Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Friday, September 17, 2004


It’s incredible. The massive amounts of destruction. And to most of you, it is difficult to explain because it is just two dimensional pictures. If you go HERE, you see the picture galleries from the on-line Pensacola News Journal. If you click on the picture, it was the 3rd one down, of the house that is on it’s side crushed on the beach, there are 16 pictures and a couple of them of I-10. I think it gives a good scope of magnitude when you see the I-10 bridge kinked and broken. By the way, I believe they found the cab to the truck. What kind of person drives in heavy Cat 3 winds on a bridge with water rushing over it? A currently dead person, obviously.

I keep having to think of the funny things that have happened over the last few days to keep my spirits up, because I am teetering on the brink of lower than low. My husband is out of town, thankfully Jeanne appears to be both dissipating and moving away, and I can’t help my parents. This last hurricane has finally taken the wind out of my sails and when people started to talk about Jeanne coming this way, I finally said, “I do not care.” And I don’t. The adrenaline is gone. And I’m past the point of wanting to deal anymore. Honestly, if it turned this way, I wouldn’t even put up my shutters. I’m just that over it. I’m tired.

I’m emotionally drained. I have a friend who is a clam farmer and they lost everything in both Frances and Charley. He just bought a house, has a 13 month old daughter and a baby on the way. And there is story upon story upon story here in West Palm and we didn’t even take the hit that those in Pensacola did.

The stories from Pensacola are trickling in and they are just as heartbreaking, but more scary. I have a friend that evac’d to her uncle’s home and I believe she said her cousin lived next door. The house they were in started to fall apart around them, so they moved to the house next door, where they lost part of the roof and still had to stay.

Pensacola is my hometown. It is a place I still call home and I haven’t lived there since 1988. Here in West Palm, our school was destroyed and I shed not a tear. I saw buildings tattered and saw pictures of various areas and while I felt enormous empathy for the people involved, I felt nothing more. I do not love Palm Beach County. I never have and I never will. It is just a place I came to live because a big corporation offered me a great job making good money. And that is all it will ever be to me here.

But Pensacola is different. Coming from a family that moved every two years and then at the age of 14, finding a place that roots were actually placed, that makes a place different. My Dad continued to move one more time, but they kept the house, renting it out until he came back to retire. I went to High School there and made the best friendships of my life. It’s where I went to college and made a couple other deep friendships. I kissed boys on the beaches and rented a beach house for two summers in a row with girlfriends. I partied at Seville and have huge ties to McGuire’s Irish Pub. The Naval Aviation Museum is one of my favorite places to go. I love my parent’s neighborhood. I love the people of Pensacola. It was home for me and always will be and I have this horrible ache inside as I look at the pictures and see it has been dismantled and may not be repairable. At least not ever the way it used to be.

And the injustices… the small older wooden homes in downtown, down in the historic districts are gone, crushed by the powers of Ivan, yet the Portofino, the new 3 tower concrete high rise eyesore complex that most native Pensacolians loathe, one built right on the damn beach, is still standing. The inequities make me nauseous.

So today I am very sad and am in sort of mourning. I am worried for my parents still and I am worried for their neighbors.

On a positive note, since I’ve been continually logging onto the Pensacola News Journal, they have a community forum. You can click on an area of the city, and it will list neighborhoods in that area. If you click on a neighborhood, people from out of town are posting questions. For instance, when I clicked on my folk’s neighborhood, a girl was trying to find her grandparents as there was a death in the family. A guy’s parent’s had evac’d and were wondering how there home was. I called my folks on their cell and my Dad took down the addresses and went out with the stipulation, “I am not doing death notification. I’ll just tell them they need to call her.” Fair enough. He’s done enough death notification in his lifetime. So he went around, checked on the houses and the people and the people in the forum are extraordinarily thankful. Good deeds were done and it is the positive I am seeing today.

I may not be blogging tomorrow or this weekend. I am depleted. I am drained. I like to use my blog to post at the end of the day all the funny things that have occurred to me or the ridiculous I have witnessed, kind of as a positive reflection on my day. I'm just a little drained right now.


Blogger j&c said...

I am really sorry and I truly hope that it gets better down there for you. Hang in there.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Tammi said...


I'm so very sorry. I keep coming back here and clicking the link to the pictures. It absolutely breaks my heart.
For everyone there, and those - like you - with such deep ties.

I know you've got to be exhausted. I promise, we will not even mentione "cane" during dinner next week. It will be nothing but laughter and gossip and stories.

You take the weekend and rest up. Call me if you need to.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Harvey said...


And if you need a cheering distraction, this might help:

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bou, your description and the pictures of the devastation are astounding. It made me misty-eyed as I know first hand, from years of living in the caribean, that pictures can never do it justice.

I know how emotionally and spiritually exhausted you must be. I wish there was something I could do to help. But other than lending an ear, offering words of support and giving a donation to the Pensacalo Red Cross, I'm not sure what could help. Please let us know if we can help in any other way.

Your family, your parents and those in your atea are all in my prayers.

Michele in NYC

11:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home