So there we were…right in the crosshairs…

            And she missed us.

            It would be bad luck to mock Mother Nature, I suppose, but we had been dead in Hurricane Elsa ‘s projected path.  Filling sandbags and the whole nine yards.  Turned out all we got was some heavy rain.  Not even any appreciable flooding where we were. The hurricane had slowed to “tropical storm” force.

            My first impulse was to say “We dodged a bullet,” but that would be semantically incorrect.  We didn’t – couldn’t – move out of the way.  The path of the thing simply veered.

            My back is unhappy with me about those sandbags, but hey: it’s about preparedness. I’m delighted that I have no damage to repair.  Should I regret having been prepared for the worst?  Of course not.  I carry a gun, but at the end of a day I don’t say to myself “Damn – no gunfight. All that preparedness was wasted because I didn’t need to fire a shot!”

            Au contraire. Better to have and not need than…well, you know.

            If you need it, the preparedness was obviously golden.

            And if it turns out you didn’t need it after all, you still had peace of mind.

            Win, win.

            Sympathy to those who were not so fortunate with the weather.


  1. I’m happy when the storms miss us or are less than expected. After 30 plus years living in Hampton Roads, I’ve seen my share of storms. Elsa was just some wind with less than an inch of rain, and just a little bit of tree debris to clean up.

    • The “Whole nine yards” that came from the pilots flying the P51! Boy that saying had sure stuck a long time! Even the young ones that have no idea what a P51 Mustang is!🤗

      • If my memory serves me, the “whole nine yards” refer to the length of the ammo belt of the Vickers(?) machine gun used in WWI. As in “Give ’em the whole nine yards!!”

  2. So glad it veered Mas. If you had not done any preparation it would not have. It’s nice to know in advance of them so that you can prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Unfortunately when you are in Iowa we don’t get hurricane or “deracho” warnings. Luckily last year was the only one I remember and it was nasty.
    Shoot straight brother.

  3. Kind of like the recent unusual heat we experienced in the Pacific Northwest. It comes without much warning and you don’t know ahead of time how bad it will be.
    As the saying goes ‘Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.’ The climate is getting warmer and the weather is tending toward becoming more extreme.

    • in thrid grade we learned that “climate” is “weather over an extended period of time”. Pore Geeeeeeeneeeees, thinking that if they holler about the “climate” long enough the weather over time wil have changed to make them right…. yeah, RIGHT…….

      Well, Mas, I’m just glad you are still in good enough shape to BE filling sandbags, I know plenty of folks half my age that would be heading for the hot tub after filling three of them halfway.
      Even more happy for you that it decided to leave you alone.

  4. Like you say, best not to tempt the fates in case next time ….
    Elsa seemed to affect inland more than the SE NC coast – we got some heavy rain in spells but nothing sustained, and wind gusts up to 30 mph but again nothing sustained. Inland had heavier sustained rain with some flooding… Glad we were all spared damage from this one.

  5. Preparedness, that is being reasonably prepared, is a good philosophy. That’s why we have 2 weeks of provisions at the ready and enough ammo to remain proficient in times of drought.

    Speaking of preparedness, we’ll see you in a couple of weeks in Onalaska.

  6. The silver lining is, next storm you won’t have to fill sand bags. Always a bright side to it. I was getting ready to fill the gas cans, glad I held off.

  7. It’s wonderful to be prepared. The result is “peace of mind.” The result of not being prepared is probably “panic.”

    In April 2010, Glenn Beck convinced me to become a Doomsday Prepper. {That term doesn’t bother me. I prep within my budget, and know that, whatever happens, all roads lead to the cemetery anyway. But, I plan to do my best until I expire}. Just a few hours ago my lunch consisted of stored food which I am now rotating. I eat all my stored food before the expiration date arrives, even though those dates are conservative, and it is OK to go past them. I had pasta (spaghetti), canned corn and Spam, all mixed together in a bowl and smothered with butter.

