The Belly Button Window Details

About Belly Button Window

The Semi-Regular Newsletter


America, September 4, 2004

Hurricane Frances is F'ing Up My Weekend

And maybe my whole month!

bitch pic one
A bruise
bitch pic two
A boil
bitch pic three
A bummer
I hope your Labor Day weekend is anything but laborious. I hope you are on a beach, a barbeque, or a backyard, soaking up the sun and toasting the end of summer. I hope you are enjoying this last blast of leisure, for I am not.

I am a ball of nerves right now, stressed out of my mind with worry and wonder. Hurricane Frances, that ball of fury on the coast of Florida, is about to make landfall just south of Vero Beach, Florida, a small town with big meaning for me.

While I still don't feel I'm from there, my Mom lives there. In the house that she, my father, and I built twenty years ago, she has many treasures, from Balinese artwork to Dad's handiwork. And now Hurricane Frances is battering that very house, and her soul, with 110+ mile per hour winds and driving rain.

I am not standing idly by while Mother Nature slaps my heart around. Oh no, I went All American and went shopping! With $2,000 in post-apocalyptic hurricane supplies, from chain saws to camping stoves, duct tape to plastic tarps, my Honda is a rolling relief wagon pointed south.

Come early Monday morning, before most of you recover from Sunday's hangover, I'll be speeding to South Florida, to help stabilize and survive what is going to be one hell of a big mess. Trees will be down, power will be out, and lives will be lost.

With the most generous backing of my new employer, I'm taking off the week to work dawn to dusk to clear debris and dry houses. Hopefully ours will be one of the lucky ones, houses that will only need electricity to be homes again.

Until I get there, I'll not know, and while I'm hoping for the best, I'm preparing for the worst. A preparation that I'd love your help with. Hurricane clean up is not cheap, and coming just a month after Hurricane Charlie, the Red Cross is taxed to the limit, and before my first paycheck, I'm taxed beyond mine.

Please think of those who have been and will be trying to put their lives and their homes back together in the coming days and weeks, and donate your time, money, or both to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Or less formally, to my own Hurricane Frances Relief Fund. All (and I swear, every last penny) will be spent helping my Mom & her neighborhood recover from this party-crashing blowhard.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

Enter your email for Belly Button Window updates:


Sunday Morning Update:

Talked to Mom this morning and so far she's okay. She is staying with friends in a concrete block house on a hill, and while they have a generator giving them lights and TV, cell phones are starting to fail as cell towers are now down or out of backup power. Soon, she'll be in a communications blackout.

She can see a number of oak trees toppled over and pine trees are starting to snap off at mid-trunk. There is so much rain that a lake has formed around the house she's in.

No clue as to how our house is holding up, but we have three tall pine trees in our front yard, and two tall oak trees in our side yard, and while the house sits on plenty of fill, it's not on a hill.

Hi Wayan!

We are prayin for your mom and all the people from Florida, we were so worry about her, but now that I read your e-mail and known she is ok, we are very happy.

You Know that my english its not very well, but I just want to know that we worry, pray and think about you and Sarah. Please let us know everything happens in there ok?

And tell Sarah, Sophie call her friday night to know about her, but there was only the answer machine, Also she is worry and yo know she is praying so hard.
Hugs and kisses from all the Family you have in El Paso, Tx.

Brenda, Eric and Carolina

Late-Night Sunday Update

Its midnight on Sunday night, and I am too exhausted from a day of planning, shopping, and stressing to think of much past my warm bed, but I wanted to share good news with you. After 36 hours of constant rain, wind and storm, Mom survived the hurricane in style.

Over at a friend's house, she and seven other's watched TV, drank cold white wine, and read by bright lights as a generator and a concrete block house gave them protection from the storm. Maybe too much protection as the times I called her she seemed to be enjoying herself a lot for a hurricane survivor.

Then she called this afternoon when a friend drove by our home and reported that it was safe from harm. Mom almost melted with relief on the phone, so happy that she still has a full roof over her head and a dry pillow on her bed. It was only then that I realized how strong she was during the storm, not revealing her true stress about the house's survival.

I am still headed down to Vero Beach at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning as Mom is without electricity and my car full of post-storm rebuilding gear will be needed by others. That and if you check out this frightening graphic from the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration, it looks like Hurricane Ivan will be following Hurricane Frances's path next weekend:

Too-early Tuesday Update

Thanks, Frances, you couldn’t leave well enough alone could you? You just had to slap me around as much as Mom, eh? You just waited till I made it to Jacksonville, FL after a long day of slogging it down I-95 from Washington, DC, in heavy traffic and heavy rain, to give me a long feeder arm of loving.

A feeder arm that lasts all night and now into Tuesday morning, berating my friend Mike’s house for the audacity of harboring me for the night. I hear your fury, I feel you anger, and I see your gusts, but I am dry from your rain.

Soon enough, I will be back in your wind and rain mix, pushing through both to clear skies and warm hugs that await me in Vero Beach. There I shall clean your mess, calling you ‘la enfant terrible’ like I would a child who doesn’t clean her room.

Now be gone. Go play in the Appalachias, and see how they, those most ancient of mountains, entertain your tantrums.

Thursday Update

I'm now knee-deep in wood chippings and soaked in sweat after three days of cutting up fallen trees and braches around the neighbourhood.

None hit Mom's house, but we're still without power and telephone. I'm typing this from a friend's who has both, magicly.

The clean-up should be mostly done by Sunday, when I'll fly back to Washington DC, and hopefully, Hurricane Ivan will pass to the west.

Never forget those who bled on their chainsaws!

Hahah! So how is the nose? Does it know better now that to play with spring-loaded tree limbs?

It looks and feels fine.. a free nosejob!

Well Ivan was the one to take my place out over in Pensacola....condo's roof is off. Family and house are safe however so that's all I care about.

How's everything with the newest, Jeanne?

The comments on this post are now closed.