It's Coming Right For Us...Don't Panic!

Speaking of disasters...or not speaking of...I don't want to talk about it: Team USA gets manhandled by Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico, nuestro territorio, no se olviden). Yuck.

Anyway, I said here that nothing exciting hurricane-wise ever happens in Alachua County, which not only is smack-dab in the middle of the state, but is also conveniently located to miss the avenues hurricanes generally follow coming up from the Gulf, or swinging up from the Caribbean. So there's generally a big hubbub and schools close down and then all we get is a lot of hard rain and some strong wind, and the extent of the damage is a few trees falling on parked cars or hapless homeowners' roofs.

Not this time around.

Friday around noon we were told Charley was going to come right through Alachua County. Brace yourselves, boys and girls, she's coming through right here and will exit the state the way a bullet exits the back of a nosy private eye's head* just south of St. Augustine. So we all geared up, church activities were cancelled, and water was hoarded.

And then, while Polk County was getting pasted, we didn't even have any rain. Not even any rain!!!

Now, I know that people were killed by the storm, but I've got to say it, callous or not: what a let-down. I was really looking forward to experiencing a mighty storm, but of course, the storm turned and hit a trailer park in an unprepared part of the state. And the genius loci of Alachua County has generally been quite sympathetic to its fellow spirits, always raining hard as a mark of respect for those counties really being hit. Not this time...we just sat in the living room, bored. The frogs croaked right outside our window, and that was that.

On a more exciting note for my family, my parents were in an Orlando hotel during the storm, waiting for my dad's flight out of Orlando International the next morning. Mom's Mini Cooper got a few dings, and when they got to the airport Saturday morning it was closed: much of the roof had been ripped off.

Here's a little bit by the way: the Swait Family Prime lived in Berkeley in 1990, and their home went up in smoke that year along with 3,000 others. I'm gonna tell you all this: FEMA absolutely rocks. That fire was a hiccup in our lives (a rough hiccup, mind you) because of their programs. Being a business owner would make it much less of a hiccup, but I'm really amazed at the effort and resources the Federal Government is able to bring to bear in emergencies. A good reason to pay your taxes (and you can still desire them to be flat taxes or pure sales taxes, as I do).

* I'm so proud: that phrase referred to three body parts in four words...four body parts in four words if one is liberal.