Hurricane Irma

Vieques, Puerto Rico

John is a hurricane pro. He grew up in the Parish down the river from New Orleans (St. Bernard) and experienced several major hurricanes and a lot of tropical storms. If you are house sitting in the hurricane belt, during hurricane season on an ISLAND, then he’s the man you want to have around.

I’m a hurricane rookie. Growing up in a suburb of Dallas, I always thought a hurricane was merely a tornado that came from the ocean. I know, I know…silly me. I have a lot to learn.

But, as we sit here this evening and wait for Irma, I can’t help but think that this past week’s hustle and bustle and preparations here around the island, have been a lot like getting ready for, uh…Christmas. Bear with me here and see it you agree as you read on.

Reasons Hurricane Season Is A Lot Like the Christmas Season
(A Hurricane Rookie’s Perspective)

Decorating the House

We are living in the downstairs apartment of the house we are sitting here on Vieques Island. The upstairs has beautifully corrugated storm shutters that I helped John close and snap into place to prepare us for the big event.

Downstairs John has decked the windows with steel panels that glisten in the sun.

 Pulling out Boxes of Seasonal Supplies

Just like pulling out of storage last year’s garland, tinsel, and decorations, we pulled out boxes of supplies (flashlights, batteries, camping gear, etc.) from hurricane seasons of yore.

 Family and Friends Calling and Texting to Wish Us Well

We’ve had friends and family members that we haven’t talked to in months check in with us and wish us well. We feel loved.

 Long Lines and Last Minute Shoppers at All the Stores

Yep, here at the Super Mercado everyone is stocking up. And if you wait until the last minute, things you really want, like WATER, are all sold out!

Buying Large Quantities of Food You Don’t Normally Eat

Like Aunt Alma’s Fruitcake, you can never have enough Progresso canned soup and applesauce.

 School is Out

John said when he was growing up it was a major kid celebration every time a tropical storm was about to hit New Orleans because that meant NO SCHOOL. We are living at the top of a hill here on Vieques and we’ve had a good steady stream of kids walking their bikes to the top and then speed racing down. They all are smiling!


I think we could decorate the Christmas tree at Lincoln Center with all the spare candles we have on hand. I’m thinking, “How romantic!” John’s thinking, “We’re prepared!”

 Enjoying the Season With the One You Love

I’ve got the best travel partner in the world. Sure wouldn’t want to go through all this without my man.

 A Tree Will Probably Come Down

Before it’s all over, at least one tree will undoubtedly come down. We’re just hoping that it doesn’t come down on or in the house!

 Stocking Ice & Adult Beverages

‘Nuf said on this one. We include adult games.

 Someone Needs to Be Awake for the Big Event (Irma’s Arrival)

I kind of figured that I’d take an Advil PM and sleep through it all, but John says that we need to be awake and alert at all times “just in case.”


Frankly, all of the preparations have worn me out. I’ve decided to just leave out a plate of cookies and milk with a card marked “IRMA” propped next to it and then hit the sack.

“…and they heard her exclaim as she whirled out of sight, ‘Safe Hurricane Season to All, and to all a good night!’”

Story Categories:

2017,House Sitting,Puerto Rico

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