Omar, the other “O ” man in the news. This one, we didn’t need- the other one we surely do.
This storm turned into a Category 3 hurricane overnight, leaving most of the island without power for a week or more, 40 boats sunken in the harbor, huge mahongany trees fallen over like cardboard cut-outs, over 100 power poles down and a great tip of the humble homburg to Mother Nature.
Had it been a slight shift of 20 miles west, the eye would have been directly over us, but in spite of the above descriptions, he moved fast with a small center and left us after some hours in the middle of the night. It could have been so much worse.
We were prepared, had Coleman lanterns, water, radio, shutters,- spent the entire day before moving furniture and the crap of lifes’ collecting, into the house. Don’t we all have much more than we really use?
All this moving took place during the escalating winds in the afternoon before the Hurricane hit, and a deluge of rain that surged down our front steps like a waterfall- my futile attempts at push-brooming and re-directing the flow seemed pointless but there isn’t much you can do to feel like you have any say about what happens.
Then you wait. Light the lanterns, prepare food while you can see and still have electricity, zip up the shutters, give the skittish dog a vet prescribed Valium ( he trembles from rain and thunder- this would have been his undoing ), give the skittish wife a half a Xanax ( if not now, then when?!), stay in your clothes because you never know, and hope for the best.
The ugly part comes the next day with cleaning up what seems monumental. No structural damage to the house, just a lot of fallen trees- we had to chain saw our way up the steps to get to the cars. The winds whip the leaves off of everything and plaster them to the house and the vehicles like Colorforms.
We were a week without power and internet ( blessing? curse? ).
You learn- or perhaps re-learn to appreciate what you have and to see the collective of community – everyone gets or gives a hand, people give away fruit fallen from downed trees, and to its’ credit, our local agencies acted quickly and efficiently.
I witnessed another kind of symbiosis: our other dog, not the skittish one, was post-storm, snoozing on her pillow on the deck when I noticed THIS:
This lizard had been swiping and eating hovering mosquitos that were buzzing around the dog! It didn’t stop there-
I stood no less than 3 feet away while this lizard snapped skeeters off of the dogs’ fur with the cooperative and appreciative consent of the dog.
The lizard was totally unfazed by my presence, stayed for a half hour and I believe by the time it left, my dog had purchased a Geico Insurance Policy!