Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gone With the Wind

I think I am the only psychic who continually has to evacuate from family beach vacations because of a hurricane, no matter the state, or the date. This is my third, and I already know that property rental companies are not polite when you tell them a hurricane is going to hit. When I called our beach house rental company in Cape Hatteras this morning, Mary refused to tell me where to drop off the key. Her reason was that I was "an alarmist" and The Weather Channel "just tries to scare people". I told her an evacuation was about to be called, and it was just a matter of time, and at some point this summer I had to leave, so why not just tell me what I want to know?

After repeating her criticism possibly 10 more times, once again, I had enough. I wanted to say, "Well, last night my angel told me to get out by noon, and believe me, you want to do what my angel says," but I decided against that approach for Mary. Realizing that she was indeed not named after the Blessed Virgin, but maybe after the illegitimate self-appointed Queen of England, I said, and I won't quote, but the gist was that I had worked for The Weather Channel (TWC) and I had the inside scoop. Technically this was not a lie because God does know better than even The Weather Channel, and Angel assured me she (it) was on His staff. Then I explained to Mary why a hurricane on the North Carolina coast is called only a day in advance. Businesses in the state can lose over 600 million dollars a day, and if the hurricane does not hit and TWC is wrong, they don't want to hurt the commerce. 

Once I found out that I simply had to put the house key in a dropbox, I realized (1) she was insane not to tell me this right away, and (2) I may likely find myself beheaded if I go much further into their building.

But I did anyway. When I entered, a lady, who was way too friendly for a Wednesday morning, grinned as if I were Brad Paisley. "Hiiiii, how can I help you today?" she gushed. Well, I want to drop off my key and tell you that we didn't steal the television you claim to have in the house. It wasn't there when we arrived. I almost told her the "high speed" was missing from the internet too, when she interrupted, "YOU'RE LEAVING so soon?" Uh, yeah, and if you don't get a frickin' clue soon, that hurricane is going to carry off your body to wherever your mind is. No, I didn't say that. I just said, "Have a nice day!" and she replied, "You too! Come back soon!" 

So, we escaped. After an eventful ride with a jack russell terrier turning around in circles on my bladder for 8 hours (for the second time in 3 days), we just walked in the door of our home. I had to pray immediately, "Thank you God for telling us to leave early, and thank you my sweet Angel. But I also had to add, by the way, just wondering, uhhh, why did you not tell me when I booked the house and paid for it? My answer came quickly and loudly, "YOU DIDN'T ASK". Mea Culpa. 

I had no time to reflect on this when my husband came barreling in with his iPad, "Hey listen to this! A CAT 2 is going to hit Cape Hatteras!" And grinning, I felt the urge to yell, "Score! Take that Mary!" And then I realized how horrible that was and how the hurricane has ruined family vacations, businesses, and will hurt property. But in my defense, I have no doubt The Weather Channel was saying, "Woo Hoo! First hurricane on July 3! We'll meet our revenue goals yet!"

Oh, and Mary, we took your advice to just move our car to higher ground. Maryland! Perhaps you should do the same.

UPDATE!!! 7/3 1:38 PM:
So, I'm exhausted from yesterday, and I am asleep at the ungodly late time of 53 minutes past seven, when I receive a phone call from the very same happy lady that checked me out of Hatteras Island yesterday morning, whom we shall refer to as "Zoloft".

Zoloft: Well, Good Morning! Is this Ms. Crosby?

Me: Yes this is Laine (I notice from the caller ID that I am talking with a person in North Carolina, and I would recognize that voice anywhere). 

Zoloft: Well, how are you today?

Me: Get the Hell out of Dodge, Lady! There's a hurricane coming. You know, the one I was an "alarmist" to mention?!! No, I didn't say that. I said, "Umm, fine??"

Zoloft: Well, I don't know if you know this, but there is a mandatory evacuation on the island because there is a hurricane coming. I just pause as I'm thinking, this has to be a joke. Someone really has a great impression of Zoloft and her cheery Southern drawl.

Zoloft: Ma'am, did you know that?

Me: (Chuckling at this point) Yes, I did.

Zoloft: Well, we were just wondering when you were going to leave?

Me: Well, since the evacuation was prior to 5 am, if I were there, I would be stuck, as all roads are now closed and no one can leave the island. 

Zoloft: Well, the evacuation IS mandatory. When are you leaving?

Me: Yes, that is why we left yesterday, because we saw on The Weather Channel that a hurricane was barreling down on us. I came and gave you my keys and had you check my account and make sure the time and date of our departure was noted. Because, I have travel insurance in the case of a hurricane and I wanted everything in order.

Zoloft: So you're in North Carolina?

Me: No I'm home. In fact, I'm worried about y'all. Please be safe. 

Zoloft: Oh, thanks! We will be. We just have to drive around now to all the properties to make sure the lights are off and the deck chairs are inside.

Me: Well, you don't have to check ours because we put the chairs inside and secured the trash can under the house and turned off the lights.

Zoloft (enthusiastically): OH, THANK YOU SO MUCH! 

Me: Well, yeah, I mean we had some notice from The Weather Channel. We knew a hurricane was coming. (Geez, did THEIR television go missing too?)

Zoloft: So, y'all are in North Carolina?

Me: We live in Maryland, and we left yesterday morning after we talked, and we drove straight home, so now we are in Maryland. I really am worried for you... I mean you all. You have a lot to do, so I had better let you get off the phone. I know you have a lot of vacationers you have to call. I'll be praying for you... all.

Zoloft: Oh, I'm confused.  


Zoloft: The person on the phone before you was in North Carolina trying to evacuate.

Me: Well, I'm pretty sure that's the case for everyone who didn't leave at noon yesterday to miss the traffic, like we did.  Since, after all, we KNEW there was a hurricane coming.

You know, I have several different apps on my phone and tablets that just beep and alert me when there is severe weather. They are free and easy to download.

Zoloft: Well, have a good trip. 

Me: Yeah, thanks. You too!

(My prayers go out to all those who were affected by Hurricane Arthur, and I am thankful there were no casualties other than property and businesses).