I keep trying to write blog posts about soup or the changing seasons, and they might make it on this blog yet. However, these past few days I’ve had only one obsession, and her name is Hurricane Florence.

It’s jarring to go on my Facebook and see people talking about pumpkin spice lattes and soccer games when my singular aim when checking social media these past two days has been to check the local news outlet’s Facebook page to see if they’ve changed the forecast for our area. Doesn’t everybody know that we could be drowning in storm surges or destroyed by an uprooted tree or downed power line? I might have to eat cold mixed veggies out of a can if my power goes out too long, but you’re talking about your Mary Kay party?

Okay, Sarah, breathe.

Of course, I know most of my friends don’t actually live in this area which is why they post about normal things rather than talking about evacuation routes, but in my anxious state, I just want more information. I want to know where the storm is going to land, what I should do, and how others are preparing for said storm so I don’t die trapped in my house alone and without Wi-Fi. And of course, until the storm is practically on top of us, we won’t know with 100% certainty what it’s going to do. That is probably why I found myself yesterday, packing and then unpacking and then re-packing again. I would start meal prep and then stop because it seemed pointless if we’re going to evacuating, but then I would cry because if we stay, we should be eating this food I bought last weekend. I would start cleaning my house but then get completely distracted by another Facebook Live or local TV news update. Instead, I would end up spending an entire hour staring at the screen and trying to deduce from the swirling clouds if Florence was going to wallop Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina. And then I ate 25 Starbursts, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a bowl of popcorn in hopes that it would soothe my soul.

Spoiler alert: that totally doesn’t work and gives you a terrible stomach ache.

It didn’t help that everywhere I went yesterday, people were talking about the hurricane. I went to my yearly eye appointment and got into a 10 minute conversation with the ophthalmologist about how I could safely and quickly get to my parents’ home if needed, along with a heavy dose of talking about how bad flooding can get in this area. I went to the hairdresser, and we discussed her plans as she lives in a mandatory evacuation area and had to find friends who would take her in during the storm. Ryan and I went to the grocery store and overheard the employees worriedly discussing the storm while we were picking up some batteries and other necessities like chocolate. The constant reminders kept me obsessively checking my phone for updates, hoping the library would close or that there would be some definitive news about the weather rather than actually enjoying my normal day off.

Today, I’m back to work, spending a great deal of my time telling customers that we’re open and discussing with co-workers what will happen next as we all stare outside. The sky’s the prettiest shade of blue, betraying none of the monstrosity that is coming, Our local weather stations insist that our part of Virginia shouldn’t be hit with much more than some overzealous wind and heavy rain, though I think that I will believe that when I see it. Until then, I’m taking deep breaths, praying while trying actively to avoid the many weather-related conversations around my office. My thoughts and prayers are with my friends to the south in North and South Carolina; hopefully, they will be safe throughout the madness that will be pummeling them at the end of the week.