Welcome to the 2020 hurricane season in South Louisiana …
Another hurricane entering the Gulf. Another Category 4 (possibly 5) to be concerned about.
Another stretch of anxious days with too many questions and scenarios to ponder …
Will the kids have school? Will I have to go to work? If I have to go to work and they cancel school, what will I do? Should I go to the store and stock up on water? Do we have batteries? Do I even have time to go to the store? If I go, will there be anything on the shelves?
Another week of decisions …
Do I go get sand bags? Do I lift the furniture? For Hurricane Laura, we didn’t get the expected storm surge so all of my preparations were for nothing.
Do we leave? Where do we go? How far is far enough? Should I book a room today? Do I wait until Hurricane Delta passes over the Yucatan and see where we are tomorrow afternoon? Wait … it may be too late by then.
What should I do?!
Can someone else please make these decisions? Wait, no. I’m the momma. These decisions are mine and mine alone.
The answer is: no one knows.
No one has the right answers to any of these questions. We are all in the same boat, trying our hardest to do what is in the best interest of our families. Go to the store or don’t. Get the sandbags or don’t. Lift the furniture or don’t. Leave or don’t leave. Any decision you make is the best decision you can make with the information that you have.
Here’s what I do know …
The only thing you can do is worry about school and work when you hear from school and work. Worrying beforehand only serves to heighten your already fragile stress level.
If you go to the store, get the water and batteries … but also pick up your family’s favorite snack foods and drinks. If you get the sandbags, get extra for an elderly or otherwise incapable friend, family member, or neighbor. If you lift the furniture, lift it high enough, say a prayer, and leave it behind, knowing that you did what you could.
If you leave, pack the board games and card games and any and all fun things that you can do with your children and family members.
Make it a vacation. Make it the best you can.
Families remember the fun times they had in close quarters. One of my fondest childhood memories is of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. My dad and grandfather were sitting outside when the eye arrived and one of them came inside, pulling me from my coloring book so I could experience the beauty in the eye of the storm. I remember sitting on my grandfather’s lap as we felt the winds calm. He was here then but he’s gone now. I was six then, I’m thirty-four now … memories last a lifetime.
My children will remember being eight and eleven during Hurricane Laura. They will remember playing games with friends until the electricity went out, then sitting on the front porch watching the lightning and feeling the wind gusts … memories last a lifetime.
And I will make it my only goal to ensure that the memories made during Hurricane Delta will also last a lifetime.
The decision is ours.
We could look at this unpredictable and rapidly changing hurricane and panic, trying to iron out every detail. Or we could choose to make every decision with purpose and care and make the best of what seems like the worst.
I don’t know yet what I will do or where I will go. But I do know who will be there and that memories will be made, and that’s all I need to know.
There are easy answers to hard questions.