Hurricane Isaac brought back a broad range of memories–even moments that made me laugh and smile.
Hurricane Isaac reminded me of Hurricane Gustav because my electricity was out for four or five DAYS after that storm, too. During Gustav, the extended power outage was due to a neighbor’s tree rubbing on the power line. I’m sure there’s a technical term, but the tree was the problem. My family had stepped away to get something to eat while I waited at home, hoping the power company would show up at any moment, and I wanted to make sure they didn’t leave until it was fixed.
After the third or fourth day, I was so wiped out from the heat and dehydration. I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to take a nap on a chaise lounge on the second floor porch. Well, I didn’t plan to take a nap, it just happened as I started drifting in and out of sleep. I had kicked off my shoes to get comfortable, and my feet happened to be facing the street.
I don’t know how long I had been asleep, but I started hearing some slight noises. I couldn’t tell if I was hallucinating or dreaming or if I was hearing something. I started to panic a little bit, but decided to be still and listen closely. Then, I heard a little movement and knew someone was outside.
Slowly, I started grabbing my phone and getting ready to dial the police, but otherwise, I stayed perfectly still, listening closely. Then, I started hearing whimpering and sniffling. I was wondering what in the hell was going on. Was someone out there CRYING? As my mind was trying to function from the heat and dehydration, the crying got louder.
Who is lurking outside of my house, sneaking up and crying? It became a sort of wailing. I mean, what in the hell is going on outside? I decided that the time had come to just sit up and face whatever and whoever was out there. So, I did it. I quickly and boldly sat up, facing the direction of the crying. It probably didn’t hurt that I had a wild, deranged expression from the heat.
It’s a woman, and she SCREAMS! I mean, screaming! She’s got a dog with her and she’s jerking it around on the leash, she’s really freaking out. I stare at her in disbelief for a minute, and she eventually calms down enough for me to ask her if she’s all right. I started worrying that someone hurt her or something.
She calmed down after a couple of minutes and then started telling me that I’m alive. Yes, I am, in fact, alive. Then she starts telling me that she thought that I was dead and she had found a fatality of the storm. She had only been able to see my feet, my perfectly still feet, and was afraid she had landed in Katrina all over again. The poor lady just about had a heart attack when I sprang up and looked right at her. Plus, I had been lying there perfectly still for several minutes while I was trying to figure out what was going on.
The lady stayed for several minutes, hugging her dog and then crying happy tears that she hadn’t found a corpse. I was pretty happy about that, too. We had a good laugh after she calmed down. I felt kind of badly about springing up on her so quickly like that, though.