It is absolutely impossible. I do not, cannot, categorically will not  F’ing believe it. We are still cleaning up after Hurricane Charley and now “they” say that Frances will make landfall right here.

It is Tuesday and I have just checked the National Hurricane Center website. The 11:00 a.m. report stated that between then and 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning we have a 5% chance of the eye of the hurricane being within 65 nautical miles of our area.

Five percent is not very much. Hurricanes move around and change direction. Look what happened with Charley   :   it was predicted for the lower west coast of Florida and it ended up in Orlando in the center of the state. So who knows where Hurricane Frances is going to hit.

The problem is, we have too much warning. We had barely 12 hours to prepare for Charley (see August 15, 2004 Day Log). Just enough time to rush out and buy extra batteries and drag the chaise lounge in from the patio. Now we have several days before us and people are making very elaborate plans.

Florida is a long, thin peninsula. The only safe direction is north. I hear people talking about driving to Atlanta to stay in a hotel, to southern Illinois to visit relatives, to spending an extended weekend in New Orleans.

Not me. I’ve thought about it a bit. I have a very elderly mother who lives along the river. If things get bad, she’ll be evacuated. An ambulance will come along and take her to a shelter. It’s happened to her before, when I was living elsewhere. She will be in much better hands than if I tried to take care of her myself.

What I do have to worry about is one very nervous fox terrier. Not too many of the shelters will accept pets. I’m not about to try to monitor Mr. Bronco for 36 or 72 hours in a crowded shelter filled with other animals.

I am going to stay at home. With my dog. I’ll do the necessary stuff – fill water buckets, put candles and flashlights where I can get to them, maybe take down the computers and put everything somewhere safer than where it is now. Make sure I have money and food and a can opener. Then me and my dog are going to go into the garage and get into the Honda and sit there and wait for the storm to be over.

I've verified the location of the big trees around my house. The garage is the least likely to receive a tree trunk or heavy branch on the roof. And if that does happen, I’ll still have the roof of the car for protection.

That is what I plan on doing. Right now, though, I’m going to take it one day at a time. “Planning but not projection” is the calmest way to go.