family · Lessons Learned

In case of an emergency….

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So you’ve probably seen this image already at least once today alone. Hello, Hurricane Irma. I live on the South Carolina coast and while I completely respect you, I really don’t want you coming around. You’ve made quite a mess. As a toddler mom, clearly you are throwing a MAJOR tantrum and you need a long time out.

All kidding aside, this has been a scary week. My heart goes out to the Leeward Islands, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten. Fort Lauderdale is my happy place. I have very close friends in both Boynton Beach and Wellington. And I live in Charleston. Irma is coming a little too close for comfort.

To downplay something of this size and nature for selfish reasons….foolish. If you’re in the cone of uncertainty, you need to be in the know. Especially when there are babies and animals to be accounted for, families who might lose their homes, cars to gas up in case of an evacuation, arrangements to be made. I have a horse. It’s not an easy move to make. I don’t own a trailer. That might seen dumb in the moment but generally speaking, my horse is 22 and we no longer show. I never plan on going anywhere, except in an emergency situation. Securing a place for an animal that doesn’t fit in your house and securing transportation for an animal who doesn’t fit in your car is no easy task. There are many people stuck directly in the hurricane’s path for this very reason. My heart goes out to them because I know I was fretting big time until last night when all my plans were finally concrete. (and even then, are they really?? Mother Nature knows no rules.)

This is not the time to be selfish, or to look down upon someone for being worried about what the next move is. While it may not matter to you, it matters to someone else. Have compassion.

My life has changed since having a baby. There was a time when working during a hurricane wouldn’t matter to me, that having a hurricane party seemed like literally the best idea ever. ( Mary Chapin Carpenter mentions it in her song “Down at the Twist and Shout” and as a kid I thought it sounded like a blast tbh.) Between my daughter and my horse (not to mention all the other family members and moving parts), hurricane parties sound like the LAST thing I’m interested in. Safety first. That’s my motto now. Better to be over prepared than to make a mistake that could risk someone’s life. As they continue saying on our local channels, you can rebuild your home, you can’t rebuild your life. (And if we learned anything from Hurricane Harvey….Texas, we’re thinking of you here in SC!)

Now a snow storm…I’ve got that all day. I’m a Maine-er at heart, always will be. But this hurricane nonsense….it gets scarier and scarier. Especially since now we have Jose chasing his sister Irma across the ocean and Katia trying to attack Mexico. Y’all, this isn’t cool. Which one of you needs wine and which one needs chocolate? All three? No worries, I have enough.

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(above quote credit to Team Froglogic instagram)

We have no control. We can only react to what happens, make the best decisions and choices we can to protect who we love and support one another. This may not work into our plans but what really does? The universe plans what she will and we just have to go along with it. But how we go along with it is what makes us who we are. You can fight it, throw a fit, ignore it, pretend it’s not happening, live in denial, cry about it, etc etc but guess what? That does you no good. All you’re doing is spreading your negativity and throwing yourself a pity party. And I don’t know about you, but whenever I have thrown myself a pity party, no one  has come. Huh.

I’m writing this as a reminder to myself and others: BE COMPASSIONATE. You never know what someone is going through or dealing with. And when your state declares a state of emergency, pay attention. Listen closely. Gather the information and react accordingly. It’s happening. It’s real. Let’s deal with it. And let’s support each other amidst the chaos.

If you’re currently being affected or you’re about to be, be brave, but safe and stay alert. My thoughts are with you. We will come out the other side of this.

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