The Aftermath

…of Wilma.

As I wrote in the last post, I put this here not for anything or anyone other than myself. It’s what happened after a Cat 3 ran over us in 2005. Nothing like Andrew, but still…

Thank God it’s cool!! If this had happened in August we’d be miserable. Even a normal October day is usually warm and humid. Two colds fronts equal another miracle! Before she left for home Tonie and I went to Publix for staples and of course she left for home with one of my bags. A heartfelt thank you to Publix for opening their doors! Without power they may have been trying to get shed of some perishables, I don’t know. That’s what I’d do, anyway.

The line outside Home Depot is long, considering the generators haven’t arrived. We need a generator and a new gas grill (not to worry, we have two generators now). Cleaning the fridge and freezer out.

Dammit, Tonie left with my trail shoes!

Continue reading “The Aftermath”


Ran across this account of Hurricane Wilma’s aftermath while cleaning out my desk. Though I wrote about Hurricane Andrew’s passing, it’s certainly not for consumption. Our experiences after Wilma, though, are simply boring. Putting it here to save it.

Hubris and the Hurricane or How We Found our Miracle

::Cue the Gilligan’s Island theme::

No phone, no motorcar, not a single luxury. October 25th, 2005. The day after Wilma rolled through south Florida. Tonie (Oldest Daughter) appeared at our door, an hour north of her home, with a quarter tank of gas.

We had started cleaning up the yard – everyone lost trees, and I told Mike not to worry about the ficus hedge laying on its side. If it’s warm enough you can plop a ficus down on pavement and it will grow between the cracks – anyway… Tonie presented her idea of going north for gas and food. We’d done that after Andrew and it had worked a treat! Ft. Lauderdale was normal while we down in Miami lived in a combat zone. What we didn’t realize was… while Andrew was a compact Cat 5, Wilma, though only a Cat 3, was huge. The problems associated with storms reached from Miami through Palm Beach.

Mike and I acquiesced and we drove up to Palm Beach (this is Broward county), further and further north. The gas situation was looking more dire than ever. No one had power and we were forced off at I95 and Okeechobee. I was on the mobile looking for an open station, with no luck.

We finally came upon a station with lines of cars stretching a mile down the road. The owner was hand cranking the fuel – but for cans only.

Turning right onto Military Trail we pulled into a 7/11 type station where they were selling warm beer and cigs, cash only. They gave us directions to get back on Okeechobee where we found four stations with power that were pumping -past the turnpike. I purchased three 1 gallon cans (all I could get) in case we needed them.

The station with the shortest lines were still a mile long. We dispersed, one in the car line and two in can lines. If the gas had run out we’d have been stranded there all night. Our miracle was that Tonie’s was the last vehicle in the car line to get gas.

We made it home at 9:30p. Suffice it to say we keep plenty of gas for storms now.

This is not all…

A Promise

…then it started pouring again.

Christmas Eve saw us in a hotel room after eating warmed up Campbell’s soup from a Circle K. Surreal, but we were able to see family for Christmas so it was worth it.

We drove back down I95 and grabbed the dogs from the ‘spa’. It’s nice to be home.

It’s Going to be a Busy Weekend

We’re almost directly in the path of hurricane Dorian. (I’m sorry, but I hate that name – I call the storm Dorian Gray)

I’ve been in Florida since 1992, with a rather quick sabbatical in Texas in 1996. The state stopped surprising me after hurricane Andrew ripped my roof off… in 1992. You’d think I’d turn around and leave the way I came after that welcome, but no. Of course not. I never learn.

Several hurricanes later and I’m going through that old routine… and hating every minute of it. What used to be exciting and sometimes terrifying has simply become a major pain in my ass.

All this is to say… someone please send some gas down here so I can power the generator long enough to make coffee.

During Alberto


Tradescantia pallida, more commonly known as Purple Heart…  and since I always post the first Crinum lily of the season… lily with Bree in the background. In people years the old girl is 83.


You can’t kill crinums. I pulled the entire bed up after Irma… about 60 of them… and threw the ones I wanted to keep in another bed. Not planted. They lay there dormant, looking door-nail dead, until I planted them again this Spring. Miraculous.

Alberto has been dumping massive amounts of water on us, but guess what? It’s monsoon season anyway. For two weeks before Al got here we were inundated every day. Fortunately we live on a sandbar.

Après Irma

It’s alive!

Well, we survived. Again. But really, how many times can one tempt fate? I lost track of how many hurricanes I’ve been through.

I took before pictures, as one does… but no after. The pictures would come out looking like modern art that nobody understands because everything is swathed in green and brown roughage; the result of the almighty raking a giant comb over the land at great speed.

We were more ready for this storm than any other, which thankfully was not needed. Luckier than most, we were only without power for 24 hours and internet for a few days. I’d rather have power than internet, but it felt odd and I didn’t even turn my pc on til it came back up.

Kudos to the city of Margate and Broward county, both of which kept everyone updated via Twitter and Facebook.

Now… there are three other systems to keep a weather eye on… and have I mentioned that I WANT TO MOVE??