At about 2am early Wednesday morning, the power finally went out. As such, the phone charger died, and eventually, my phone died. The white noise I always sleep with went silent. The cabin went completely dark. I would say that it was still, but it wasn’t. The cabin was shaking. I would say that it was dead silent, but it wasn’t. The wind was whistling. Outside, the gusts were whipping, and inside, after two days of waiting for ol’ Sally, my nerves finally started churning.
Earlier in the day, I had stood around and talked to neighbors in likely 35-40mph winds. Later in the evening, right on the water, I endured 50mph+ gusts, and it felt like I was walking into a wall. I had no desire to feel the higher speeds that blew the power out, nor did I have any desire to dodge the limbs that were inevitably thrashing about under the ominous sky. I can’t even imagine the 100mph+ winds that occurred just over the Alabama state line as the center of Sally made landfall 50 miles away, give or take.
The initial track had Sally headed towards New Orleans, and we were on the very eastern side of the storm. Then the storm turned east, and we were smack in the middle. At the eleventh hour, it turned further east, and we found ourselves on the very western side. So unlike the recent near misses and false alarms, this one was coming in some way, shape, or form all along.
It was the damnedest thing, though. Just five miles away to the west, it was a complete nonevent. At the golf course, nonevent. At the new house, nonevent. When I showed local friends the video of the wind blowing that I put up on Instagram, they were blown away (shout out wind puns).
For all the wind that I personally experienced, we luckily got almost no rain. High tide looked a little ominous, but the water quickly receded. I feel for the folks over in Alabama and Florida. Just east, damn, they got some rain. I know lots of golfers from the Mobile area whose power is still out 3-4 days later. Nature is no joke.
As the storm approached, I had to make a decision. Christy and Banks headed north, though Banks did get to briefly experience and enjoy his hair blowing in the crazy winds.
I spoke to a seasoned neighbor I trust, and given the quality of construction of the cabin, its height above elevation, and so forth, he assured me everything would be okay for this newcomer to hurricanes. He did warn me it might get a little hairy overnight.
About 3:30am, I climbed out of bed and grabbed a flashlight, unsure exactly of what I was about to do. I walked aimlessly around the tiny cabin for about a minute and then accepted the fact that there was literally nothing to do. So I hopped back into bed and snuggled Happy, my deaf, 5-pound chihuahua, between my arms. As the wind continued to howl, I giggled quietly to myself. This dog couldn’t go outside to pee a few hours ago for fear of the wind blowing him over, but now, like always, he couldn’t hear a thing. To him, the storm is over.
And soon enough, it was.
Have a great week.-Benj
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