Some of you may have heard that my dear city recently experienced a bit of a storm. Hurricane Isaac came through and taught the delta a lesson she already knows too well--and that's that Mother Nature is bigger, stronger, and meaner than you. Not meaner. That may not be fair. Who knows? Maybe a hurricane is sad to spread destruction but just can't help it. I would like to think that's true. I will say that my obsessive compulsive personification habit has been exacerbated by the fact that everyone refered to the hurricane by its very normal, human name. Isaac is about to enter the city, Isaac is breaking up, Isaac is slowly moving North. I mean without context, you could be talking about a variety of things. Isaac the supervillian, Isaac as a codename for an army. But no. Isaac is heavy rain and scary wind. Isaac probably does not have feelings. Or so science says. I would like to write a post full of passionate descriptions of what hurricane is really like, peppered with fun anecdotes about riding out the storm and what I think a hurricane could be feeling, but unfortunately I didn't stick around to watch that madness unfold. That's right. It appears that when push comes to shove, I am moderately afraid of hurricanes. I've been lying for years about how I feel about large storms. The second we knew it was coming, we got the hell out of dodge. Sayanara, suckers. Adios, amigos. I'm, clap clap snap snap, out. Theoretically, I know I have nothing to fear. Thunder can't hurt you. Lightening could but probably won't. Heavy rain in and of itself shouldn't bring on the urge to curl into the fetal position. I'm not even always convinced wind exists. There are many reasons why I shouldn't be afraid of the elements themselves. However, the combination of all these things at high volume and in a man-made environment has the potential to be catastrophic. I know I would've survived had I chosen to stay. It wasn't that bad of a storm. But it would've knocked out our electricity, and I don't know if ya'll know this, but it is so hot here. And we wouldn't have had real food, and I don't know if ya'll know this, but I need regular feedings. And it would've brought out the worst of humanity, and I don't know if ya'll know this, but I have no inclination to take my rose-colored glasses off.
So we left and spent two beautiful days in Monroe, Louisiana, before the storm hit, and then five more days that were not beautiful. They were uneasy and unsure and they played out to the soundtrack of the weather channel and constant rain. I will tell you what is stressful: it isn't actually having your house crushed by a tree or your car carried away by floodwater or your house filled with scum. It's not knowing whether or not any of that has happened. Stressful is not being able to plan more than twelve hours in advance. Stressful is waiting to see. I can't paint myself as too big of a victim here because all in all "hurrication" was a breeze. I was safe. My friends were safe. My house and car ultimately made it. But it is a weird feeling. Instability is not my forte.
Now that we're back--after a brief stint in Baton Rouge that involved an LSU football game (turns out those people really like football...more on that later)--it feels like driving down here was a lifetime ago. We counted. I saw ten states in 7 days. I didn't sleep in my own bed and in my own space for two weeks. I was on the road. I'm weirdly proud of that and also depressed. It makes this routine I'm starting to settle into feel like a blessing, and it makes my little house feel even more like a safe haven, and even the little things like my room (affectionately dubbed The Swedish Hotel, thanks Ikea) even more like an escape, and things like electricity and running water even more like a luxury. They say it's the little things. They might just be right.