And then it was all quiet … sort of.
It seems more and more these days, holidays roll in like hurricanes: plenty of warning, yet never enough time to prepare. Winds lash the trees. The water rises. You scramble, you bite fingernails, and you wish you had gotten out of town when the weatherman warned you.
“Why didn’t we go to Tahiti!”
But that’s also what makes the holiday so much fun — so exciting.
Mothers who come and stay for a week. Mine, even though the refrigerator had long since exceeded its carrying capacity, thought it necessary to buy loaf after loaf of bread from the Spanish Bakery, searching out any little uninhabited region of the fridge to cram it in. We never ate the bread, so I’m still not sure why she kept buying it.
The storm isn’t just a metaphor. It did actually come on Christmas morning, as you might recall, just as my mother was driving up from Tampa. All week she had watched the weather, petrified of a strong front that was threatening to bowl her over as she made her early morning run for St. Augustine.
She braved the winds and driving rain, hydroplaning at one point on backroads and dodging tornadoes she just knew were coming for her.
“What do I do if I see a tornado?” she asked the night before while preparing herself mentally for the journey. “I pull over and jump in a ditch, right?”
“No,” I told her. “It’s very simple: You just drive the other way.”
“You’re kidding? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard! I think you’re supposed to drive right into the eye where it’s calm.”
She made it. Somehow, she made it.
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