Enduring two Category 5+ hurricanes will change a person. It’s certainly changed this island girl.
Here are 10 things I never did before living on a post-hurricane island:
1) Swear in front of the children.
Ok, so this is not entirely true. Damnit was always the signal to the family that Mommy needed some alone time. But post-hurricanes? I’m talking full-on sailor talk. The F-bombs have been dropped. Colorful phrases that once were reserved for hushed tones have now been spoken/shouted to whomever is in earshot. I’d be mortified if I weren’t so f&*%$ng frustrated.
2) Drink an entire bottle of wine at dinner.
Ok, so this is not entirely true, either. But I certainly never did at family weeknight dinners. Regularly. (Read: daily.) So common has this become that when the kids are setting the table, they ask me which wine bottle they should sit at my place. Gulp. I’d be embarrassed if I weren’t so frazzled.
3) Discuss kilowatt size, fuel consumption, and oil maintenance on generators.
I now know how many hours I can run my Genny from a full tank, how many items I can plug in without tripping the breaker, and how to wrangle a veritable octopus of extension cords to do my bidding. Despite this newfound knowledge of things with a plug, it is still a magical mystery how it all happens. I find myself wishing a senator lived on our road so we would get power before the new year.
4) Forgo shaving my legs.
Ok, so this is not entirely true either. As a natural blonde, I have been lucky to not have to do this chore on a daily basis. However, I’m referring to not shaving until you know which direction the wind is blowing based on the way it ripples through your leg hair. I feel like anyone with a problem with my hirsute lower appendages can kiss my…
5) Powder everything.
Pre-hurricane, I might sprinkle a little cornstarch powder on my thighs on a warm day. Post-hurricane, I put down a towel on the floor and create a cloud. Then I emerge as Post-Apocalyptic Casper the Friendly Ghost. My daughter is permanently scarred by the volume of I-don’t-give-a-crap that she has witnessed.
6) Pitch a hissy-fit.
These fits of frustrated rage have been sporadic but epic. I’ve thrown a mop across the floor, a bucket off the balcony, shoes into the wall. I’ve shut my car door so hard I feared the window would break. I’ve screamed at the top of my lungs in the shower. And each and every time I got done fit-pitching, I put on my big girl pants and made shit happen. Sometimes, post-hurricane life just calls for a hissy fit. #notsorry
7) Use 4WD-Lo to get home.
When the road ate my 4-Runner’s front end, I had to open up a can of 4WD whoop-ass and redneck my way through the Bolongo potholes. It was crazy, but I made it home.
8) Wash my clothes outside in a plastic bin of sun-heated rainwater.
When you run out of panties, you gotta do what you gotta do. Thank goodness I stopped giving a crap when the first hurricane blew out of here, so I am not shy about hanging out my and my daughter’s undergarments on the clothesline.
9) Go 2 weeks without a trip to the grocery store.
It’s pasta again tonight, kids! Let’s get crazy and have white sauce with canned chicken! Or do you want to live it up and have pesto noodles with canned salmon? What’s that? You want gnocchi with marinara and sliced hot dogs? You got it!
10) Hug everyone.
After IrMaria, the hugs are real and we all need them. Connections made after these stupid storms are different than before. There’s now a distinctly different thread holding us all together and it sewed right through any differences that held us apart before. Mother Nature destroyed mansions and shacks without prejudice. She equalized us all with her fury. She made us all family, in a way, and she has reminded us all of our inherent commonality. It’s kind-of beautiful, really, and I hope that spirit remains.
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Ok, survivors – fess up: What do you find yourself doing now, post-hurricanes, that you never did before the storms on your rock?