8:30 a.m. As I said before, the best part of a hurricane is the neighborliness. A neighbor we hardly know just stopped by and handed us a package of dry ice!

Okay, it’s time to try our battery recharge procedure.
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, September 6, 2004 at 8:30 am | Edit
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Monday, September 6, 2004. 7:45 a.m. Apparently there was a fair amount of wind and rain last night, but for the most part we slept through it. Porter heard a news report in the middle of the night, which said that the number of people without power in our county has greatly increased, which probably decreases the probability that we’ll get ours back anytime soon. The main problem is that the crews can’t work in winds over 30 mph. One good thing: Porter remembered the power converter we have in the car, and now that we can drive around the neighborhood to charge the battery, we can use it to run the TV for short periods of time, and to charge the laptop battery. We’re being conservative, not knowing how fast the car battery will drain, but it’s a comforting thought. In the meantime, I’m thinking of several projects that I can do without the computer and with less than optimal light—maybe I can accomplish them since I don’t have the computer to distract me. They wouldn’t be my top priority if we had power, but we don’t, so they get bumped up on the list.
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Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, September 6, 2004 at 7:45 am | Edit
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8:45 p.m. I could almost ditto the previous entry. Frances—the Energizer Hurricane. It keeps going, and going, and going. Just when we think it’s been calm long enough that surely it must be over, another feeder band comes through with more wind and rain. We went out again, to visit neighbors, and to take a look around. We were surprised to note that areas that traditionally flood in heavy rains were clear. We did see some downed trees, but in general things looked pretty good.

We are a couple of crazy nerds, for sure, feeling all at sixes and sevens without our computers. Leisure is great when you are supposed to be working— but not nearly so much fun when you CAN’T work. For a while it was light enough to do a little work, even if not on the computer. After dinner (cold pizza) we read and did puzzles for a while (my World of Puzzles magazine came just in time!), and are now going to be early. Good night, all!
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, September 5, 2004 at 8:45 pm | Edit
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2:45 p.m. We’re still here, still fine, still without power, still getting squalls and gusts with periods of relative calm. We’re under a tornado watch (no warnings since the one mentioned above) until 9 p.m. We made a brief reconnaissance venture outside during a lull, finding small branches down, one screen section flapping, and a few shingles blown off—not bad at all so far.

I’d better go now, and save this laptop battery for later. Love to all.
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, September 5, 2004 at 2:45 pm | Edit
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9:10 a.m. Looks as if that's it for the power; it's time to turn off the computer. See you on the other side! Keep praying! We love you all!
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, September 5, 2004 at 9:10 am | Edit
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7:00 a.m. Good morning! Porter's checking out the news while I bring up the computer and let people know all is well here. The winds have picked up a bit, with some impressive gusts, and occasional bouts of heavy rain. Believe it or not, our newspaper was delivered today (I guess that's part of the media's exemption from the curfew), and when Porter ventured out to retrieve it, he saw no damage yet in his hasty survey. The worst is expected to come early this afternoon, but the good news is that Frances has weakened a bit.

Hmm, just took a brief power hit. I'd better post this while I can.
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, September 5, 2004 at 7:00 am | Edit
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Sunday, September 5, 2004. 12:30 a.m. I just awoke from a two-hour nap. It's pouring now, but the wind is still low. Frances is still inching along, so we are both going to try to get some sleep. I'm bringing the computer down now, in case we lose power overnight, but I hope to be able to bring it up in the morning. Good night, and God bless!
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, September 5, 2004 at 12:30 am | Edit
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9:20 p.m. We just returned from a short walk outside. If I hadn't been thinking that at any moment a gust could blow a piece of debris at my head, it would have been great fun. If you're going to have a hurricane, you might as well enjoy it a little before it gets nasty. It's quite warm outside, warmer than you'd think from listening to the wind. Just a little chillier and it would have been really delightful. I love wind—in moderation, however. Having grown up in the northeast, where storms often provided a moderate amount of wind without fear of lightning, my favorite place at the onset of a storm (wind but no rain) was up in a tree, rocked by the wind. But a wind that rocks HOUSES is more than I want.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 9:20 pm | Edit
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8:00 p.m. Still hanging in there, as Frances is essentially stalled. It's pretty nasty on the coast, though. And Grand Bahama has been pounded. It's the length of the bombardment more than the strength of the winds that is so stressful. What a contrast to Charley, which blew through here at about 45 mph. We're very thankful to have power still. I'll take advantage of that to show you a couple of pictures; not of the storm, which isn't here yet—and during which I won't be taking pictures!—but of preparation.  (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 8:00 pm | Edit
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6:15 p.m. Just to let you know that we dodged that one. It went a bit to the north of us.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 6:15 pm | Edit
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5:40 p.m. We’re in a temporary lull, as Frances has stalled. Some places in Central Florida are without power already, but so far we still have ours. I used the time to burn several backup CD’s—you never know. Porter’s been keeping an eye on the reports while doing some AT&T work.

We’ve been gradually furnishing the hall again. It’s too narrow to hold everything until we really need it, but our supplies are close so we can hunker down fairly quickly.
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Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 5:40 pm | Edit
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3:45 p.m. More rain and gusts. Something hit the roof, sounded loud but, as I said before, a squirrel running across the roof sounds like stampeding horses, so it was probably a small branch. We had our first power hit; no worse than during a thunderstorm, but a reminder of what may be coming. Porter was out earlier helping a neighbor board up his windows. (There was quite a break between the first rain and this.) I’m glad he’s back now. Okay, to work again. “Work for the night is coming.” One good thing about hurricanes: they encourage me to clean my office!
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 3:45 pm | Edit
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11:30 a.m. First rain. A brief squall, with some high gusts, though not unusual for a summer storm. But it represents the first of the rain bands, and shows how big Frances is, since landfall is still several hours away.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 11:30 am | Edit
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Saturday, September 4, 2004. 6:30 a.m. Perhaps I should apologize to you for having nothing of interest to report, but I can’t be sorry about it. News reports this morning are struggling to find something of interest to say. You can tell the primary fear right now is that people will let down their guard as the hurricane delays. (Landfall is now predicted for after midnight tonight.) The weakening of Frances is good news (she’s a strong Category 2 at the moment), though her slow progress has people focusing on potential flood problems, because the slower she moves, the more rain will fall on already-saturated ground. Translate 10-20 inches of rain into snowfall (one inch of rain = roughly one foot of snow) and picture it in a Northeastern blizzard! Flooding is not a direct concern for us, as we live on what in Florida is called a hill. However, because Florida is such a low, flat state, it is of concern to a great many people (including those just one street over from us), and can have a significant impact on life in general here, even if we are spared the worst winds.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: About 14.6 million of Florida's 17 million people are under either a hurricane watch or a hurricane warning.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, September 4, 2004 at 6:30 am | Edit
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10:00 p.m. I may make it to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. There’s still more to do, but the news has been good enough I may treat myself to a longer sleep. Frances’ slow movement has provided a little more time, and what remains is more “would like to do” than “must do.”

We’ll be under a curfew tomorrow! That will be a new experience for me. Not that we’re thinking of going anywhere. Good night, everyone. And thanks again for your prayers and encouragement!
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, September 3, 2004 at 10:00 pm | Edit
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