I was sitting at a table outside a restaurant downtown last week, and it was a beautiful, sunny day. But I was amused to see a plastic pink flamingo stuck in the dirt next to the street, wearing a yellow rain slicker and a matching rain cap. Around his neck was a sign made of torn cardboard, and scrawled in marker on the front were the words, “Please no hurricane.”
The flamingo looked so funny in his rain gear that I had to take a photo with my camera phone. Now, with Hurricane Frances churning up the Atlantic, the photo is the wallpaper for my cellphone screen. The flamingo doesn’t seem so silly anymore. I’m thinking about getting one for our front yard.
I’m feeling very conflicted about this hurricane – and all hurricanes I suppose. For the past two days, I’ve been obsessively checking the National Hurricane Center website, hitting refresh every 2 minutes even though I know they only give updates every few hours. I don’t want a hurricane to hit Savannah, I really don’t. But I’ve always wondered what it would be like to see a hurricane – what would the winds feel like? What might the sky look like?
I guess I get this weather curiosity from my mom. I called her over the weekend and she said if an evacuation were issued for my area, she wants to come down and stay with me. Not to protect me. To watch the storm with me. We’re crazy, I know, I know.
The thing is, I would be absolutely crushed if I found my home in splinters. If the oak tree that offers shade from the summer sun were uprooted, I’d be so sad. I’d never want a storm to tear up my beloved city, and I would never want a storm to hurt someone.
So do I want Hurricane Frances to come here? No. But if it did, I admit the adrenalin would be intoxicating. I’d work hard, I’d sleep little, I’d try my best to tell the story of the storm.
But for now, I’ll keep my eye out for a pink flamingo for sale.