Hurricane Matthew was our first hurricane since we moved to Florida in July of 2011. We had no reference point for comparison and didn’t know what to expect since it was not like the snowstorms in New Jersey. Our neighbors told us that our respective houses were built well and we would weather the storm, though there might be some damage to our lanai and property
A friend on west coast in north go invited us to safety there. Nice. On the second breath they have a decorator house where you do not wear shoes inside and everything is in place. I could just see our big labradoodle running around on the carpet, rubbing his on his back, or snatching a throw pillow or two thinking it was a toy and shredding it. Needless to say, that sealed the deal; we were staying. The dog shelters were already filled.
On the Tuesday before the expected storm I decided to put up our storm shutters. Never having done it, I looked at the directions left by the previous owner. The windows were easy, but the back porch area was horrendous. First, we had to bring in all of the potted plants and ornaments. Then, the porch shutters had to go on in a certain order, but the previous owner mixed up is right and left. Each section had to be put up twice. Duh!
Okay. We were set until our neighbor advised us about a safe room. A safe room? What the heck! We have a reinforced steel concrete block house! “Well,” she said, “if you lose the roof you need to be in a room that has no windows and is protected on top. Had to be our laundry room outfitted with two comfy beach chairs, portable radio, quilt for the dogs, bowls, power bars, water, a bottle of 12 year-old Scotch and two glasses. Now we were set.
The storm was supposed to come in at night. Thursday evening we had Turkey Chile for dinner. (Keeping my healthy heart diet.) The table was set with a spoon and fork. I looked at the utensils and wondered which one to use. Somewhere from the ether I heard Obi-One say “Use the fork, Dude.” Get it? He told me to use the fork. Then, I knew what I had to do. I imagined him telling me to use the force. So, I spent the next 6 hours meditating (now and then)
on the storm moving east.
Well, whether it was luck or something else, we did not get a direct hit and woke up the next day to very minimal damage and the palm trees cleaned of all the loose junk we would have paid to have trimmed. We all were very fortunate.
submitted by Mark Rostek