HOME! We are home, and we have power.
Our neighborhood has a LOT of cleanup to do – but will recover. This enormous palm tree in front of our house was toppled by the winds (not sure how clearly you can see how huge it is, but it’s at least 40 feet tall). RIP, giant royal palm. And thank you thank you THANK YOU for not hitting anything on your way down!!!
There was a lot of damage to outdoor structures – street signs, fences, and of course trees and branches down everywhere. But for the most part, I think the local houses fared well. We didn’t have any major flooding in my immediate neighborhood. I am feeling very very very lucky.
The kids did well during this adventure. There were certainly some difficult moments, as they sensed that Josh and I were tense. But we tried to frame it as a ‘surprise trip’ and taught them about Irma (C’s pronunciation of this storm “Uhma” is so cute) and seemed to take in the aftermath in our neighborhood as a wonder of nature and not something frightening.
School is scheduled to resume this coming Monday, which means they had 7 days off! I’m wondering if they will extend the school year (either way is fine w/ me).
Here’s what our journey looked like:
HOME –> Ocala – 7 hrs 9/6/17 (8:30 pm – 3:30 am, leaving after work)
Ocala –> Birmingham 9/7/17 – 12 hrs (1:00 pm – 1:00 am)
Birmingham –> Cary NC 9/10/17 – 12 hrs (6:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Cary, NC –> HOME 9/12/17 – 19 hrs (6:00 am – 1:00 am)
MANY MANY iPad movies for the kids
A lot of (gross) road food
Several long gas lines which prompted a lot of anxiety, but no complete unavailability of fuel
Josh and I analyzed our experience and in retrospect, wish we had gone straight to NC instead of Alabama! But that’s not entirely fair to our past selves, because as we made that decision, the storm was predicted to go to NC and it didn’t seem like a good choice. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have done anything differently. It just didn’t make sense — with the ages of our kids, and my pregnancy — to attempt to ‘ride out’ anything. If either of us had been on call, it would have been a stickier situation. (Probably if Josh had been on call, I would have made aggressively early reservations to fly up with the kids to PHL to avoid the whole thing; if I were on call, we’d negotiate staying at or near my hospital).
ANYWAY, feeling thankful and thrilled to be back to near-normal today. I am SO GLAD I cancelled my work trip. As much as I look forward to the yearly learning opportunities, I just need to be home right now, and need more time to recover mentally. I am headed to work today, so as an added bonus I have extra catchup days to take care of all of the patients I missed seeing over the unexpected ‘break’.
Will be back in a day or so with a non-hurricane post, but just wanted to close this chapter and let everyone know all is well. I hope everyone else affected (by both Harvey + Irma) continues to heal. My thoughts are with those who were much more greatly impacted, both domestically and on the nearby islands.