I’ve been sleeping around a lot lately. Not like the good-ole-days (winky face) but like a visiting-from-Florida-girl I am these days. Last weekend when I was in Pittsburgh I spent the first night at Jeans, then at Zach & Rachel’s then at my sister’s, then back to Zach’s then Janice’s. Ya know? That’s a lot of sleeping around. Each day when I woke up I knew where I was. Today? I had no idea where I was when I woke up. It took me a few moments for it to come back to me. Luckily I didn’t feel an unknown body in the bed and think “uh-oh”…but I digress (and jest)
So here I am in Florence, South Carolina. Yesterday started like a normal day other than I put on jeans and tennis shoes (instead of work clothes) to start my day and then continued with my list of getting my stuff up off the floor – cleaned out under the bed (I have wall pictures under there) – got my shoes off the floor, anything that I thought could be ruined with even a bit of water. A lot of water I’m screwed, but with just an inch or so I could save a lot of things if they’re on the bed. I then cleaned out the refrigerator, moved things away from the windows – put my big TV up and in the closet area, unplugged everything (except appliances), turned off the water, and went to work (the office).
Surprisingly, or not that surprising maybe, there were pretty many people at work. I actually did a couple of work things but then it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to focus and I was not going to get anything done so after talking with my work peeps I packed up my work computer, some files, and made my decision to leave.
Everyone at the office were/are people not evacuating. I’m not gonna lie. I am very worried for them. Each one has a different reason for staying. Robin has 6 dogs and is a Florida native who says she’s been through this before. Kim’s family all lives in different parts of Florida so not sure what to do or where to go. Kathy says everyone is coming to her house and her husband assures them that they can get through a couple of days without electricity. Angela still didn’t know what she is going to do. Brenda too, staying home. Julia boarding up and staying home.
After leaving work, stopping at the ATM for cash (hurricane preparedness) I went back to my apartment to wait for the stupid Purple Carrot box. I thought it would be so nice to take to my mom’s and cook for her/us but noooo. I waited until 1:30 and decided I needed to get on the road. Julia offered to get the box off the porch if I didn’t want to wait for it so I threw in the towel, texted her told her I was leaving and asked her to get the box whenever she could. I have since found out that the box was delivered at 1:47…17 minutes later…of course…and she got her own box of Purple Carrot yesterday too, but she was able to donate it to other friends staying home. Anyway I can’t tell you how disappointed I was about that. I think there is probably some “stress” transference there. Truthfully the box probably wouldn’t have lasted the two days it is taking me to get to mom’s.
Continuing with my attempt to eat healthy, even in the face of hurricane evacuation, I cooked my eggs in the morning so I would have hard-boiled eggs, I got some bananas, some grapes, filled up on water and was so proud of myself for having healthy options. Here’s what I ate yesterday… Left over Quiche for breakfast, that gave me some digestive issues, a coke, and Butterfinger while waiting for the “box”, a whopper junior (no cheese), small fries, and some coffee caramel drink loaded with whipped cream and sticky caramel (I wanted the caffeine) when I got to northern Florida, another coke and a pack of peanut butter crackers for dinner. I never even cracked open that cooler with healthy options. I couldn’t reach it while driving. Yea, that’s it.
I thought I was very smart to find some workaround roads to stay off of I95. I looked at the maps before leaving my desk (my phone was not working at the time) and google maps showed SEVEN accidents. So I took 17 up – which parallels I95 – then got on 301 in Georgia and did a work around until I eventually wound back around and got back on I95 around Florence South Carolina. The back roads were not only beautiful there was no one on them. No gas in Florida but once over the state line gas was pretty plentiful. I kept topping off as Jean instructed (good instructions) and when I finally got to the hotel last night there was an open gas station next to the hotel so I am once again full to start my day today. I knew I was getting a late start and that there would be traffic woes so I had the forethought to book a hotel room at where I thought was 1/2 way on my way to mom’s. Thank god I reserved it as when I got here they were sold out. And my 1/2 way point – of a normally 12 hour trip to Virginia (doing the math I thought I would have been on the road 6 hours yesterday)- took me 10 hours.. I was a different state of tired. Probably more tired than I have ever been in my life…well, that’s probably not true. But tired none-the-less. My body and mind really thought I’d be here by like 8:00 or 9 pm. Honestly when I turned onto I95 for what I thought was the last 20 miles or less and the GPS said stay on this road for 87 miles I thought I’d die. I pulled into the hotel at midnight. I can’t see that well at night when driving anyway and well, let’s just say I see why people wreck and die. But I did not wreck or die and here I am in my hotel room, safe and sound, taking advantage of the last time I’ll have wi-fi in a while and blogging away.
I texted with Doug yesterday, my friend in Miami, who is not evacuating. He is moving to a hotel though where he said the hallways our nicer when the windows blow out. Funny guy. Called me a wimp for leaving and said it’s a true Floridan experience. Said it’s extremely unpleasant for a good while, no AC, massive heat, no clean water, but that’s what makes you a true Floridian. Yea, I’m okay with not having to prove myself there. Doug and his wife have been through many hurricanes. I really hope he’s right that those unpleasantries last only a few days. I hope that it’s windy, a couple of trees down, roofs blown off (good for Stephanie as she is in roofing sales) and it turns out to be a big nothing. Remember in the old days (or now) when the weather predicts a huge snowstorm and you get all ready to hunker down and not be able to get to work and have to play in the snow, drink hot chocolate and sit by the heater or fire? And then when the snow doesn’t come you’re so disappointed and hate the weatherman for dashing your day-off dreams? Well it’s not like that for me now. I am so hoping that this is nothing. I am not panicking but I am very nervous for my friends that are staying, for my apartment, for my only home and my 6 bins. And I have some PTSD from last year when I was at my mom’s trying to get back to Florida in the aftermath of Matthew going through Fayetteville North Carolina. I keep telling myself (and others) that I’m looking at this as free time off, a free vacation, why not spend it with mom kinda thing but my heart is liked stopped in anticipation for my friends and my life left behind.
I don’t know what I’m feeling but I’m not happy that I have time off, I’m not happy that I’m out safely, I’m not happy to have this mom time in the woods, I’m not happy about any of it. I’m nervous about what “could” happen. I’m nervous about my job, how I’ll get back, when I’ll get back. I hate to say it but I think it’s worse being away. I understand why people stay put. I am sure if I was living with anyone I would not have left. Well I don’t know what I would do differently. No sense in thinking about it. For now I am sure there will be no breathing until Tuesday.
This is why I eat Hostess cupcakes. This is why I’ll have a heart attack instead of dying of cirrhosis of the liver. If only I could release some tension by being a runner or something active.
Hmmm, come to think of it I spent an awful lot of time in the woods last year working off stress cutting wood at my moms. On that note (and thought) I think it’s time to hit the road. I could use some of that woods/therapy time. Today’s travels should be around 5 hours.
Hopefully she doesn’t have any cupcakes.