“you better knock wood”

I was talking to my dad on the phone today. He and my mother are near the southeastern coast of Florida, which is somehow escaping both Bonnie and Charley this week.

“You’re so lucky,” I told him.

“You better knock wood when you say that,” he replied.

As I read stories like this one and many like it as the story gets updated, I can’t help but think of our closest call, Andrew, in 1992. The preparation: the seemingly futile-looking masking tape x’s I helped my father put on the windows, and our wheeling indoors the possible projectiles from our patio to our living room. And then the night: the howling wind waking me up to the unfamiliar comforts of my sister’s bedroom (friends who lived on the water had evacuated to our house and my room), the eerie calm when the power went off and the house was still. The aftermath on TV when the power came back on: Flattened neighbords, the replay again and again of the satellite imagery, a buzzsaw slicing through the state. We were lucky.

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