We've been through this before, but this time it's with a twist--the whole hurricane thing. We evacuated from our island back in '05 as an ominous storm bore down on us....and then the all clear was sounded a few days later and we returned to life as normal. This go-around, we live a ways a way from our coastal house that is presently on the market...and so M and a couple of the kids have headed toward the eye of the storm instead of away from it. Yes, M and 3&4 of 8 are down on the coast boarding up the windows of the house as the forecasters predict doom to our area, then change their minds 20 minutes later and forecast doom for the folks to the south or the folks to the north.
It's always so hard to know what to do. Do we spend the time and money to go batten down the hatches, or do we wait it out a bit longer, hoping that the jet stream rolls in our favor? M has a stressful enough profession--I hate to see him taking on the challenge of boarding up a house, driving through the night, and then trying to function in some sort of cogent fashion in his office the next day. But we would kick ourselves if we didn't so what we could to protect our housing investment and protect it for the next owners.
The irony of these gulf storms is that they can be so devastating, but shape the beaches and islands that we love so much. The surges, the high water, the currents and winds, all carve and hone the beautiful dunes and curving beaches. It is an amazing reminder of our smallness, of the forces that shape our world, of the power of wind and water, of our attempts and our failures to tame wild areas subject to wild weather.
And so we wait it out. I wait for M to return from his crisis carpentry. He waits for the next forecast to vaildate his effort and foresight. We wait to see where the whims of Ike ultimately take it. And we marvel in nervous awe at the power of such a storm.