Monday, June 8, 2020

REPORT FROM AN OLD HURRICANE Jack Blanchard's Column June 7, 2020

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers

Hurricane Charley
13 August, 2004

It has been a pretty tense 24 hours here in Central Florida.
Charley was a category 4 hurricane and had its eye on us,
so we threw each other into garbage bags,
along with our most prized trash,
and checked into the Bates Motel around the corner.

We watched the storm reports and ate junk food
right up until it was getting ready to hit us.
Then the power went off, along with the TV, A/C,
and our sense of decorum.
The wind was howling,
and electrical transformers exploded all around.

We had bought a little battery-operated television,
but we couldn't get any batteries,
so we stared at the portable radio, by candlelight.
The room temperature was rising fast.

On the radio they said that Charley was tearing up our town.
We didn't look out the window.
Things were banging on it.
We later found out they were shingles and parts of trees.

About an hour later the worst was over,
and we tried to call our neighbors,
but the motel phones weren't working,
and our cell phone battery was low.
We wondered if we had a home to go back to.

We stood in the open motel room door
with our arms around each other
and watched the last feeder bands blow things around.
The frogs had started saying Budweiser
which Misty says is a sign that the storm is over.
I acted as if I believed her.

Finally we locked the door to keep out the bad guys,
and tried to get some sleep.
The motel windows don't open.

The first things we noticed were:
It was hot...
The air was still and it was too quiet,
except for the obligatory motel neighbor
that likes to slam doors all night.

We turned the radio on,
and after searching through a lot of hip hop and perky DJ's,
we found the hurricane reports again.
They helped us sleep a little.

Today we came home
and our place looks like a spilled ashtray.
The good news is: Our power is on,
and we can live here with tarps over the roof until help comes.

There is also some other damage,
but we're alive and in air conditioning.
Thanks to all who called to see how we're doing.

Guess what... I just heard thunder.

Jack Blanchard
© 2004