Hurricanes, ACs, and Jabs, Oh My!

Beautiful ear-tipped feral cat seen at a park on Lake Lanier in the Atlanta area. September 2022

We knew there was a hurricane headed toward the gulf. Honestly, I can’t recall where it was when we left for our week-long vacation to the Atlanta area and then on to Chattanooga. We left on a Friday and spent a wonderful weekend adoring our grandbaby. But, by Sunday, we realized that no matter where the hurricane hit, we’d be driving home the next Friday through its aftermath.

So, we forsook Chattanooga and returned home on Monday to prepare for a storm.

We live in a weird spot on Florida’s east coast. Now, I’m not saying we never get hit, but we rarely do. Most storms ride up along the coast and hit up north or head back out into the Atlantic. Those that come from the west typically veer off to poor New Orleans or cross the state exiting far north of us.

And those that do enter our county seem to like the northern half and leave us with just a tropical storm.

This time, Ian slammed into Florida’s west coast, devastating it, and then headed across north of us. We slept through whatever we got and awoke the next morning to a yard littered with bits of oak. One old branch broke. And that was it.

When I went out to survey the damage and check for squirrels (after the last hurricane they seemed to disappear for a long time), I found the plastic cover for a car headlamp up by the garage door. Then I found another in the side yard. I checked our cars and figured they must belong to someone on the cul de sac. I imagined that they weren’t attached to a car at the time of the storm, because, what are the odds both covers would be pried off by the wind?

I talked to our neighbor across the street and they weren’t hers, so I put them out on the sidewalk and waited for their owner to come for them. Several days later, my husband noted that they looked like they’d fit on one of our cars. Sure enough, they were ours all along. I felt a little silly picking them up off the sidewalk and taking them to the garage.

And then, the AC went out. Turned out to be a leaky coil, so probably not related to the hurricane. But, the thing is, the coil has to be ordered from the manufacturer and will take at least ten weeks.

If this were March through September, I’d be investing in a few of those portable air conditioners and trying to finagle a way to install them, fitting their venting tubes into our way-too-large windows that hubs loves so much.

But it’s October, thank gawd, and I’m finding that, so far, I’m not suffering. Not any more than usual, that is.

Yesterday, we went for our third Covid boosters and flu shots and my arms hurt. I think I’ll go sploof on the sofa for a while and watch some college football. I made my Scrumptious Earthquake Cake recipe for my weekend pity party, but today I don’t even feel like eating any. I’m sure it’ll pass.

But, you know what else I’ve been thinking about? And, this could be the emptiness I always feel leaving my son, DIL, and grandbaby; or anxiety leftover from the hurricane; leaked freon; or the results of my body currently building up a resistance against Covid and the flu….but I’ve been thinking about writing. And I’m not sure I want to push myself at it anymore.

I thought I was going to sell books and have a career. But it’s just a hobby. And when I pressure myself to work on the next book, it just makes me irritable. There’s a tad bit of “why bother rushing” to the exercise. If I’m just writing for me, basically, then why make such a fuss? I feel like I’d rather just make puzzle books all the time. I really enjoy that. And maybe I’d have a better chance at selling them than novels.

And my sewing table is set up in the back room and every time I walk by I regret that I have so much else to do. I’m getting old, people. Maybe it’s time to just do whatever the hell I want to do–not that I haven’t had that option all along.

Well, that’s enough brooding for today. May your days be cool and your storms pass quickly…

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