Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hurricane Days

The kids and I have been inside almost all day because of Tropical Storm Fay. School is closed (though thankfully opening tomorrow), so I worked from home. Hurricane days are Florida's equivalent of snow days (which I used to, of course, just love as a kid). But now, as one of two working parents, I just dread the unexpected school cancellation. I was able to work from home -- but I really didn't have any other options. And it's just very stressful when you feel like you should be at work and just can't be. But we've had quite a pleasant day together, considering we got only one short walk outside.

Anyway, so far this storm has just brought some wind and some rain, none of it very significant. But the worst of the storm is still a bit south of us, so we'll see what tonight brings.

It certainly (and thank goodness) won't be like the storms that hit here in 2004. Central Florida was hit with three hurricanes in a span of seven weeks back then. We lost power for several days during each storm. August in Florida is NOT a good time to be without power. Ben, who had just started kindergarten, lost a week of school after the first storm and days after the next two. Jim was sent to the cover the storms, and I was home trying to work and scrambling for child care. Crazy. But we were lucky as the damage to our house was not terrible (roof leaks and a crushed carport -- but it was old and ugly anyway). Many others were not as fortunate. Our neighborhood was hit the worst by Hurricane Charley, which knocked down many, many live oak trees.

These photos were taken the morning after Charley (which came through about 8 p.m.). This is our street, and my mom (who happened to be in town in a stroke of extraordinarily bad vacation luck. Though it was wonderful for me, as she stayed a week to watch Ben, then 5, so I could work) and Ben checking out the damage. I still find it stunning four years later.

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