In September of 1996, most of us many inland North Carolina residents prepared to endure the brutal strength of Hurricane Fran. Chapel Hill is not a normal place for a hurricane to visit. But I prepared. Somewhat.
I did not fill my bathtub with water. I didn’t buy bottled water. I did not use masking tape on my windows. I bought no canned goods. No candles. I mean, I was not living in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida where those are normal hurricane things to do. I was in Chapel freakin’ Hill!
But as the threat of that dangerous storm approached Orange County, I did prepare some. I moved the living room sofa to the middle of that small room, and made my son and his Dalmatian sleep there and not upstairs where they normally spent nights.
I removed my son’s pet rabbit from his front yard cage and his pet parakeet from the stairway landing and placed them both in the downstairs laundry room.
I moved my La-Z-boy chair as far away from the front window as I could – maybe two inches. That’s where I tried to sleep.
But before I even considered the valued lives in that house that night, I first took care of my feet and my fear of walking barefoot through all the rubble and debris that a major storm might cause to our home. Yeah, that’s right!
First thing I did? I put my shoes on!