21st Birthday in a Hurricane

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Day 7: Monday, September 25, 2017

On this day 21 years earlier my second child Madison was born. It was her birthday. I thought, it is going to be a good day. No matter what, I am going to make it the best day I can. We missed some of her birthdays while she was in boarding school, so whenever she is near, we are sure to make it a big deal. Besides we all need something to celebrate. This had been the most difficult two weeks of my life. Can you imagine trying to celebrate someone’s birthday in the aftermath of a hurricane? Jenn and I discussed what to do. She would try and get gas for the car. So we could possibly go to dinner someplace. But nothing is open. Remember no power, no water, no internet no ATM and so on. At some point you would think I would remember that.

Jenn ended up waiting in line for gas for six hours in 100-degree heat. I made my traditional breakfast for Madison. Making breakfast is kind of a tradition for me and the kids. I made her breakfast tacos (Eggs, bacon and fresh salsa on a tortilla). We were still trying to come up with a way to make the day special but it really was impossible.

Madison stayed on the couch that morning icing her knee and enjoying the small electric fan. The knee surgery (11 days earlier) went well but she is still in a lot of pain. I will admit she has been a real trooper through this entire ordeal. Plus, she hasn’t been able to work (earn money) for 2 weeks due to the lack of internet. She makes all her livelihood by working online. I knew she needed to take her mind off reality too.

Liam asked if he could go to the boat. So, I then sent Liam to retrieve the sailboat with Kylar and Christian from the other night. I didn’t want to go as I knew they were wrong about the boat. I also needed to pick up the birthday cake. I went to work again thinking that somehow I would have information from San Juan and/or DC Postal headquarters but nothing. I also could no longer get into the facility as the electronic locks were locked out. I guess when the batteries for the alarm run out it secures and locks out the entire building. Preventing anyone from entering and/or exiting. Not a very good system as we don’t have power to release the doors or phone service to call for help if you are locked inside.

On my way home I heard that the ATM in Econo was working. I ran inside and no one was in line at the ATM. I knew it wasn’t working but I tried it anyway. Sure enough I was able to get some cash out before it went off line. My day was getting better. I bought a cake and headed home. On the way, another friend flagged me down and offered me two lobsters and a grouper. Wow, the day just keeps getting better.

Shortly after that Liam arrived home. I was terrified to hear about his day. I just couldn’t take it. I do remember telling him not to come home with bad news. I probably should not have said that. He started to tell me about our boat but the neighbor came by asking for some help with fuel. He knew that we were going to wait in line tomorrow for fuel and asked if we could take two small tanks with us. Thank God for our neighbors. I cannot even explain how the community came together to help eachother. It was amazing. Faith in humanity restored?

Finally, Liam said, our boat was in fact one of the last three boats floating. Address Unknown survived another CAT 5 Hurricane on anchor. This is unheard of. Nothing should have survived this. I thought that anchor trick really works. Gosh, Don and Bridgette really knew how to get a boat through a hurricane. It turns out the anchor trick didn’t really work this time. As our boat drug anchor during the first blast of the hurricane the second anchor clipped a mooring ball anchor. That mooring ball anchor was a caterpillar tractor engine. It was put there several years ago and probably could hold a battleship.

It was time to celebrate.

I cooked the lobster on the grill with the grouper. It was an amazing meal. We then had cake and fell fast asleep.

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