I’d rather be thinking about curtains

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I'd rather be thinking about curtains

We live lives of privilege.

We can spend hours debat­ing pol­i­tics, decid­ing what to wear to work, which run­ning shoes to buy, which cut of beef to grill with shrimp and veg­gies for din­ner, and where to spend our vacations.

We also spend sub­stan­tial amounts of money, time and effort on our homes. In addi­tion to my blog and read­ing addic­tions, my great­est and prob­a­bly most expen­sive addic­tion is my house, HGTV included. I have pur­chased, improved, lived in, and sold three houses.

I bought my fourth house, moved in last month, and have spent a great deal of time unpack­ing and decid­ing what to keep and what to toss. Yes, I should have done that when I first left NJ for FL, but was rent­ing an old town­house with a pop­corn ceil­ings and knew I was going to buy a dif­fer­ent house later on, so here I am, sort­ing and unpack­ing. I’ve even been try­ing to decide whether or not to add cur­tains (I’m not a cur­tains person).

These past days my obses­sion has been Hur­ri­cane Irma, as you already know. From the looks of the lat­est fore­cast mod­els, my area of cen­tral Florida will get hit with 100 mph winds (cat­e­gory 2) at 2am Mon­day, which I’m dread­ing. My ratio­nal brain knows I live in a well-​constructed con­crete house with under­ground util­i­ties away from the waters in an area where peo­ple from Miami have come for shel­ter. My irra­tional brain worries.

I spent a scary Hur­ri­cane Sandy in my house in NJ read­ing the Psalms out loud so I wouldn’t have to lis­ten to the wind. My house was untouched by the storm. All I needed to do was to sched­ule hav­ing a few tree limbs removed from the yard and stay in a hotel until the elec­tric­ity was back. Sandy’s eye was almost eighty miles away; Irma appar­ently will be rip­ping right through Florida.

I am, of course, wor­ried about pos­si­ble dam­age to my new house, but I’m also wor­ried about rel­a­tives who decided to stay in Miami. They are hardy folk who have lived in Miami for decades and are def­i­nitely less wor­ried than I, a new­comer. In con­trast, a friend who also has lived in Miami for decades is not tak­ing any chances, shut­ter­ing down her house and shel­ter­ing at the hos­pi­tal where her hus­band works.

Hav­ing Jim Can­tore in Miami does not ease my wor­ries at all.

I’ve been read­ing hun­dreds of Face­book posts on Irma. The more annoy­ing are those urg­ing all peo­ple in Florida (pop­u­la­tion 20 mil­lion) to “get the [insert exple­tive] out.” The more encour­ag­ing are photo jour­nals of friends liv­ing in Puerto Rico who now have no elec­tric­ity and water but whose homes and cars are intact and were not flooded.

Yes, life is tough. Yes, there are big­ger things and exis­ten­tial ques­tions we should be con­cerned about. Yes, we are blessed every day, for which I am abun­dantly grateful.

But yes, I’m super­fi­cial enough I’d rather be think­ing about cur­tains instead.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

We live lives of privilege.

We can spend hours debating politics, deciding what to wear to work, which running shoes to buy, which cut of beef to grill with shrimp and veggies for dinner, and where to spend our vacations.

We also spend substantial amounts of money, time and effort on our homes. In addition to my blog and reading addictions, my greatest and probably most expensive addiction is my house, HGTV included. I have purchased, improved, lived in, and sold three houses.

I bought my fourth house, moved in last month, and have spent a great deal of time unpacking and deciding what to keep and what to toss. Yes, I should have done that when I first left NJ for FL, but was renting an old townhouse with a popcorn ceilings and knew I was going to buy a different house later on, so here I am, sorting and unpacking. I’ve even been trying to decide whether or not to add curtains (I’m not a curtains person).

These past days my obsession has been Hurricane Irma, as you already know. From the looks of the latest forecast models, my area of central Florida will get hit with 100 mph winds (category 2) at 2am Monday, which I’m dreading. My rational brain knows I live in a well-constructed concrete house with underground utilities away from the waters in an area where people from Miami have come for shelter. My irrational brain worries.

I spent a scary Hurricane Sandy in my house in NJ reading the Psalms out loud so I wouldn’t have to listen to the wind. My house was untouched by the storm. All I needed to do was to schedule having a few tree limbs removed from the yard and stay in a hotel until the electricity was back. Sandy’s eye was almost eighty miles away; Irma apparently will be ripping right through Florida.

I am, of course, worried about possible damage to my new house, but I’m also worried about relatives who decided to stay in Miami. They are hardy folk who have lived in Miami for decades and are definitely less worried than I, a newcomer. In contrast, a friend who also has lived in Miami for decades is not taking any chances, shuttering down her house and sheltering at the hospital where her husband works.

Having Jim Cantore in Miami does not ease my worries at all.

I’ve been reading hundreds of Facebook posts on Irma. The more annoying are those urging all people in Florida (population 20 million) to “get the [insert expletive] out.” The more encouraging are photo journals of friends living in Puerto Rico who now have no electricity and water but whose homes and cars are intact and were not flooded.

Yes, life is tough. Yes, there are bigger things and existential questions we should be concerned about. Yes, we are blessed every day, for which I am abundantly grateful.

But yes, I’m superficial enough I’d rather be thinking about curtains instead.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog