Friday, August 30, 2019
With Hurricane Dorian bearing down on Florida, and likely to impact where we live in Florida, it’s been an interesting two days with Mom.
She’s terrified of hurricanes. When Irma was forecast to hit as a category 5 two years ago, I got Mom, the cats, and the dog right out of dodge. And said I would never do that again unless the sheriff banged on my door and told me to leave.
Irma eventually came through at a 2, and left the house with nary a scratch. But we found ourselves on I-75, three days prior, in a 250 mile parking lot. A road trip to North Georgia that should have taken 10 hours took three days. I wrecked my truck, in literally Bumfuck, Florida, after eight excruciating hours crawling on the interstate the first night. A cab to get us to the only shithole hotel that had a room was an hour away. And the hotel was another 45 minutes away. Next morning, the only rental car was another hour cab ride away. All this with Mom, three cats, the dog, and all the stuff we’d loaded into my Jeep. The next day was another 10 hours on the road, through Georgia traffic and tons of Florida license plates. Rats all fleeing the same sinking ship.
With my GPS saying we were just three hours from our destination (Yeah right. That bitch had said 10 hours two days ago.) and me white-knuckling it in rush-hour traffic outside Atlanta, Mom decided to start yelling at me that the cats must be hungry, need water, and the box.
Yeah. No shit. We’ve been in the same car for 10 hours, and I’ll lose my shit before they do. Get me off the road before I wreck the rental car. Another hotel. Me dragging the cats, the luggage, the dog into another hotel room. Mom bitching the whole time and not really even remembering why we are on this road trip. Completely forgot a hurricane is coming. We are just doing this,”for fun.”
Been There, Done That, Ain’t Doing It Ever Again
So with Dorian headed, I made a decision to stick it out. And things are a little different this time, anyway. Dorian still isn’t forecast to be as strong as Irma was at this time. And I know the house will hold. Plus, my sister now has an inside condo, with units on both sides and above, only three windows, and two bathrooms with no windows. If we have to, we’ll hunker down there with the zoo. But I don’t think we’ll have to, in any event.
Stay. Away. From. The. News!
I made the rookie mistake the other day of letting her watch her normal local ABC station all day while I tried to get some work done at my computer. In the other room I couldn’t hear that they were cutting in with news updates on Dorian. And of course, before I could do anything about it, Mom was at DefCon 1.
I’ve probably mentioned before that although Mom does have cognitive dysfunction and memory loss, her social skills are still in tact. That also means her core personality is still in tact. That also means her Chicken Little, Hair-Is-On-Fire, Fred Sandford is still in tact.
And sometimes, the only thing I can do is laugh. Not to her face. I’m not an asshole. These are excerpts of some of our conversations the past two days. (Italics are my inner thoughts.)
Mom, “We’ve got to leave! Now!”
Me, “I think it’s too soon to tell. It’s not even to Puerto Rico yet. They don’t even think it’ll be here until Sunday night or Monday.”
Mom, “Yes and today is Wednesday!”
You picked a fine time to remember what day it is.
Mom, “Do we have supplies??”
“Yes, we have tons. I put them all together after the last storm.”
Mom, “How do you know?’
“Uh. ‘Cause I put together the hurricane supply kit.”
Mom, “We need to buy dried milk.”
“Yuck! Why would we buy dried milk? I couldn’t stomach the stuff when you tried to pawn it off on me by mixing it in an empty milk carton when I was a kid.”
Mom, “We might want to make a cup of tea.”
“If we have electricity to boil water, we have electricity to keep milk fresh.”
Mom, “We need to buy hard cheese. Hard cheese will last.”
“Um. Not if the power is out for two weeks like last time. How about Easy Cheese? It doesn’t need refrigeration and will last ’till Trump ushers in the Apocalypse.”
Mom, “We need to buy eggs.”
“But they need refrigeration.”
Mom, “Then you can boil them.”
“If we can boil them we can refrigerate them.”
Mom, “Then boil them before. They last.”
Mom, “You don’t know! I’ve been through hurricanes!”
“HurricanE. You’ve been through one hurricane in the 1950s. You drugged the dog and played cards all night with your neighbors.”
Mom, “I would never have drugged my dog.”
Mom, “You have to be prepared for the worst! You don’t understand!”
“I used to prepare for plane crashes with 300 people on board. I think I got this.”
Mom, “Oh you don’t know!”
“I lived on an island in the middle of nowhere.”
Mom, “It’ll probably hit in the middle of the night.”
“How do you know that?
Mom, “Because that’s when they hit.”
Ah yes. I forgot. Hurricanes hit in the middle of the night. Earthquakes hit in the afternoon. And volcanoes erupt between 8 and 9 am.
Mom, “We have mac and cheese. That’s good.”
Not if I have to make it on the grill.
Me, “We have a full tank of propane, so if we have to, we can cook from the freezer if the power is out.”
Mom, “You don’t want to be outside cooking on the grill in a hurricane!”
How silly of me. Of course not, Mother.
Mom, “You have plenty of food for the animals, don’t you?!?”
No. I just figured if we die they can eat our bodies.
Mom, “This house isn’t safe! Look at all these windows!”
“It came through the last storm just fine and that one was way stronger. And if we have to we’ll go to [my sister’s].”
Mom, “What if she loses her roof?”
Then I guess the lady who lives upstairs is fucked.