“There’s someone at the door,” said Tracy’s hard-of-hearing grandmother every time another terrifying burst of wind would thrash against their porch. “There’s someone at the door,” she repeated, every few minutes, during the fifteen hours it took for the hurricane to pass over them. Tracy said that was much more bothersome than the hurricane itself!
In the 20 years I have lived on a small island in the Caribbean I have certainly seen a lot of hurricane action. We know the routine well; board up the house, fix on the hurricane shutters, cut all coconuts down, fill baths with water, stock up on spaghetti and batteries (or in David’s case Rum and books) boats out of the water, roofs off the golf carts, and generally hide anything that might possibly fly. All visitors are evacuated off the island, the airport closes down, telephone lines go dead, we begin to loose power…… and connection to the outside world.
Then there is nothing to do except wait. Actually there is one other thing…on our island lots of babies are born 9 months after a hurricane.
The last time we had a major hurricane I checked a chain saw onto the plane, David was thrilled, best present I had ever bought him. That was before the time the cats got so scared they dribble peed across all my shoes inside the cupboard, and I watched bottles and bottles of my precious breast milk unfreeze when the generator gave up.
But hurricanes, as we know, can be catastrophic. Linda was crouched inside her home when Hurricane Andrew struck and watched with horror as the roof of her home was ripped right off over her head and the contents swept away in its powerful path.
Our home is pretty safe, tucked back from the ocean and not too close to the bay, but with David off the island with our boys in London, I thought I would swoop Domino up and head to LA for a week of work. Which is odd because I am normally the nutter trying to catch the last plane onto the island, not off it.
As we watch Matthew creeping forward we pray for the safety of our southern neighbors, Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba, and I know just how lucky I am to be able to get out of dodge.