The Waiting

Source: ABC Blog

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Tom Petty — “The Waiting”

As I write this, there’s a hurricane named Ian out in the Atlantic approaching the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also ultimately headed to where we live, albeit as a strong tropical storm. Batten the hatches!

I actually started writing this about four days ago, when Ian was still in its nascent tropical storm form. But the Rosh Hashanah holidays interrupted my writing (and also reading — my apologies to fellow bloggers for missing recent posts). I found myself instead diverted to gorging on apples and honey and listening to shofars bellowing. Who wants to sour one’s new year’s merriment with meteorological misery? So I did what local emergency officials plead for the public not to do: I put blinders on and partied like it’s 5783.

But the now the festivities are over, and Ian has formed into a hurricane. These storms… they grow up so fast.

Florida governor, and now also Martha’s Vineyard tour operator, Ron DeSantis, has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s landfall. The the storm’s precise path is still a bit in flux, but those pesky forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are using their fancy computer “spaghetti” models to show that it’s either going to go slightly to the west, slightly to the east, or probably right over where we live after it hits land on the Gulf side of the state near Tampa. When I say “slightly,” that can mean either 50, 100 hundred miles away, or maybe just one town over. None of those forecasters are willing to stick his/her neck out and be pinned down. Wimps.

Nevertheless it is always good to be prepared. Yesterday I went out and stocked up on some critical items that are recommended to have ahead of a storm, such as bottled water, canned food, and extra batteries. I suspect today I’ll pick up yet another case of water and probably a few additional cans of tuna or peaches. One can never have enough peaches. Or scratch lottery tickets too for that matter. Besides, it’s good to indirectly pay a little more into state coffers in case other migrants at the Texas border wish to visit Massachusetts. The good Florida governor is just doing his part in taking care of his constituents here.

But back to the storm: a sense of anxiety about it is slowly creeping in with each hour, as it always does when it happens this time of year. It becomes the first thing reported on at the top of all newscasts. The anxiety is also what you feel from others when going out in public, such as grocery stores. There’s a frenetic buzz from which no one can really escape, and it all becomes rather hard to avoid as the hours pass into days. Soon it’ll also start to become present in my late night thoughts as I lay in bed tossing and turning, especially when I make those seeming-hourly visits to answer the call of nature. If you’re male and under 40, snicker all you want, my friend, but that’s a situation to enjoy in your future as well.

Source: Graphics Fairy

For a little context, however, Florida hasn’t had a hurricane hit land since 2018. We’ve been quite fortunate this summer too because we managed to go a whole 60 days during June and July without a named storm in the Atlantic. None of that matters now, however. All of this is part of the unwritten social compact we have in order to live in a topical paradise: you accept that calamity might occur during the period between June through October. By the end of this weekend, Ian will be north of us. We just have no idea how much damage will occur during his visit.

So we wait.

If storms and hurricanes aren’t enough, there’s also the ever-depressing economic situation. Forecasters — this time the financial kind — all seem to be alerting us to an impending announcement about entering a recession. Recessions are when economists look at data from the most two recent quarters and see quantifiable evidence of a slowdown. It’s also when the policy makers in charge, who for the last six months have been playing violins even better than Nero, now have to backtrack and find creative ways to say “oopsie!” Perhaps like the rest of you, I log into my retirement savings accounts each week and have a good long cry. A year ago, I felt like A Tom Wolf-styled “Master of the Universe” with a savvy sense of optimism and a superior knowledge of all things monetary. We’re all experts when things are growing great, of course. Now I’m left staring at the calendar trying to guess when things might turn around. I’ve given up on the so-called “Santa Claus Christmas” stock market increase that sometimes happen in December. I’ll settle for an “Easter Bunny April” if it means my savings can return to something resembling what I had even in 2020.

So we wait.

Lest I leave you with doom, gloom, and melancholy, not all has been dark and stormy of late. We went for our most recent covid booster last week; Gorgeous got her flu shot at the same time and suffered no ill-effects afterwards from either. “Shetland” has returned on Britbox for what is sadly actor Douglas Henshall’s last season. We’ve watch two episodes so far and are enjoying it immensely. Also, even though I promised myself that starting this year and into next I would only read fiction books, I couldn’t help myself and bought Tina Brown’s “The Palace Papers” shortly after Queen Elizabeth’s death. It’s got it all: philanderers, cheaters, royal financial malfeasance, governmental intrigue, palace intrigue, the works. I’m enjoying it immensely and highly recommend.

Wherever you are, enjoy your fall. I hope your own waits are relaxing and stress-free.

Until next time…

47 thoughts on “The Waiting

  1. First and foremost, I hope it passes a little to the east or west and the most you have is a lot of rain with no damage. I need a favor though. The next time you start to write “Martha’s Vineyard tour operator, Ron DeSantis,” please give me a warning. I laughed so hard I almost dropped my laptop. That is the most accurate description of this fiasco that I’ve seen anywhere. Maybe it should be copyrighted, and you could make up the money you are about to lose. Yes, those Golden Years are something when it comes to sleep and bathroom visits. Anyone under 50 cannot even imagine the thrill of it all. Stay safe and give us a post to let us know you came through it all just smiling, eating tuna and peaches, and reading by flashlight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I giggled a few times while reading this. I worry about my children who live in Orlando…two of them will batten down at the fire station and then have a huge undertaking ahead of them. (Sending them silent prayers.)
    As I have spending so much time worrying about my children and friends in Florida…looks like my state might get wicked as well. Gas jumped 31 cents overnight.
    So…be safe…enjoy your peaches and hang on! (Even though you graciously made me an honorary Jew…I forgot the holiday.) 😫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You forgot the holiday???!! I don’t hand out those honoraries will-nilly, Laurel! 🙂 Not to fear, Yom Kippur is coming up next week, and that’s all about atonement. lol.

