Elsa – our first tropical storm

We are volunteering at J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR at Sanibel Island, FL in our 5th wheel camper. Elsa was our first experience with a tropical storm/hurricane.

What Elsa taught me:

  • A hurricane is similar to pregnancy. The mom to be is given a due date and a hurricane warning also includes an arrival date. And both come with a long wait and plenty of time to prepare. Seldom are children born on their due dates and rarely do the storm models precisely pinpoint the future of a hurricane.
  • Babies and hurricanes are named and are gender specific. We all know hurricane Elsa was a she, whereas hurricane Charlie was a he. And of course no one has a favorite, but it’s impossible not to compare the new named storms with previous hurricanes. Elsa has the makings of Charlie, or was it Wilma when she first developed?’ ‘We can only hope Elsa takes after Fay or Isaac, who were never a bother.’
  • While waiting for the arrival of Elsa, we washed all our laundry (if there was no electricity at least I would be wearing clean underwear, in the dark). filled up the gas tank, withdrew cash, charged up all our batteries, secured the outdoor furniture, cleaned the refrigerator of questionable leftover (not sure why I thought this was important) picked up a couple more books from the library, along with a few groceries, filled the fresh water tank with eighty gallons of water and watched endless media reports and predictions.

Finally the time was near…for eight hours we watched the rain and listened to the wind blow, we thought this wasn’t so bad…and then instead of the storm being over….things intensified, lightening flashed and thunder boomed, for ten additional hours.

Hurricanes are a lot like labor, a lot longer than you’d expect and a pain…but when it’s all over, it doesn’t seem so bad.

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