When I went to Camp Judaea as a kid, there was a large contingent of campers from Miami and Puerto Rico. I don’t have that many good things to say about many of the campers from those places. That is not to say that I disliked all my fellow campers in beautiful Hendersonville, NC; it just wasn’t awesome (and I really hated some people). These kids from the extreme South East might not have known basic rules of human decency, but they did know hurricanes.
I remember the really awesome t-shirts that some of them brought to camp in 1993 boasting “I survived Hurricane Andrew”. As an aspiring meteorologist rabbi, I was already impressed with hurricanes and tracked them at home. That summer, I learned they came with swag. Further, there is a brotherhood that comes from having survived one of the world’s great storms.
I really wanted to be in a hurricane after that summer. Nothing truly devastating, but it would be neat to see stuff fly. Hampton, fortunately or unfortunately (however you might see it) was too well protected for those kinds of shenanigans. We had a couple of hurricanes skirt through in my youth, but almost everything downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit Hampton.
We are officially in our last Typhoon season on Okinawa. By now, Leora is a pro, but I was in Guam or Iwakuni or both when the last really spectacular typhoon hit almost two years ago.
Even so, I do ok. Though I’ve never been in anything truly jaw-dropping. I stare out the window as the gusts of wind blast through the wind tunnel created by my apartment building and the one next door. I take the puppy out when it seems things are dying down even just briefly. I get a bad headache from the pressure change…and I pray that the pressure won’t result in Leora going into labor (it can do that).
Supposedly this typhoon was a pretty good one. Winds gusted over 100 mph on island, and trees with large branches missing can be seen all over. Many of the “No Parking” signs fell over on base, so it’s a free-for-all (at least in my head). There was also some pretty intense flooding. But at our house, things were relatively calm. After all, we live in a concrete bunker of an apartment. Power and water went out. Fire alarms went off (and after two hours, they were jerry-rigged to cease their noise-making). We went over to our neighbors’. Played some board games. Pet the dogs and played with babies. Thank God, it wasn’t quite the Andrew experience, but I'm too old for that non-sense.