    The USA never seems to go through really bad times, but anything can happen in the future. The fact that we’ve been so blessed causes me to worry that we may prove the old saying, “What goes up, must come down.”

    We have the greatest civilization of all time. We have gone up, up, up, all the way to the moon and back. To a pessimist, that just means when we fall, we will fall down harder and farther than previous civilizations. Who knows? Above, I wrote that the USA never seems to go through really bad times, compared to other countries. Two events I consider to be “really bad times” would be the Battle of Stalingrad and the Siege of Leningrad. Our military goes through tough times, but not our civilians. I suppose the USA’s worst time was the First Civil War.

    When the power goes out, or some disaster comes, I generally see Americans helping each other. One fantastic example is the Cajun Navy. That is a beautiful thing, when Americans help each other! Of course, sometimes we also see looting. That is why the wise prepare for tough times.

  8. Mas,
    Glad you fared well in the storm. In Belleair, we too had only a little yard debris and no real damage. One medium branch fell— it took me two minutes to drag it to the road for next day pickup…and considerably longer to undo all the (retrospectively) unneeded storm prep. My friend tweaked his back hauling away his wet sandbags. I hope your back recovers quickly.

  9. No hurricanes in New Mexico where I live! Had my share of them though when we lived In New Orleans. Don’t miss them one bit! Very glad it missed you Mas.

  10. You should have been here in Panama City in 2018 when the Cat 5 went right over this place.
    Elsa was a popgun.

  11. The key to surviving any crisis situation is to resort to cannibalism early. And with the right barbecue sauce, there isn’t a neighbor I wouldn’t eat.

    • Unless you happen to live next to Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton. Yuck! A starving New Guinea or Amazon forest savage won’t eat one of those tough old hags.

    • Cold Pizza,

      Yes, cannibalism. That is why hearing about all the illegal aliens pouring into our country does not bother me. If we ever experience a famine, they will be a wonderful source of protein! Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar barbecue sauce makes anything taste wonderful. Also, I am reminded that there was one member of the Donner Party, Lewis Keseberg, who reportedly chose to eat humans even when he had beef available.

      Preppers believe the worst place to be in a disaster accompanied by famine would be Manhattan Island. But even there, you could purify the water from the Hudson River, and eat the corpses of those who died natural deaths.

      The preceding is the author’s attempt at sick humor. It is not intended to be taken as anything other than humor. The author will not be held responsible for offending the sensibilities of snowflakes, wimps, marshmallows or any other entities who are thin-skinned enough to be offended by humor. Get over it and get on with your cushy lives.

      • Roger, if there is a famine, it’s more likely the illegal invaders will eat you before you munch on them. White meat vs dark meat?

        Manhattan has a sizable population of super models but those women only have about 5 lbs of meat on their bones. Quality vs quantity?

        Harlem in upper Manhattan has many barbecue joints where one can devour huge amounts of various meats while drinking beer and listening to jazz, so in a famine those places may become even more popular. 🙂

  12. Mas, 10 bags per residence as the sign says, is not a lot of sand in case you need them. I would suggest getting the limit whenever sand is available and if not needed for hurricanes, you can stack up them for cover in case of an attack by human goblins and peaceful protesters looking to score free stuff at your house.

  13. I am glad it’s impact was minimal for you. It was minimal for me, too. But it was not for Savannah, Georgia where I used to work. I retired on 060121, and I am glad I chose that date to go.

  14. Having filled hundreds of sandbags over the years, I have learned to use wastebaskets that fit and hold the sandbags up. I have also kept hundreds of sandbags continuously on hand, and I normally use them two at a time for durability, one inside the other, of course. A smaller round shovel has proven to be the most efficient filling tool. Duct tape can be very handy for sealing up the bags. Luckily I live in Arizona, where sand is unlimited. One great big sunny beach of a state, one might say. Monsoon flooding is a regular threat here, unfortunately. Vehicles and drivers are lost every year trying to part the waters. The Phoenix area is due for some flooding this week, too. Thank God for rain, though.

