Sheltering in Place for Irma: The Zen of Bodily Functions

After a day of decision, with periods of indecision tossed in for variety sake, we have decided to “shelter in place” for Hurricane Irma.

As expected, the city of St. Augustine declared a mandatory evacuation late Thursday to be effective today, but our decision today is based on the current, projected path of the storm. Since it will hug the west coast before heading northwards into Georgia and beyond, we decided early this morning to stay home. It just didn’t seem to make any sense to head to the same place where the storm is also heading, and then later sit on clogged highways Tuesday or Wednesday in order to get back home.

In anticipation of this yesterday, we made sure to stock up on additional supplies, and also to prepare our condo for the eventual loss of both power and water service. We are told that the city will turn off the water at 6:00pm this evening.

Our condo association president, an assertive and somewhat irascible type that in calmer moments could possibly grate on unsuspecting nerves, has been nothing short of a beacon of confidence, information and guidance. Among his many orders suggestions was to go out to Lowe’s and buy a barrel to fill with water. This way we’ll be able to administer our own pressure for the toilets to flush on their own power. He also recommended filling the bathtub too. For someone whose sole knowledge of plumbing is a bathroom plunger, for me this was golden advice.

To paraphrase William Wallace: “They can take away our water, but they’ll never touch our bowels and kidneys!




As we watch the reports and follow the news as much as possible, there is a satiation process that can take place with the endless drumbeat of advisories, warnings, and scenes of frantic evacuees on clogged highways. We sometimes take pains to mute the TV but still glance at the closed-captioning now and then to keep current. It’s either that or Ativan, and I’d rather save that for tomorrow and Monday.

Unfortunately I’m finding the local Jacksonville stations less than satisfying for coverage of the storm. So until we eventually lose power I’m depending on the great talents of meteorologist Jeff Berardelli at West Palm Beach’s CBS 12 via that station’s web site. Even though Mr. Berardelli and his colleagues are covering the storm with South Florida in mind, I am getting what I need to know from them more efficiently than our local sources here. For those lucky enough to be following all of his from afar, I do recommend their coverage if you wish to take a break from the Weather Channel.

Last night we literally changed the channel and plopped in a DVD to watch an old episode of “Upstairs Downstairs.” For an hour we were able to absorb ourselves into the details of Mr. Hudson, Mrs. Bridges, and the Bellamy family. This morning Gorgeous just looked at me when I asked for bangers and mash for breakfast.

And, of course, there have been a few absurd moments.

Take earlier, for instance, when I ventured to the tiny convenience store outside the gates of our condo community, and I witnessed a woman argue with the proprietor about his reluctance to cash-in her winning $50 winning lottery ticket from last night. Apparently the good store owner was asking her to return after the storm or go to another place to redeem it. I couldn’t figure out where my sympathies lay in that argument. But I did get inspired, and so I decided that I too should to try my luck. Perhaps Irma wants little ‘ol me to be rich?

I bought a scratch ticket for Gorgeous and left it on her keyboard as a surprise. Score! A $2 winner. I rock.

In my previous post, blogger Nina and I exchanged humorous anecdotes about people who stock up on basics before a storm, specifically bread and toilet paper. I laughed as I indeed saw many people with scores of both in their grocery carts. Oh, those daft folk.

So last night guess what I noticed our own home was in perilously short supply of?  Oops. Luckily the convience store had just what I needed…

And speaking of bodily functions…

So we’re holding tight, braving the elements, weathering the storm, or any other expression that might also work for you buzzword bingo enthusiasts.

I’ll fully admit this is a most anxious experience. We have lots of neighbors surrounding us who have made the same decision to also hunker down (“bingo!“), and it is good to know that there are others around us. Our below neighbors specifically, John and Karen, are old hands at this having lived in Florida their entire lives. They provide a sense of comfort to our sometimes frayed nerves.

I don’t recommend you come by to visit us for a bit. But when you do, I promise you a working toilet.

Keep us in your thoughts, please.

Until next time…


35 thoughts on “Sheltering in Place for Irma: The Zen of Bodily Functions

  1. Stay safe! Although I worry for those who decide to stay, I can’t say that I blame you… I’d probably do the same thing. It looks like you are well-stocked and ready for just about anything. I’ve heard that “fill the bathtub” suggestion before and it makes a lot of sense. Check in when you can so we know that you are OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s a bit of a guessing game with the track of the storm. Surely had we lived in the south we wouldn’t have thought about this for two seconds. Friends of ours live in Miami Beach, and they hot-tailed out of there and settled at a friend’s home in Orlando. Even Orlando is in the path for category 2 winds, but they’re much safer there. Thanks, Janice!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As it looks now we’ll get hit harder than St. Augustine! Crazy! I’m worn out between wanting it all to be over and dread for what might be the aftermath. I’m still watching the Ventusky website. It’s giving me a bit of hope.