      I’ll keep your Orlando family in the back of my thoughts too. And also that by the time this storm hits you, it’ll be only a mild one. Thanks for thinking of us!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you better bring those pretty flowers inside. And quickly. You are going to need them to cheer you up if you keep thinking these same thoughts. I do hope you all survive Ian with minimal damage. At the very least, Gorgeous can probably cook up something really great from all those peaches and tuna in her new kitchen. Good luck, Marty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Betty! Yep, this morning is going to be all about bringing things in from the porch and patio. She made a chicken paprikash yesterday as the final blast from the kitchen — if we lose power we’ll have to eat it all fast! Travel safe out there, wherever you guys are at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Marty, I was actually thinking about you and Gorgeous and Ian…and not in an inappropriate way.

    And, yes, they grow up so fast. And, yes, the term “slightly.”

    Good point on stocking up and I ‘get it’ on the frenetic buzz. I still have extra cans of pumpkin as a result of one of your posts from a few years ago. 😊

    On a personal note, Marty, as you likely know… Your Gorgeous often adds to the goosebumpy, beautiful moments in my day.

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Erica. You and your (not) inappropriate, goosebumpy thoughts and moments. 😉 <b<You have extra pumpkin cans too? Lordy, what did we do??!!!

      Yes, these storms really do get nerves on edge. By the time it gets to us, it won’t be the wind as much as the water that’ll be the thing to worry about. “Save the paintings!” I bet will be the mantra from one of us. 🙂

      Thanks, Erica!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Since we love traveling to Florida (the Tampa area), we have been watching the storm’s progress. I also have a good friend who recently moved to Bradenton. It saddens me to think of all the potential damage. Hopefully, by the time it reaches your area, it will have calmed. But I know there will be lots of rain, even beyond Florida. Our weatherman said our beautiful forecast for this week is because of Ian. Except the temperature is only 37 right now!! Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to see you post, as I was wondering whether you’ll be in the path of Ian. I’ll be keeping fingers crossed over here that you simply get a whole load of rain and nothing else too terrible.

    As for Mr de Santis – clearly I need to do some reading up to find out what he’s been up to! Take care Marty & Gorgeous. Look forward to hearing the all clear & all well from you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Marty,
    Hope you are staying safe and will retain enough power to update your faithful readers on Ian’s aftermath. Re: finances, I keep trying to believe that these “storms” are also of relatively short duration. It doesn’t help, LOL. Alisa

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering… Tornadoes just appear but hurricanes take their own time getting there. I’m not sure I have the patience to wait, like you are. However “The Palace Papers” does sound like a great way to pass the hours. Stay safe, take notes on the juicy deets in the book so you can share them here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will do, Ally. I’ve already read bios of the Queen and (then) Prince Charles written by Sally Bedell Smith, and I thought that would be enough, thank you very much. But I’ve always admired Tina Brown, so I took a flyer on this one. It’s really, really good. She has a very sharp wit in her reporting.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Here in the Carolinas, we, too, are thankful for the seemingly ‘slow’ Hurricane Season this year…and also mindful of the sudden changes that occur when they are imminent – like now! I know you know the drill, but now you have Tom Petty to affirm your current state! I’m assuming he’s on your playlist – so blast him over and above the stormy blasts.
    BTW: I got the Omicron booster on Monday – within 24 hours I bemoaned the fact that I’d forgotten how crummy I feel after those vaccines – but then, in another 12, I’m happy to be done with it, fully functional and fully vaxed again! HA!
    Let us know when you arrive on the ‘other side’ – take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brevity kept me from commenting on how the booster made me feel, Laura. Like you, I had some issues 24 hours after I got my shot too. It was restricted to mainly a feeling of light-headedness, but it lasted for nearly all day. By the following day (48 hours later) I was perfectly fine. No regrets!

      I trust by the time this storm gets to you that it’ll be mainly just an aggressive thunderstorm only. Tom Petty will be blearing here!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have been thinking about you two! This waiting is no fun. Stay safe and dry, so you can make fun of our governor another day.

    FYI, refer to this period pre-storm as The Long Wait of The Great Wait of most often, That $&@#% Hurricane.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Marty,
    I hope that you and yours survived Ian unscathed. I have watched some of the news and it is devastating. I pray for l miracles.
    Speaking of miracles, I have been hoping for one, any time I open my investment apps. When I think that we have reached the bottom, I am unpleasantly surprised with a new low. How worst can it go, before it gets better? Will it ever get better? I am trying not to be gloomy about it.
    I am glad you both are doing ok after the boosters. Shetland look like something my sister and I would enjoy watching. I am going to look it up.
    Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, we were very fortunate and suffered no damage. Yeah, I know, how much lower can valuations go? I fear there still is a bottom to this market. Hang on tight!

      Shetland is a great show, I really do highly recommend it. Douglas Henshall is unfortunately leaving (he’s a wonderful actor), but the show will continue next year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Retirement Reflections Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.