A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the news with my family and learned that some hurricane–I already forgot its name–missed Florida entirely, but went up the Atlantic and inflicted extreme damage up in Canada. My only real thought at the time was: um…Canada?
Yes, Canada. I made some crack about how maybe there really is Global Warming if freaking Canada is stealing our weather. Isn’t a tropical storm supposed to be in, you know, the tropics?
Absolutely nobody laughed at my joke (a nice reminder of my comedy career) and just as the news was wrapping up coverage of that storm, they added, “…oh, and a tropical depression has formed in the Gulf. Could be trouble for Cuba and even the State of Florida.”
I thought, nah.
I woke up this morning in the garage apartment of an adorable lake house in Mooresville, North Carolina. We got in very late last night, so I had no idea how beautiful this area is until I ripped open the curtains at the crack of dawn. The view was stunning. A rolling grass backyard with surrounding trees and a pathway that led to a large dock on a huge, picturesque lake. There were two Adirondack chairs near the water, and my wife Evi and high school friend Jenn Miller–who along with her boyfriend Jim own the home–were already down there sitting in them. Sasha and Norah, our four and two-year-old daughters, were running around them, exploring. It was like something out of a painting.
That’s when it hit me: this is weird.
A week ago today, Hurricane Ian hit my hometown in what has been described as one of the worst natural disasters in America’s history. 153 MPH winds pounded southwest Florida for hours and hours, destroying, well, almost everything, and what the winds didn’t damage, the twelve foot storm surge did. We have a lot of friends who are suffering badly right now. The death toll is over 100 so far, and searches are still being conducted. Thousands of people have lost everything they own. Houses destroyed, loved ones still unaccounted for, businesses ruined, lack of electrical power, and unsafe drinking water are among the many horrors Floridians are suffering through.
And what effect has Hurricane Ian had on my family?
It’s been pretty great.
I understand how horrible that reads. It probably seems tone deaf to post this blog at all. But the truth is, since the day Ian hit Florida, we’ve sunned ourselves on a beach in Key Largo, fed tarpon in Islamorada, spent a few hours in a motel swimming pool, saw crabs crossing the street near US 1, gone boating in the above-mentioned lake, and heck, today I got to drive a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS 4. Sure, things sucked at home, but I protected my family but not allowing them to be there, and instead made a lot of great memories for my kids.
So I can’t help thinking, why doesn’t everyone do this? When they say ‘evacuate’, why on God’s Green Earth don’t you evacuate? Get the hell out! Make a vacation of it!
I understand not everyone has that option, but if you’re not a first responder or married to one, I mean, what the hell? GO!
Sorry, I guess that sounds judgy and shit. I think I just feel awful knowing people are feeling awful. I’ll get my own awful soon enough. After we get my family safely to Ohio, there’s a chance I’ll be flying down by myself to oversee the repairs to our house, and help out others in any way I can. I won’t bring the family back down until there’s power and clean water.
Until that time, well, I guess I’ll enjoy our vacation.
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