Blizzards, hurricanes, and airplanes

My husband and I are flying to Florida next week…or at least we are (were??) planning to.

As you may have guessed, we have become obsessed with the news coverage of hurricane Irma. We are going to Orlando for a conference and decided to go a little early to spend a few days at Disney without the kids.

I was surprised to see people sharing things on Facebook about it being the end of the world. Major hurricanes, wildfires out West, and a solar eclipse…but all of these things have been happening since the beginning of time. At least we have modern technology to know about the storms before they hit.

Some people also have been thinking that the world was ending for awhile too. I remember hearing stories in my lifetime of people waiting on their rooftops for the end of the world to come. They would’ve died waiting too…which sends my thoughts to wonder how many fell off their rooftops? I wouldn’t want to climb out on mine, especially in winter.

Maybe people are talking about the end of the world because it seems like America is getting hit with some pretty nasty natural disasters.

Did anyone proclaim the end of the world when eBola hit Africa?? What about during the Salem witch trials, the year 666, and during the bubonic plague??

My brain might explode!

Do I believe that someday the world will end?? Yes, perhaps so, but I believe that the world has been ending since it first began. Kind of like life…people will debate over when life begins..Does it begin at conception or birth? But no one would debate that the minute something is living that it begins the process of dying whether it is a plant, human, or animal…

Wow, that is morbid and deep…okay, enough of the philosophy.

I don’t know if we will be flying out next week…As a Midwestern girl, I know nothing about hurricanes. I’ve only dipped my toes in the ocean a handful of times. I’ve never seen a shark in the sea. I’ve never seen an alligator or crocodile in its natural habitat. I couldn’t tell the difference between them.

All that Wisconsinites know about is blizzards.

Most of us know how to drive in a foot of snow. Some people around this neck of the woods can manage driving in a foot of snow drunk. I wouldn’t recommend it.

We rarely shut down for more than a day for a snow storm…usually a few hours. Most people have a truck, snowmobile, or 4 wheel drive. We’ve gotten used to white out conditions, sliding into snow banks, and leaving the house when it is 20 below without gloves and hats. We can live 3 months barely seeing the sun. We’ve become accustomed to seasonal depression. We shovel the snow out of our driveways with snot dripping and freezing onto our jackets. We are so desperate to get out that we fish on the ice. The bravest of us see how long we can make it before turning the heat on.

But hurricanes, I don’t know anything about that! I can’t even comprehend its impact.

I suppose I too am guilty of being self-centered. I am worried about myself, my flight, my ability to get away for a few days. I seem to be more concerned about the storm for my purposes then the people that have lost everything even their lives.

I admit I am rather happy that all of the news on Facebook isn’t political rants, rioting, and that weird stuff about statues. But I feel horrible about the stories of devastation that are replacing them.

Oh, and I never did read that article about the end of the world.

 

Partying like it’s 1999

I find it very interesting that Prince’s song 1999 released in 1982 speaks about judgment day. It goes along the lines of lets party like it’s 1999 because the following day the world could end. What I find even more interesting is that back in 1999 some people thought that when the clock ushered in the year 2000 that the world really would end. I am sure that Prince knew nothing of the Y2K scare that would grip many citizens 17 years after he released the song.

Lets rewind the clock a bit back to New Year’s Eve 1999. Wow, it feels great to be 25 again! It is a cold winter here is Wisconsin. Many are expecting that the world would end as we know it in 2000. Computers were programmed with the year 19** and they would not recognize the year 2000 and stop working. Our cars weren’t going to start. Our heat and electricity would stop working. Our pipes would freeze. Life would grind to a crashing halt and we would be forced to live like our ancestors did a century ago without the knowledge of how to do that in the dead of winter.

I was pregnant in December of 1999. I did worry a little bit about having a baby without modern technology especially since I delivered my first baby via C-section. Some friends of ours really thought that the end of the world was coming and that they needed to do everything they could to prepare for it. They bought a wood stove for an alternate heat source. They started stockpiling food and water. They bought survival gear and started teaching a survival class. When our cars wouldn’t start we would be trapped wherever we were at the time.

Most people that I knew didn’t party like it was 1999. They prayed, they got together with friends and relatives huddled around the TV watching for signs that other countries in time zones ahead of us would have problems. I remember the night well. Paul and I stayed overnight at my parents house with our oldest child who wasn’t even 2 at the time. My dad volunteered to be a civilian officer to assist police officers and firefighters if the Y2K apocalypse happened. My mom was afraid to be left home alone with my autistic brother Matt.

So while the idea of partying in the new millennium sounded great, we didn’t know what to expect. People were frightened. The next day the new year came, but the end of the world didn’t. We got into our car and drove home. People threw out all of their end of the world survival books and Y2K pamphlets, except for me. I kept a pamphlet because I thought that it might be valuable someday.