I just called my family. The ones who live in way deep south Alabama. I guess I should have figured none of them had chosen to leave when told Hurricane Dennis - the one that's breaking records for arriving so inconsiderately early - has the potential to surpass last year's devastating Ivan...we're a stubborn bunch. That was confirmed this morning on the phone.
First I called my brother - never replied to his last email and we haven't talked in a while. He was kinda' joking around. He admitted to being a little nervous. And sore from boarding up windows for two days. But apparently it's just another one of those things - big, swirly storms that like to knock the ROOFS OFF HOUSES AND STUFF!!!. All righty then!
Then I called my aunt's house. Brother had said my Granddaddy had gone over there, and that was good news. And a cousin was there too. More good news. It's comforting, somehow, to know people are riding out this storm in groups rather than alone, y'know? Last year during Ivan, Granddaddy decided to sit tight...alone. Therefore we rewarded him with incessant long distance phone calls from 3 states. All night long. "You asleep?" "Nah, your Daddy just woke me up an hour ago."
Therefore when I heard my aunt's voice this morning, I found myself asking the same question. AND...got the same response. (Waiting for somebody to say "Here's your sign," like on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. It's only a matter of time.) Seems Granddaddy's thinkin' it's payback time. She was one of the long distance callers last year. I hear he told her he hopes her husband (working out of town,) calls her all night long tonight. That's my family. We can find something to laugh about, or make something up for ourselves.
Also good to hear that my cousin cleaned out the basement of that big, old, sturdy house and made 'em a nice little place to go if they have to. Sounds like they're all hoping they don't have to, and I agree. But options sure are a good thing.
So besides prayers that somehow this one will defy the predictions or find a way to turn in a direction that will cause less damage, I guess the remaining feeling is gratitude. That they have each other...to laugh with, and laugh at. And bring each other coffee.