction.
To stay or go?
We left. In hopes that we merely departed on an unexpected mini- vacation. Overly cautious… maybe. Mater of fact, that would be best-case scenario, one we all are praying for.
We live on the river- evacuation zone A. For those unfamiliar, that means we’re the first ones the state wants to move and declares most dangers. We walk down to our dock regularly and see alligators as well as dolphins- the water is “brackish” from the clear river waters north and salt waters of the bay. Storm surges are scary. We would be the people with unwanted wildlife in our living rooms calling for helicopter rescue. No thanks. Well maybe not that dramatic but still a horrible thought.
For those staying we will keep you in our prayers and whatever area turns out to have direct hits- we say extra prayers for you.
Our all first responders, hospital staff on both A and B teams, clergy, news crews etc. We pray- may you have the strength to help others and safety for you and your own families.
May everyone be safe -I have my husband and babies, which is all I really need. And while we may not really be saying “goodbye house”, for some- that may be the case.