Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane Irma

As much as I'd like to post about colorful sewing and quilting, it's the weather that has commanded our attention this past week.

Dan and I have watched as Hurricane Irma has grown to a category 5 hurricane, and wreaked havoc in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. We've been closely monitoring the numerous computer-generated models that forecasters are coming up with to predict Irma's path. As much as we've been hoping and expecting that she will turn eastward toward the Atlantic, the latest projected path is directly through eastern-central Florida. That's pretty much a near miss through The Villages! We're being told that we can expect 60-95 mph winds!

This is disappointing after reading on another website this list of the Florida cities that are most safe from the impact of a hurricane.
We were extremely relieved to see Leesburg at the top of the list because we live ten miles from Leesburg. So you can imagine our concern at seeing the newest path for Irma that takes her directly toward Leesburg. 

On Wednesday, after teaching an all-day free motion quilting workshop to quilters from Quilting Guild of The Villages, I stopped at Publix grocery store to buy apples and bananas. I couldn't believe what the bread aisle looked like, and had to take a picture.
Is this crazy or what?! It's as bad, if not worse than when a blizzard is predicted for Iowa!

As well, on Tuesday numerous local gas stations were out of gasoline. Today (Thursday), a couple gas stations appeared to have gas again. As I drove by on the golf cart, I saw lines of cars waiting for gasoline, and red-shirted attendants directing traffic into the gas station. Now though, I've since heard that those same stations are without gasoline.

We were not among the crowds that lined up to buy gas, or even bread, milk, or bottled water. We're perfectly content to fill containers with tap water. We have a reasonable amount of food at the ready (I baked sourdough bread this week, but it had nothing to do with Irma's impending arrival), so unless the roof is blown off the house, we think we can manage fine without power for several days. In anticipation of being without power though I did go to the library and checked out print books! That's quite contrary to my habit of listening to audiobooks. But with no landline phone, we're being cognizant of needing to use our cell phones for several days. I've charged an extra cell phone battery (one that I purchased to use at QuiltCon!) and will use the computer or car as back-ups for charging phones, if needed. 

We've made a list of all the things we want to do: remove furniture from the lanai Done!
take down our name sign on the lamp post Done!; bring in flower pots - all of which could be flying bombs - fill the bathtub with water for toilet-flushing; fill all our water bottles with tap water; gather important documents and prescriptions - all of which will go into the master bedroom closet where we anticipate spending the worst of the storm - and lastly... we'll go to bed Sunday night dressed, with our phones, flashlights, and shoes at the ready. Irma is expected to arrive during the wee hours (2 am) Monday morning. 

The Villages is preparing too by closing golf courses and turning on the irrigation systems during the day (otherwise, daytime watering is not permitted) to water the courses using water from holding ponds so as to reduce the level of water in those ponds in anticipation of the rain that will come with Irma.

The Villages is canceling music and dancing on the three squares for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, there will be no Farmer's Market on Saturday, and all recreation centers are closed Sunday and Monday. All poolside chairs and tables are being stored away, nets and wind breaks removed from tennis and pickle ball courts, and the arms are being removed from the automated gate entrances and exits.

Suffice it to say that everyone around here is anticipating Irma. We have no idea how severe our experience may be - whether it will feel like another tropical storm, or will blow our socks off. Literally.

A little bit of quilting-related information...
My presentation - "Domestic Machine Quilting" - to Quilting Guild of The Villages on Tuesday evening was a resounding success, if I do say so myself. There were 172 quilters in attendance, and I was pleased and humbled by the compliments I received afterward - in person, and via texts and emails. Everyone was very kind, and seemed genuinely appreciative of the information I shared. Gosh, but quilters know how to make a person feel good!

On Wednesday I enjoyed teaching free motion quilting to 20 quilters. I shared everything I could remember about free motion quilting! They too responded appreciatively.

It was a wonderful two days, and now Hurricane Irma has our attention. I hate mentioning that we've noticed that Hurricane Jose is right behind her, and on a similar path! I can't even contemplate that, and I'm glad to say that the weather-forecasters aren't talking much about him either! Irma is plenty enough to handle at the moment. Linda


  1. Be safe, and please don't hesitate to evacuate if it's ordered for your area. A friend in the keys left yesterday morning. Hurricanes and wildfires - one has to wonder if God is trying to get this nation's attention.

  2. Stay safe and dry, I'll be thinking and praying for you.

  3. Oh my! You sound so calm! I would be a wreck! I guess living in Florida you need to be prepared and it certainly sounds like you are! Prayers to you! PS Even if you can't do your lovely machine quilting, hand sewing is a wonderful alternative! Be safe and do let us know you are well!

  4. So glad your events went so well!! Good for you. Hoping Irma doesn't come as close as you any rate, keeping you and many others in our prayers!

  5. Linda, hope you will be safe. Thinking of you!

  6. Indeed Irma is quite enough on our plate for the present moment! Pray and prepare is my motto. It's quite a lesson in our powerlessness, but we know The One Who has all power. Bless you through the storm and beyond.

  7. just read a report from an islander on St. John's, remember to pick up the coconuts as they become flying missiles as well in a heavy wind. Stay safe!

  8. Thanks for the info, Linda. You made me think of a couple of things that I need to do tonight and tomorrow. We will also be sleeping in our closet on Sunday night. Stay safe!!

  9. Hello dear Linda. You are such an inspiration. I mean, looking at those teaching photos, you are very encouraging. Look at all of that courage going around that room.

    I have to be brutally honest. I am very worried about this storm. I am praying fervently for your safety. I am glad that you are physically prepared. Are most of the residents of your massively wonderful community staying home? Please oh please know that many are praying for all of you

  10. Wow Linda I hope everything turns out as you expect. Apparently from what we hear it's the worst hurricane EVER recorded in USA since they have been keeping records. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Dan. Xx

  11. We'll be keeping our eye on you and on Florida--I hope people have made lots of your Florida quilts to keep themselves cozied up while they anticipate Irma. I know you have taken all precautions, so I trust that you are aware, and ready. See you on the other side!

  12. I'm happy to hear you are calm in the face of the storm. It really is so hard to predict what will happen with it and wouldn't it be great if all the preparation was overdone!! Hope it goes well for you in the next couple of days.

  13. Good luck with the hurricane. I'll be thinking about you.



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