After Irma, restoring property, schedules, and wallets

tree on roof after Irma
The top of a massive old oak crashed onto this roof. Such sights were common in Northeast Florida after Irma.

Hurricane Irma is one I will long remember. In the middle of the storm, I stood in the alcove on our front porch and watched the wind direct the trees like a conductor directs an orchestra. It was otherworldly, with the sounds the wind made and the constant green flashes in the sky from transformers blowing.

For many self-employed musicians, Irma was an assault on property, performance schedules, and wallets. 

clearing after Irma
Clearing after Irma, one section at a time. The back part of the yard had some flooding, so that part had to wait.

Before the storm even hit, it was necessary to spend money for nonperishable food and water in case power outages extended beyond normal down times. After the storm, you spend money to repair damages and to replace the food you had to toss once all the ice melted and the power was still off.

debris in pool after Irma
Sample of debris in the pool. Before the Polaris could be run, the pool required a lot of manual skimming and debris retrieval.

Ahead of the storm, there was constant second guessing on whether coastal venues would be hit. Because the evacuation traffic was absolutely insane on highways, coastal venues in both Georgia and Florida began to cancel as the storm approached the US.

Making matters even more complicated, an immediate family member had a medical crisis in progress in another state also impacted by the storm.

Once the winds finally died down, we began to clear debris and say prayers of thanks we didn’t have more property damage than we did. Our neighbor had part of a massive ancient oak on his roof—it sounded like a bomb when it hit his house.

Now things are beginning to feel somewhat normal again as we all dig out from this storm. It wasn’t our first and I am certain it won’t be our last.

The good news is people want to get out after an event like that, and music does help take the mind off troubles.

There’s not much you can do about the financial loss in projected earnings other than to book aggressively and hope you can make up the lost money.

Imperial Moth
Amid fallen limbs, bedraggled moss, and standing water, this Imperial Moth was a flash of beauty after Irma.

The Crazy Daysies are planning their album release kickoff scheduled for November 4. The storm cost us a little momentum, but just ahead of it, the girls launched a weekly Thursday afternoon Facebook Live show on their public page. They’ve done two so far, and are really enjoying the format and connecting with supporters across the country.

Most of us are only too happy to have Irma out of our lives, although a number of Floridians remain without power and the Keys really took a wallop in some areas.

Mother Nature does her thing and there’s little we can actually do about it as long as we choose to live on the coast. We haven’t taken a big hit in years here in North Florida, and sometimes we forget that. We can also hope the rest of the hurricane season goes quietly and “gentle” into that good night as the poet said.

(Band Mom/Sept. 18, 2017)

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