I’ve lived through two hurricanes I can remember. Iwa in eighth grade. Iniki in 1992. There have been a lot of very, very near-misses since, but the islands have been incredibly lucky since the year I was 23 and that category 4 storm devasted Kauai in ways it’s still feeling.
In this space I’ve told the story of the hurricane headed right for East Hawaii in my first weekend on the Big Island after moving there to finish school. It made a 90-degree turn straight north moments before it was supposed to hit. I watched the TV udates on my small TV in my unfurnished living room, sitting on the hard carpeted floor with a can of Spam and a candle next to me, certain God was telling me I’d made the wrong choice.
The headline on the front page of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald the next morning was WHEW!.
Douglass was a closer call, in some ways more dramatic for us all if not for me personally. It came right at us then jumped northwest sliiiiightly ahead of its projections, then flew past on a path parallel to the island chain, leaving each island (except Hawaii Island, which avoided it altogether) just out of the storm’s reach. Incredible.
I had a feeling I wouldn’t get much sleep Saturday night and I was wrong. I got no sleep at all. I wasn’t worried or nervous or anything. It was just this weird feeling of expectation that wouldn’t let me rest. It was frustrating but I didn’t fight it. I got in my car at about 5:15 and filled four gallon-jugs with water at the water-filling place. I was pretty sure I had enough but I was up, the supermarket in front of which the fountain is wouldn’t open for another half hour, and I craved the fresh, misty air on my face.
Got home, did a few preparation things in the carport. At about 8 I thought I’d see if Rainbow’s was open, to grab breakfast and lunch. It wasn’t, so I hit L&L and grabbed three plate lunches. Insane, but I didn’t know what the next 24 to 48 hours were going to look like. It was rainy and overcast, and pretty windy but not especially so.
So for breakfast I had two thirds of a laulau/kalua plate. Lunch several hours later was that and some of a chicken katsu plate. Dinner was the rest of the chicken katsu. I still have an entire plate lunch for Monday.
In the early afternoon, I figured I should grab what sleep I could before the storm hit. I got up in time for the local news, although the TV was on all day and so was the local news, really. Coverage was pretty good, but there was so much unberable filler I was begging for them to throw it to the national news at 5:30, even though the national news on Sunday evenings is usually terrible too. The local affiliate did not. We just kept going with ridiculous person-on-the-street interviews and some UH professor who looked like middle-aged Geraldo Rivera and didn’t make any sense.
I took about as much of that as I could, then went back to bed. I was pretty dang tired. Got up a few times to see if we were officially in the clear. In the late evening Sunday, we were.
It was a relief. I went back to bed and didn’t get up until just past midnight. So there’s a good chance I’ll be up all night again, dang it. Going to try not to let that happen. It’s 2:46 now, though, so yeah.
I didn’t go for a walk, ‘though I certainly was tempted. We’ll see what things look like Monday night.
Texting was pretty continuous all day, as you might imagine. My uncle hit me up in IG early. Some coworkers and I traded updates. Sylvia and I talked about our food plans. Ali in Boston asked for an update. Writing partner just wanted to see what I was up to, and she sent me some photos of her kid reading books. Crush Girl seemed not to be following the news, so she asked me periodically what I knew. I also texted a few female friends to ask if the Kauai mayor is a hunk. The consensus: kinda.
During his late-morning press conference, the governor shut down state offices on Oahu, plus the university, which sent a few of my coworkers and me into speculation mode. As a rule, if the university is closed for safety reasons, so are we. Within an hour we got the word: no work Monday.
Since Monday is a no-work day I’m not too worried about the sleep thing, ‘though I’d rather not be up all night again. I’m on my second kalimotxo and will have one more. That should help.
Because of the TV, I didn’t listen to much music, but I gave Taylor another spin, and now I’m on my second spin of Fear, a new album by Valkyrie. Stoner-doom metal, ‘though not very metally. A nice, enjoyable listen, though. I’d go see these guys play. The solos are deft and melodic, somewhat reminiscent of Thin Lizzy for some reason.
I have some big projects Monday, since it’s not a work day. Kind of looking forward to them, just to get them out of the way. Also wouldn’t mind getting some reading in. Today should have been a good day for that but I was just so tired.
A memorable if uneventful day. Just what I and my homestate needed. Thanks, God.