The phrase “Flo is coming to town” has never really had great connotations. Unless of course you have a super cool friend named Flo, whose visits you genuinely look forward to because she brings wine and hates all the same people you do. More typically, flo’s visits are accompanied by cramps, crying, and the desire to eat everything in sight but being too tired to chew. And the occasional urge to stab things.
But never in my life has the phrase “flo is coming” meant a mandatory evacuation, a google search for “storm surge” and making hard decisions like which pairs of shoes can I afford to live without. (Side note: I left my Uggs because I once accidentally watched a mini-documentary detailing how these boots are actually made from shearling - that’s sheep SKIN, like their actual skin, with their fleece STILL ATTACHED. It made me cry.)
I recently experienced my first hurricane courtesy of Hurricane Florence and by experienced I mean I spent 36 hours in a state of sheer panic while frantically packing bags, boxes and nonperishable food items. It’s been a month and we’re still drinking our hurricane water, if that gives you any idea as to my level of hysteria. Need a better visual? I urge you to watch “COMPANY IS COMING” on YouTube, just use your imagination and replace ‘company’ with ‘hurricane.’
Hurricanes are, for lack of a better word, weird. The morning after they issued the mandatory evacuation order Travis was on the golf course and I was on the phone trying to explain to my mom that it was 85 degrees and sunny. And no I wasn’t lying to her like that time in high school I insisted that someone was trying to break into the house because the entire framing of my bedroom window nearly fell out of the wall when in actuality I was trying to sneak out to go jump on the neighbor’s trampoline.
My mom had an irrational, no-bullshit aversion to trampolines and was convinced I would break my neck jumping on one. In her defense, jumping and I have a tricky history. My parents solved the “intruder” problem by putting a bear trap underneath my window. If anyone was trying to get in, or in my case, out, they’d catch them. No jumping on a trampoline for me that summer.
Anyway, waiting for a hurricane is a bit like being told you’re going to be hit by a truck…in a week. Oh and the size of the truck has yet to be determined.
Will you be sideswiped by a mid-size pickup or are you about to be shoved into oncoming traffic on the autobahn and hit head on with a Peterbilt? No one really knows.
Eventually we went with the Peterbilt theory and left town. We spent the week in sunny North Georgia golfing, mining for gold and learning how to properly pronounce Dahlonega (DUH-lon-ga, in case you were wondering.) In the end, we were part of those fortunate few that returned to a couple downed tree branches and a dry home. Trust when I say, I do not take this lightly. Especially after watching the destruction and devastation left behind by Florence and most recently, Michael. My heartaches for those affected and I send them love, light and prayers as they enter recovery and rebirth.
In retrospect, it seems fitting that on our mining adventure we uncovered a handful of amethysts; February’s birthstone. A month celebrating Rinn, Travis and when we were wed. Most importantly, a gem that brings about protection and peace. Two things we desperately needed in that moment and two things I definitely won’t turn down in the years to come. With that in mind I selected a stone and had it transformed into a pair of earrings, serving as a token of defense and a reminder to be thankful for this life we have.