Surfing in a Hurricane

Howdy All ~ 

Oy vey. Right when things are finally getting back to what we Floridians can call normal, there’s been another announcement that Hurricane Maria is brewing in the ocean and it looks like her forces are going to be sending her right down Irma’s path. You’re kidding, right? This is a joke, right? #thisistoomuch #waytoomuch Cuz, that’s kinda what it felt like when I saw that.

The Weds-Fri before the 9/10 into 9/11 hurricane was absolutely insane. 8 or more hours of listening to hurricane talk at work, then following the Spaghetti Models website and watching how it can go three million trillion different ways…but yet, it was COMING STRAIGHT AT FLORIDA ON THE EAST COAST…then NOOOO WAIT…the WEST COAST…back to the east coast?! Nope, back to the west coast… MANDATORY EVACUATIONS ON THE WEST COAST, WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HEADING TO THE EAST COAST. East Coast is doing nothing to prepare, but yet… IRMAGERD….Moving more NW more north, more west, now heading STRAIGHT FOR TAMPA AND OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE IT’S A CAT 5, ETC.

Wow. It was stressful, and now, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate spaghetti.

By Friday, there weren’t many open gas stations and the ones that had anything left was forty cars deep on each open pump. People were going insane–lots of screaming, impatience, and basic nastiness. There was NOTHING left in grocery stores (like cans or water) and most all places were sold out of plywood or anything you normally need to fix stuff in a hurricane.

By Saturday, I was just freaking out so bad that I truly thought this was the end for me. That’s why I said the goodbye that I did on Facebook. Saturday I spent all day packing up my entire apartment–like covering all electronics, getting stuff off the floor, making sure I had enough water in the fridge and freezer and etc.

My neighbor and I ended up going somewhere else in St Pete to stay during the hurricane. Because this thing had been drug out for so long–and when the electric went out–it was basically a waiting game. I kept looking at my phone and seeing that we were in the circle of it all but heard and saw nothing. I got sick of waiting and, as terrible as this is, I fell asleep through the brute of the storm. Oops. So I can’t exactly explain being awake and explaining what I heard… because I was so tired, I heard nothing.

But the stress was enough to kill a person. I was stressed about losing my car that I’m still paying for, I was stressed about losing the house and stuff that I’ve worked so hard to keep, I was stressed about Eisenhower reacting in this storm, I was stressed about losing work and not being able to make money to survive and what to do if something did happen. The headaches and extreme body pain that I got out of this was bad too.

After all is said and done, the power at the place where we stayed went out but we went home to our duplex house and nothing but tree limbs and stuff on her side was out of place. Luckily, it was untouched. We had power. We were thankful. I had NO SERVICE on my phone at all for a week, so every evening I’d walk down to the Gulfport waters and catch up for a few hours before going back dark when I got home. That was kind of inconvenient. But, nothing was touched, we had electric and water… So thankful.

The worst part of all of this was how crazy some people went, how some went out in the hurricane and was killed for being stupid, the way some reacted right before the hurricane, and the people who left their animals tied to trees while fleeing themselves.

The BEST part of all of this… was the chicken burritos (down in Key West someone wrapped up all the roosters/chickens in newspaper and took them away from KW so they’d be saved), the “cone of uncertainty” and “God flipping a fidget spinner” meme, and the single file flamingos from Busch Gardens.

But that’s not all of the best…. my beloved adult hometown of Gulfport had spirit. As soon as this was over, some of the places were open and people were gathered laughing and having a good time. Many people pitched in to help one another. Florida as a whole should be kissing the ground that we’re mostly 95% lucky that (almost all of us) quickly got everything back up and running. The town of Gulfport and Florida was amazingly quick and humble about handling the situation that was given to us (minus South Fl and Key West which will take some time)…and surprisingly, I haven’t seen any insane reactions lately, but I bet they’re heading back to town. Ha! FLORIDA STRONG AND GULFPORT STRONG. Fo’Sho!

Needless to say, I really hope Maria surprises us and goes back out in the ocean. I do not think I am ready for another one nor ready for any kind of rain. Or storm.

I know some of you are probably wondering why I stayed in FL when people were leaving town? This is my home. I want to be here to help if need be and I want to be around my family of friends who (for the most part) didn’t leave. Plus, there’s always that feeling of… if something like a window is broken, will my stuff be stolen? Sorry, I’d like to stay close to my place and make sure it’s okay.

I appreciate everyone who contacted me throughout this whole thing and was worried and asking what I was planning on doing. Thank you SOOOOO much! You guys, it means a lot. 

For those inquiring about Eisenhower: The day of the hurricane, he was acting so funny. Like, trying to climb up to the top of his carrying case. I was hoping to calm him down by picking him up and he pinched me so hard (for maybe a minute) and pinched a hole right through my finger. It. Hurt. Yes, it drew some tears. I kept him close for a few days, and last night (the 16th) when I was holding him, I could feel him go limp. He went into another molt, I confirmed that earlier, and I am praying to the universe that he turns out okay in time. He is moving around and was munching on his old skin… sooooo… that is good news.

In other news, as of Friday (I think?) Eisenhower has a new brother, a Betta fish. His name is Lord Augustus Wolfgang Fishypants. He’s a cute red fish, and he’s already reacting / communicating with me.

I think most of you know already…. I’ve been appointed as the stage manager of the kids show on Saturday and I’m taking Patrick’s writing class on Sunday plus I will soon be doing boat shows on the weekends and then working 2 jobs during the week. I am still staying absent from Facebook (if you message me, I won’t get it), I don’t really have time for much other than posting to Instagram. Please know I’m not ignoring you if I don’t answer. Emails are hit or miss, considering half of it is buried right now from not cleaning it out.

There’s going to be a ridiculous amount of things going on in my life the next 60-90+ days so the BEST bet from now on is to just text or call me at 919-900-0052, ESPECIALLY if you need an answer right away or it’s really important. Leave a message if you call and I don’t answer, or just text away. I have unlimited so it doesn’t matter how long or short the message. 

Love you guys, 
Karen Maeby, Eisenhower & Augustus