Hurricane season is winding down and it appears as if we will be receiving no action this year.
I have to admit that this is a tad disappointing to me.
Granted, we were the ones in the Midwest who, in the midst of a county-wide tornado warning, would stand outside to see if we could have a gander at the twister.
This activity was strongly discouraged by the local weather dorks, who had interrupted programming to show off their Mega-Bow-Down-To-The-Power-Super-Doppler-Radars.
They were actively advising us to "go to the basement or to an interior room, away from from all windows."
Our children would be huddled in a corner of the basement with a mattress thrown over their heads while we were pulling our cars into the garage to avoid hail damage, then standing out in the driveway waiting for something exciting to happen.
So, I guess that it isn't surprising that we would bring the same mentality with us to Florida. We pay freakishly close attention to every little wave that comes off the west coast of Africa.
I thought back to my two week stay in Orlando when Charley blew through in 2004. I actually had a "holy shizzle, I could die" thought come over me at one point.
My brother had the exact same thought as he listened, in the dark, to the falling trees in his yard . He had the unfortunate disadvantage of living on the northeast side of Charley's eye; my parents lived on the northwest side which was an entirely different situation to be in.
The worst that we experienced at my parents' was that we couldn't find an open restaurant for DAYS after the storm.
However, my brother's yard looked like a bomb had exploded and the interior of his house very quickly began to acquire a funky, rotting garbage smell as the power company feverishly labored to restore his electricity over the next week.
I was thinking back to that whole experience one day when I decided that we needed to be more prepared.
We live in the south now. We have to think about hurricanes.
(I guess that considering the state of world affairs right now, we must also worry about the countries with a proverbial screw loose who could very easily frack life up for the rest of us.)
"We need to stock up on water," I announced one day to my husband. "And I think we should buy a gun." As I said, we live in the south now. When in Rome.
Chris could hardly contain his excitement. "Really," he said eagerly.
"I think we should just have one, you know, just in case." His eyes were positively glistening with glee and he started to talk really fast.
"I could take the class and get a concealed weapon permit. What kind of gun were you thinking of? We should get a safe. I could take the boys to shoot. I should talk to Roger and Ingrid and get some advice," he announced.
He took a breath.
He was talking about his Uncle Roger and Aunt Ingrid who live on the southern edge of Orlando. If there ever was a disaster of epic proportions, I could very safely and accurately assume they would be well stocked with food, hand sanitizer AND ammunition.
I would also feel perfectly at ease with Ingrid ~ a kick-ass tough military chick/nurse ~ in charge.
"You're going to ask Roger for advice on shooting a gun," I giggled.
I was thinking specifically of his squirrel trap incident of earlier this year.
Roger had caught one of the many squirrels that were ravaging his garden and intended to eliminate it. He rounded up the nearest semi-automatic.
The squirrel must have been a wily little bugger, because five shots later, it was clinging to the top of the cage in the midst of a little squirrel coronary. It was still very much alive.
Ingrid, upon hearing the commotion, ventured outside to see where the gunshots were coming from. She found her husband, gun in hand, standing over one freaked out squirrel. She took the gun and put a bullet between the squirrel's eyes on the very first shot.
As we made our way down the beverage aisle of Super Target, we realized that we were not the first to suggest stocking up on water. All that was left of the drinking water was some very badly damaged gallons and some 24-bottle-value packs.
We scrounged together what we could then wandered to the canned soup aisle, where I noticed that soup was now much more expensive than I had remembered. I bought several cans (we were on a budget) with the full realization that we would definitely not survive for an extended period of time.
I thought that perhaps I should do a little more research on how to be more prepared for natural and/or man-made disasters.
Since the boys have a thing for bottled water, the 24 packs didn't last very long. This was partially our fault, as we didn't hide it fast enough for it to go unnoticed.
The soup didn't last, either, as it was gobbled up by a perpetually ravenous 14-year-old.
I came to the conclusion that we suck at disaster preparedness and hurricane readiness.
There is a gun show in our area next week as advertised on t.v. by a shotgun wielding George W. impersonator. I proposed taking the family and heading to the venue to do some research .
I was met by a disinterested look from the husband who was attempting to beat his personal best on Doodle Jump.
We definitely will be the first ones to die of thirst, hunger, and/or pillaging.
Of this I am certain.