  3. Brave post. Good on the toilet paper. Hope you don’t have to use it all up before you come out the other end of all this.

    As for my concerns: The Tampa-based son who provided the toilet paper remarks is now in the predicted eye of Irma, although not in an evacuation or flood zone. He too has therefore decided to remain “sheltering in place,” which for him on Sunday night (when the winds will be at their worst over Tampa) will mean packing self, wife, son of 11, daughter of 10, two old cats (and presumably their litter box) plus young and active dog inside the master bedroom closet (with flashlights). It’s large for a closet, although not for its now-intended use, but it’s an interior space without windows. I suppose it will be an adventure the children will always remember. As for the windows themselves, they’re all boarded up. (I hope yours are too.)

    Be of good cheer. Doesn’t Gorgeous see the two of you coming into safe harbor by next week? Or is she professionally obliged not to tell you and leave you biting your nails? Seriously, all my very best wishes to you both. (And the kittens.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch, I’m so sorry that he’s in harm’s way, Nina. It’s awful how one person’s relief (i.e. the westward path) can be another’s concern. I do hope that they will be fine.

      Gorgeous has indeed had a set of predictions from the start that so far match what’s happening. But I’m loathe to (a) really mention that before the fact, and (b) even she would have to admit that the energy for this information is awfully “busy” (her wording) since it affects both of us. But, yes, she had predicted what’s currently being forecast. We’ll see if that is true.

      Thanks for your well wishes, and I will also keep good thoughts for your son and his family.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It has been so crazy. I haven’t recovered from Houston yet but it seems like Irma has been here for weeks! (and I live in the northeast where we are expecting a very light rain from her!) Stay safe. Hope you can keep electricity and some level of communication. There has to be some good blog posts that come out of this. BTW up here we buy milk, eggs and bread for all weather related storms. We call it the French toast storm.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Angel Soft and not a generic! You ARE taking this seriously. 🙂 Hope you do not lose power. Interesting that they are turning the water off. I may have missed the reason for that. Looks like the storm is heading for the west coast with possibly going overland through Orlando and up towards St. Augustine/Jacksonville or heading more over water and hitting Tallahassee. Lots to keep track of the next 24 hours. Hang in there and I hope that only a good bath after this is all over with will be the future of all that water in the tub. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They fortunately did NOT turn off the water. The city even sent out a broadcast phone message to that effect, which tells me either it was their earlier intention, or they simply changed their minds. So fortunately we do have water still.

      The eye is all projected for the west coast, but we will suffer from flooding here. I’m grateful we live on the second floor!


  6. Hope you bought bottled gas for cooking? Since electricity might be out? Years ago didn’t have gas here for a few days due to a fault so brought the BBQ inside to cook on the wok extension and to boil water.


      1. Yes, we’re bunkered up, or “sheltering in place” as they refer to it. All of the activity is still way down at the bottom of the state right now. We live in the upper northeast corner which isn’t in the path of the hurricane. What we will get from it, all through today and tomorrow, are heavy winds, and some danger of tornados. At the moment it is windy, but the strongest winds will arrive here early tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes . I was looking up where you were. Over here Florida is just Florida. Hubby’s uncle lives somewhere in Florida. This afternoon he phoned his sister to ring his uncle to see if he’s okie.


    1. Thanks, Vy! Yes, Jacksonville really got it bad. Interestingly, that’s where I go to work one day a week downtown. Needless to say, I won’t be working there this week. Darn the luck! 🙂 And speaking of luck, we were VERY lucky. We have power, we suffered no damage, and we are fine. Our condo development suffered no damage, other than just surface ones (i.e. downed trees, signs broken, road lamps shattered, etc.). As much as I hate writing a third post, I guess I need to “finish” this saga with a closure one. Perhaps later today. 🙂 Thanks for checking in!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well I didn’t stay at home – I hightailed it up to Asheville NC via a series of some of Georgia and South Carolina’s best back roads. No traffic at all except around Augusta, GA. Due to concerns about gasoline I left Port Wentworth on Friday rather than Saturday and I was able to book a room in Greenwood SC for Friday night.

    That left just a 2 1/2 hr drive on Saturday morning up to Asheville. Good weather on Saturday and Sunday but the weather turned wet windy cold and nasty on Monday. Rain continued into Tuesday morning. My Airbnb hosts suffered some minor tree branches falling onto the property and a slight (hour and a half) power outage sometime after midnight last night. They say they’ve lived in Asheville for 17 years and this was the first power outage in memory.

    Today I contacted my apartment complex in Port Wentworth, and was told that power has been restored and that the property had no damage to speak of. So I leave the fair Blue Ridge mountains of Asheville and will be back in Port Wentwork tommorrow afternoon.

    For the record – the place you had considered – Conyers, GA – would have put you right in Irma’s path.Looking forward to your post storm recap.

    Liked by 1 person

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