As I write this for my blog I am by candlelight because of Hurricane Irma. We are without electricity in most of Orlando, and I hear the methodical plinking of water into a round glass from one small leak in the window. It has been a few years since Florida has had a strong hurricane, this storm is the size of the whole state. I wanted to do a shoot before the storm changed everything, and I found this amazing spot nearby. A basketball court and tennis court were overgrown next to a suburban area and it made for the perfect setting. The wind was gently blowing and the clouds were moving fast.
It was kind of a creepy environment as it was neglected and overgrown and I kept expecting some scary clown to jump out at us. It is a perfect example of urban decay and how quickly a human made setting can return to being wild.
My family usually keeps an emergency kit prepared with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, candles, and medical supplies, but this year we had to restock. From a trip to the store, the peanut butter, bread and of course water were all sold out. Water was so incredible hard to find it was as though the entire state was sold out. We ended up finding one last case at one last store, and buying some lone bottles that we found scattered around.
There are many things that need to be done before the storm. Gather emergency supplies, cook up frozen items, fill up all canteens and mason jars with water, put the hurricane shutters on the house, secure the outdoor furniture, pull some yard equipment into the garage, fill up the tubs with water in case the water goes out, clearing off the floor, making sure all of the laundry is done, doing the dishes and switching to disposable plates, etc.
So many people had to evacuate, mostly those living by the shore or in mobile homes. There were so many cars on the highway there were people running out of gas and ending up stranded, as the gas stations were run empty from the rush. Some described it as like a scene from The Walking Dead. They had to ban people from filling up containers of gasoline and limit them to the tank of their car, to try and distribute scarce resources more effectively.
Luckily we had been too busy this year to plant the backyard garden, a family tradition. Otherwise it would have all gone to waste this year. My mother's grandparents kept a huge vegetable garden and we have kept on that pursuit of a more sustainable life. Usually we don't have to purchase lettuce, tomatoes, carrots or peppers because we harvest them from the garden. We did have to harvest some of our pineapples that were growing outside a little early in order to save them from being destroyed by the winds.
I hardly ever take time for myself, and as my mom and I were stuck at home with nothing to do for once in my life, we decided that we should have a girls day with brunch and a movie. This morning was just a smattering of rain so we cooked up a hurricane brunch using up our perishable items such as organic eggs, organic meat and frozen potatoes, then did a facial and manicure since we were under the county's curfew. A Terminator series marathon seemed fitting, while taking a break to check the weather in between.
Now we just have to weather the rest of Hurricane Irma. Hopefully it won't all be by candlelight.
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