I would like to personally thank President Trump for steering Hurricane Dorian well clear of Alabama (and parts of Florida) through the sheer force of his will. That was a close one. If the president had not been closely monitoring the situation between rounds at his golf club in Virginia, this thing could have gotten rough.
It’s still pretty bad: We have a couple of small branches in the yard and some puddles in the driveway. We will rebuild! Where do I go to collect my FEMA money?
The other downside is that it’s kind of an emotional letdown. After five days of worry about flooding and the impermanence of certain trees nearby (and at least five unnecessary supply runs to Publix), we’re ending up with little more than a tropical storm — basically, a couple of regular Florida thunderstorms placed end to end. Very wet and very windy, sure, but fortunately we won’t be needing Trump to golf us through the aftermath. Just think: He could have gone to Poland after all!
One thing about impending disaster: it can bring out the best in people, a sense of brave camaraderie that you miss on normal days. Since Friday, at least half a dozen friends or neighbors have offered help should the worst come to pass. Out walking yesterday, random folks on bicycles offered hearty hellos. It’s funny how a whiff of real danger can be kind of bracing once in awhile. Tomorrow it’s back to polite nods and Facebook memes about coffee and cats.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m very grateful we got off easy, pleased as hell that I didn’t have to test the sincerity of any of those offers. I wish the Bahamas could have been so lucky. We didn’t (so far) have to light all our candles or drink all our wine. We’ve only eaten half of the dry-roasted peanuts we held in reserve.
No doubt there will be other chances to hurricane-bond in the weeks to come. As Dorian blusters by on his way to the Carolinas, the National Weather Service points out that there are some other named storms to worry about. Gabrielle is a thousand miles out in the Atlantic, but she may be jealous of all the attention. As hurricane seasons go, this one is still in its infancy.