Watching the Weather Channel's frenzied drumbeat countdown to destruction (wait, wasn't that a Megadeth album?). I truly wish all my friends and colleagues along the U.S. East Coast safe passage through the storm, and hope even more that the media buildup for this hurricane will turn out to be not so much.
As a Florida native, I've lived through so many hurricanes that I've lost count. Most were not as bad as expected (some were outright duds), but a few were so frightening they'll always stay in my memory. Luckily for me as a writer, I'm using those experiences to craft the opening chapter of my next novel. I think the most shocking 'cane I lived through was back when I lived in Panama City around age 8 or 9, and I remember watching my mother fill the bathtub with water in preparation for the approaching storm. The eye came right over us, and I'll never forget how I listened to the howling winds dying down and then all was silent...bright and sunny, but no usual neighborhood sounds of birds, dogs barking, etc. My parents, my sister, the family dog, and I stood around in the front yard gawking up at the sky with its deceptive bright blue eye, which lasted about 10 minutes. Then the breeze started to kick up, which turned into strong winds, and here it came again. When it was all over, we had 3 pines down in the yard just barely missing the roof, and a live electrical wire snapping across the sidewalk in front of our house. Huge scary excitement for a young kid. And great grist for the storytelling mill.
Hoping Irene will not be as terrible as predictions are trumpeting. But then again, you shouldn't take warnings for granted. We'll see how it plays out over the weekend. Hunker down!