Journal of a Pandemic Year: Part Fourteen

Dear Readers,

Who had major hurricane on their 2020 bingo card? Living on the Gulf Coast, it is always a possibility, so I don’t know why I just assumed that we wouldn’t see one in 2020. It was kind of dicey because originally, the weather guessers on TV were saying we would get hit by a weak Marco, while Laura went very far to our east. Then, Marco kind of died out and next thing we knew, they told us that Laura was head straight for us and would make landfall as at least a 3 and possibly a 4. That’s just what we needed, right?

Having grown up on the Gulf coast, I’m an old hand at hurricanes. I’ve been through quite a few either as a civilian or as a firefighter on duty during the storm. The problem is that you have to start making plans a few days out, but forty-eight hours before landfall, the safest place to be is right in the middle of the Cone of Doom that the weather guessers put up on TV. More often than not, the storm goes somewhere else. That is kind of what happened with Laura.

My wife’s school announced on Tuesday that they would be closed for the rest of the week due to the approaching storm, as did most schools in the area. I am unable to make the necessary hurricane preparations by myself, so she came home. Our plan was that she would stay here if it would hit as a Cat. 1 or 2 and she would leave with the cats for a 3, 4, or 5. I ain’t for that leaving, so I’d stay home regardless. Our house has been through 14 hurricanes (2 Cat 4s, 2 Cat 3s, 4 Cat 2s, and 7 Cat 1s, plus a dozen tropical storms…and it is less than a mile from Galveston Bay). I’d feel safer in my house than any modern structure in the city. On Tuesday evening she and my brother started boarding up our windows and they finished on Wednesday morning. By the time we finished, it was looking like the storm might hit around 50 miles to our east, but that would still put us in the middle of some wicked winds. Then, the weather guessers started shifting the track further east. Laura ended up coming ashore about a hundred miles to our east instead. Wednesday night, we got a couple of wind gusts in the 25-30 mph range, but no rain.

You ain’t hurricane ready unless you got a pirate flag to put out!

The same cannot be said for the Golden Triangle area of SE Texas and SW Louisiana, particularly Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes. As I grew up in the area, this is a particularly difficult thing for me to see happen. That area has suffered so much over the past fifteen years with Rita, Ike, Harvey, Imelda, and now Laura. And since it happens well away from the bright lights of Houston or New Orleans, the media and the country soon lose interest and the survivors are forced to try and recover on their own without the huge outpouring of support we see when storms hit more populated areas. There won’t be any telethons or national fundraising campaigns on their behalf. This compounds an already tragic situation.

We got the boards taken down on Saturday and brought them back to the storage shed today. Hopefully we won’t need them again this year, but it looks like their might be more trouble headed into the Caribbean as we are nearing the peak of the hurricane season and it is also the Cape Verde season…the big, long tracking hurricanes. There’s never a dull moment down here on the third coast. Today, my wife will leave again to go back to where she is staying for the semester. We are hoping she’ll be able to come home for good in another week or two, but we’ll see.

I miss my office at the college. Haven’t seen it since March 5th.

When not busy dodging hurricanes, I had to spend time getting my classes set up for our fall semester. We start late this year, on August 31st, but that is by design and was decided long before The Rona or Hurricane Laura. I think I’ve got everything ready for the semester, but I’ll no doubt have to tweak a few things as we go along. I’m lucky in that I’ve taught at least a couple of online classes a semester for years now, and so I already have a lot of material ready. Given that all our classes will be virtual this go round, I took the opportunity to revamp my courses to make them, I hope, better for the students. Like many, I look forward to being in a physical classroom again, though, if I am honest, I’m kind of enjoying being at home too. Or at least I was until my wife had to leave.

This is what Query Hell feels like.

Molly’s Song goes off for the copyedit on Sept. 28th, which reminds me that I need to make my last couple of changes. When I get the manuscript back around Oct. 9th, I’ll then enter into a world known to writers as “Query Hell.” This is where you fire off emails and sample chapters in order to place the manuscript with an agent (or publisher). My brother Andrew can tell you stories from the bowels of Query Hell as he’s placed articles with national publications. I now know what direction the sequel is going to take, and I’m actually slowly working on my Russian Revolution epic, Dark Raven, while I plot out Molly’s {Insert Word I Haven’t Decided On Yet Here}.

Until we meet again, Dear Readers, I wish you fair winds and calm seas. And remember, take care of yourselves. And each other.

L.H.

P.S. Hurricane Laura can kiss my Irish a$$.

5 thoughts on “Journal of a Pandemic Year: Part Fourteen

  1. Well done! So glad you and your home were soared. So sad for those that were not. Hope others will donate, too. Used to be there would be concerts to raise money, too…maybe virtual ones? Happy you and your wife got to be back together, it what hard work to board up and take down. I feel sure your new semester will go well. We still have no idea what our sub jobs and volunteering will look like. For now, teachers are taking one another’s students online and no subs are being used except for the ones that are permanently assigned to campuses. Happy for you about your book’s (and books) progress. Prayers for health, peace, and success for you and yours every day, in every way! 😊💕🙏🏆. Mrs. K

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done! So glad you and your home were spared. So sad for those that were not. Hope others will donate, too. Used to be there would be concerts to raise money, too…maybe virtual ones? Happy you and your wife got to be back together, although it is such hard work to board up and take down. I feel sure your new semester will go well. We still have no idea what our sub jobs and volunteering will look like. For now, teachers are taking one another’s students online and no subs are being used except for the ones that are permanently assigned to campuses. Happy for you about your book’s (and books) progress. Prayers for health, peace, and success for you and yours every day, in every way! 😊💕🙏🏆. Mrs. K

    Like

  3. I am sorry! I tried to delete my first post…could not do it, but I corrected it…for what it’s worth. I can’t help myself…being a teacher…correct copy is important!😉

    Like

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