TimmyDaddy: Surviving Irma

Empty water shelves at Publix the day before Irma arrived in metro Atlanta. (Photo by Collin Kelley)

We took reasonable precautions for Tropical Storm Irma like laying down the basketball hoop, bringing the outdoor furniture inside and buying wine. The water and bread aisles was cleared out though. What is it with you people and the bread? I swear one of these storms there will be a death by potato roll consumption. Anyway, we just sort of hunkered down and let the wrath of Irma take hold of the inside of our house.

Kristen’s cousin came from Jacksonville, which looked like an overreaction as the path of the storm shifted westward, but then seemed prudent as most of Jacksonville became a lake. My brother Bill’s in-laws evacuated to Decatur from Pawley’s Island and then dashed back home when Irma changed her mind. Margo wondered why we kept watching the Weather Channel because they were just talking about the same thing over and over. Honestly, if the choice is between the shenanigans of Jim Cantore or “iCarly,” I tend to side with Margo but Irma was compelling TV as long as power remained.

Monique across the street called to say our side gate was flapping around wildly. It wasn’t latching correctly, so I went out in my raincoat and duck boots with a piece of rope. As I watched the branches above me sway precariously, I had a faint recollection of a “Little House on the Prairie” episode where Pa Ingalls braved the elements to save the day. After that he probably went inside and aggressively ate an apple by candlelight with a huge Michael Landon smile while his adoring children sighed, “Awww Pa, we love you”. When I came inside my kids looked up from their iPads just long enough to ask why I was all wet.

Elliott and I played a game where we looked at pictures of sneakers online to determine whether they were real or fake Yeezys. Apparently, Kanye West footwear is so spectacular it costs about as much as a mortgage payment. Special markings and design characteristics that are most clearly visible to the eyes of a 10-year-old separate the Yeezy from the Feezy. For the record, fake Yeezys cost the same or more as ‘real’ sneakers and I imagine it’s a sore topic with Kanye.

When it was my turn I noted an $1,800 price tag and took that as an indication I was looking at the genuine article so I guessed REAL. Elliott just shook his head – rookie move apparently. “You can’t trust the price.” Believe me, I trust very little about the Yeezy phenomenon other than it effectively killed an hour during a storm.

Grandma, Margo, cousin Laura and I ventured to play a game of Monopoly. We don’t play a lot of Monopoly in our house because it just takes too long, but here was a situation where we had oodles of time. But when we got to auctioning properties Margo got a kick out of bidding in one-dollar increments. We’d say $200” and she’d say “Two-hundred-and-ONE-dollars…” and so on. We never finished that game.

Margo filmed Elliott and I having a boxing match in the basement. We each had one glove. The rules were that I couldn’t hit him hard and it should end with him knocking me out in spectacular fashion. The rest was ad-libbed. Elliott kind of has a Cobra Kai haircut so I tried the Karate Kid signature move but he was quick to remind me there was no kicking in one-handed boxing.

We never did lose power, which put us in the minority for our neighborhood. We ran an extension cord to our backyard neighbor so the food in their fridge wouldn’t spoil and other friends came by to charge up devices or soak up some WiFi. Our Georgia Power bill will probably read like we hosted an Aerosmith concert but given Irma’s largesse, we feel quite lucky. Plus, I abstained from bread for a few days.

Tim Sullivan grew up in a large family in the Northeast and now lives with his small family in Oakhurst. He can be reached at tim@sullivanfinerugs.com.

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