Posted by at 12:28 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 312019

When I was in the Army a lifetime ago we had a term for somebody who always found a way to escape work, or who did just enough to get by but not a bit more. We called them sandbaggers. Yesterday Miss Terry and I spent some time hanging out with some sandbaggers and did a little sandbagging ourselves. But unlike those loafers I knew of back in my Army days, we were actually working! And hard enough to break a sweat, too!

Our house is located 800 yards from the Intercoastal Waterway, and according to the people who have lived here a lot longer than we have, no storm surge has ever brought water within several blocks of our house. However, there is a drainage canal right next to our place, and even though it has pretty steep banks, with all the rain that is predicted from Hurricane Dorian, I wanted to get some sandbags for the front of our garage, which is closest to the canal, and also my office door, which is at ground-level. Fortunately, our front door is raised up about two feet, so hopefully that won’t be an issue.

Volusia County has several places where you can fill sandbags, but when we went to the store to get some empty sandbags yesterday it turned out nobody had any available. But it was suggested that doubling up super strong reinforced black trash bags would do just as well. So we got some bags and headed to the nearest fire station that had sand available.

There were several other people there filling sandbags as well, and there was kind of a community feel to it, as everybody chatted and talked about the coming storm, recalled past storms, and helped each other. We loaded four shovels full of sand into ten of the doubled black bags, and someone else who had all they needed gave us two or three of the regular white sandbags, which we filled also. We gave our leftover bags to a gentleman and his son (the two people on the left in this picture) and let them use our shovel to fill them.

Note to self – when you have a bad back, filling sandbags and putting them in the back of your pickup truck is going to make you hurt. Double up on your pain medicine.

Back at home, we put some of the sandbags by the office door in case we need them and put the rest on a flat four-wheel dolly inside the garage. I kind of feel like it’s the same as having fire extinguishers or a gun for self-defense. I will probably never need them, but if I do, I really, really need them!

I had told my friend Jim Lewis about all the fish we saw at the dock on Thursday night, so while Miss Terry was cooking dinner, he and I went down to see if they were still there. As it turned out, they weren’t. But there were a lot of dolphins out frolicking in the water, which is always fun to see.

It may be hard to tell in this picture, but there are actually two dolphins in this one, a mama and her calf. How cool is that! Did I mention I love living here in spite of the occasional hurricane?

Speaking of hurricanes, as of 11 PM last night the models are showing Dorian making a turn to the north just before it makes landfall in Florida and scooting its way up the coast. That’s good news and bad news. Good news in that much of the interior may be spared from the worst of the storm, and bad news in that we live right on the coast. Here is a map that shows where we are, just south of New Smyrna Beach in the circled area.

A lot of people have suggested we evacuate, and while we have some stuff packed in case we have to take that route, at this point we plan to sit tight and ride it out. We evacuated for Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and being gone and not knowing what we had to come back to was as stressful as staying put. The way I look at it, one of four things will happen – 1. it will be windy with pounding rain for a while but we’ll survive with no more damage than power outages, which we will deal with; or 2. we will have some minor damage along with the wind, rain, and power outages and we’ll deal with it; 3. we will have major damage and pick up the pieces and deal with it; or 4. it will smash me into a fat bloody blob and Miss Terry into a petite bloody blob, and my kids can deal with it. As I told somebody the other day, anybody can die of cancer or a heart attack. But going out in a hurricane, that’s kind of awesome!

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Green Pearl Caper, the first book in the Damien Dickens mystery series by Phyllis Entis. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – It’s a good thing that farting isn’t contagious like yawning is.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Sandbaggers”

  1. Stay safe.

  2. As with most hurricanes, it either hits Miami/Cuba and goes onto the Gulf of Mexico or comes up the coast and smashes GA/Carolinas. If Dorian turns just a little bit more north/east which I think it will, you will get wind and rain and then sunshine!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers

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