It's pouring down rain outside right now and I would much rather be curled up on my couch with my favorite blanket, coffee in hand and reading a good book than be sitting in this office until 5:00. The wind is frequently blowing our front doors open and I have the weather channel on behind me constantly beeping to notify us that there is a "potential" tornado warning. Pretty awesome right? Not really.
I live in Florida. I am used to wind, rain, hurricanes and storms and especially around this time of year. Apparently Fay whipped through here this weekend, what a joke! We had a little wind and some showers, nothing major at all. Us Pensacolians have seen our fair share of hurricanes and tropical storms. In fact, in the past we probably didn't take them as seriously as we should have- that is until 2004 when the big, bad, and destructive Hurricane Ivan came and shook us all up. I'll never ever forget that. I'll never forget what it was like driving home and not recognizing my hometown, it looked like a warzone. I remember friends who lost everything they had, I remember walking through the neighborhood my childood best friends lived in and there being nothing but debris left where beautiful beach homes once stood. I remember the night of the storm and texting and calling all of my best friends the whole night as we all watched the news from different cities and locations and saw how bad it really was. I remember evacuating and sitting in traffic for 3-4 hours on I-10 as everyone in Pensacola and the surrounding areas were trying to flee this monsterous storm. I remember not having electricity for a week and tons of Bible students from the college my Dad was president of staying at our house and cooking outside every day while the neighbors came and shared. I remember not being able to see from one end of our yard to the other because every tree was down and our shed was a tangled mess in the midst of it all. I remember the people that lived in Brownsville who lost everything they had and everyday we would be at the church giving food, water, clothes, shoes, hot meals, blankets, pillows, and hope to those who had nothing left. I remember there being lines miles long to get gasoline. I remember standing in line at wal mart because only a certain amount of people could go in at a time and you were limited as to how much you could buy because everyone was in need. I remember there being blue roofs for two whole years everywhere you went! In fact, when you flew into Pensacola as you were coming in you could see tons and tons of blue roofs! Hurricane Ivan was a category 4 hurricane and it was the worst one to hit Pensacola in like 100 years or something. Ever since then, when you say the word hurricane or tropical storm around here- people freak, boards go up, tarps go up, businesses close, people bombard wal marts and grocery stores for bottled water, canned goods, essentials, generators etc.
I hate hurricane season. I love storms but I hate hurricanes. Every time one spins off of the ivory coast and begins heading our way, people start to worry and immediately check to see if they have the proper coverage on their homes, stock up on gasoline and begin making plans as to where they will evacuate if it does in fact come our way. I can imagine that my job will begin to get VERY stressful should one creep up on us again- I work in an insurance office and claims are NOT my cup of tea. So, mother nature do us all a favor and please, please, please keep these things to yourself. We can do without them this year.