  15. Mas.

    Why on earth did you leave NH? Perhaps you have a love for Florida heat, humidity, hurricanes, tornadoes, fire ants, chiggers, poisonous snakes, and crazy snow birds?

    All you have to worry about in NH is snow and ice.

  16. Glad to hear. So, what can a gun couple do with filled sandbags while waiting for the next one? Any range enhancements coming up, WW1 trench style?

  17. Our house here in small-town WY is in one of the windiest locations in the state (which is the windiest of the lower 48). I laugh all the time at the phrase “hurricane-force winds” since we routinely get days-long 60 MPH winds in our neighborhood.

    About three weeks ago we had a windy day, with sustained 65-70 MPH winds and gusts up to a minimum of 100 MPH. I say “minimum” because my neighbor’s anemometer only registers that high. We watched as one of our aspens off the back deck started to tilt farther and farther with each gust until it finally broke the big root on the west side and ended up at an angle of about 30 degrees off horizontal. It’s now curing in the firewood stack.

    All of the trees around here grow tilted at an angle towards the east because of the persistent west winds. About the only good thing about the wind is that in the wintertime this neighborhood is about 10 degrees warmer than just a few miles down the road because of the heating effect, like a chinook or foehn.

    I’ve watched as an unsecured patio umbrella soared past hundreds of feet overhead, sailing towards the gully (or maybe towards South Dakota). There’s an old joke here that the snow in Wyoming never melts; it just blows around until it wears out.

    • Sounds like Wyoming would be a tough place to shoot precision Long range rifle with those high winds. Should be no mosquito problems there. I visited a rodeo in Cheyenne back in 1983 when I lived in Denver, Colorado and it was fairly calm that day.

    • Blackwing1,

      Wyoming sounds like a place where the houses would be aerodynamic. Maybe like domes, or, with that much wind, maybe just live underground. Shingles, gutters and shutters must be blown off of houses all the time.

  18. We on Coastal Bend Texas we’re not so fortunate. Our little airport recorded 12” of rain in 24 hours. And it rained for 2-1/2 days. We were prepared with plenty of water and food. The moral of the story is always be prepared.

    • We got six inches, and we’re still getting more today. Living in New England, I learned to never complain about weather. The rest of the world has it much worse than I do.

  19. Decades ago, we did a family vacation to Florida, maybe a year or two after Hurricane Anne. Memorable sights included the still existing devastation, including (big) boats in really strange places and an former office building that was nothing but the steel beams. Add in the exotic and plentiful fauna, the humidity, the mildew, incipient jungle rot………….. At any rate, I’d be looking for warmer than Concord, NH weather in a more congenial location.

    OTOH, at our ages, being close to God’s Waiting Room (St Petersburg and a couple other places) might not be that bad an idea.

    • Forbes Magazine (back when it was a serious business publication), once interviewed Milton Petrie, owner of Petrie Stores. Milt was an irascible, recovered alcoholic, who made it into his 90s, when this young woman out of college interviewed him for the magazine.

      The reporter innocently asked him, “Mr. Petrie. As you are in your 90s, when do you plan on retiring?”

      Petrie glared at her, took the cigar out of his mouth, and barked “I’ll retire when they hit me in the face with a spade full of dirt.”

      To heck with waiting rooms in St. Pete. I am going to make sure they find my body dead from natural causes, doing what I do every single day.

      In Mas’s case, that will be on a range, teaching, and burning up gunpowder.

  20. One of the reasons we moved to Lake City was it is just about equal distant from ether coast. When we retired we were in West Palm Beach and had just seen 3 hurricanes in 3 months. Since we have been here ( moved in 2005) we have seen 3 large wind storms but nothing approaching a hurricane. Thank God! A suggestion DON’T WATCH THE WEATHER CHANNELS! If you do you will think the world is coming to an end.

  21. My God uncle Mas, PLEASE send us some of that monsoon wet stuff (southern ID) before we all melt away!

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