8/13/04 11:00 a.m. We awoke this morning to the eerie, sultry pre-hurricane stillness, though if I hadn't known a hurricane was coming I might not have been so sensitive to the odd mood of the weather. The sky is completely overcast (unusual for here) and there is not a hint of a breath of wind. The latter is supposed to change this afternoon. Latest predictions are for 65–70 mph winds. I went out to run errands this morning and didn't see any unusual activity; perhaps I would have if I had gone to the grocery store. I filled the car with gas because there were no lines at all, contrary to reports. Supposedly there are few empty hotel rooms in the Orlando area, thanks to the 400,000 or so people fleeing the Tampa area. So far none of our Tampa-area friends have taken us up on our offer.
8/12/04 10:00 p.m. Janet just creamed us in Quiddler, so it's time for bed. We'll check on Charley in the morning.
During our 20 years in Central Florida, we had experienced no more than the outskirts of a hurricane, although in 1999 Floyd was enough of a threat to induce us to board up our windows and make other preparations. This year, when Hurricane Charley set us in its sights, I created an online diary to keep family and friends informed—and continued the practice for subsequent hurricanes.(More)