When you evacuate in advance of a hurricane, there are many items you should take with you in your hurricane evacuation kit. Some of the commonly recommended essentials are cash, a battery operated radio, non-perishable food and water, prescription medication, and blankets. We were a little tight on space and had to prioritize our supplies, so we couldn't be bothered with a lot of that crap. Here's the more important stuff we had instead:
One extremely large pregnant woman
One lovely aunt who despises hurricanes and dogs
Two large dogs
Directions to hospitals with NICU facilities in three states
Infant car seat
Alas, we didn't have room for some other vital items, such as Georgie and Sandy, our two little rabbits, and Bella the cat, who you may recall from yesterday's post. We put Georgie and Sissy in the bathroom with tarps on the floor and loaded it up with hay, rabbit pellets and water, and left Bella to roam the house with bowls of food and water in every room and the laundry room filled with boxes of litter.
The trip was about exactly what you'd expect. The first day it took us all day to travel from Pensacola to Birmingham, Alabama, a distance of about 250 miles. The next day, we went to Memphis, where we stayed in a ratty dogs-allowed motel on the bad side of town for a few days. We had a nice visit to Graceland, where the photo of me above was taken. If you look carefully behind my enormously swollen body, you can catch a glimpse of the dead cat tote. After we spent a few days there, we decided we might as well keep going, since we had nothing better to do. So we went to Branson, Missouri, dogs and all. We took in a few shows and saw the sights while we waited for news of how Pensacola had fared after an almost direct strike from Hurricane Ivan, and for Lloyd to come out of the woods. After about a week, Lloyd flew in, sans elk, and Ina could not leave fast enough, shaking off the dog drool and coarse brown hairs as she went. You would think she would have learned her lesson, but I guess not, because several years later she came to stay with me again when Lloyd was gone and I was hugely pregnant with Shane. That time Lloyd really was in the sandbox, though. Before she came, she made me promise no hurricanes, no babies, and no snakes that time. Two out of three isn't bad, right? Because Shane was born in the early morning the day she was leaving and Lloyd was coming home. Sucker!
Anyway, we loaded up the now-filthy Honda with supplies from WalMart and headed back home. Seriously, it looked like the whole place had been carpet bombed once we got within 100 miles of Pensacola. We even had a hard time finding our way home because the street signs and landmarks had all been destroyed and it looked entirely different. We only had minor damage at our house, but a major mess. The cats and rabbits were fine, and the power came on shortly after we got back after having been gone a little over a week. Weston was born two weeks later.
Happy Birthday, Weston! And Ivan, may you rot in hell.