Monday, August 25, 2008

Central Florida's Seasprite is in the house

If you're sure invitation wasn't a mistake... ;~)

Hi! :~)

Well, I've compressed what I started out with to what you see here, to try and make it short and sweet, well, shorter than it was, at least.

I'm Christine, otherwise known as: Christy, Crissy, Cindy, Sissy, Lizzie, Skyarcher and of course Seasprite. Depending on which family member I am talking to, I get different names, all hailing back to growing up. Speaking of which, I am proud to say that I am a native Floridian, and, a native Miamian! Although I no longer live 'down south', I will always call South Florida my home.

I can't say that I'm a storm chaser per se, because from everything I've read a storm chaser is mostly about tornadoes. So, I've dubbed myself a weather tracker. I am fascinated by it all. From gorgeous blue skies to hurricanes and everything in between. It started while growing up and we had a flood from a storm that took us out of school, to snowing in Miami. Southern Miami at that! It didn't last long, but I didn't care. I was hooked.

Many moons later and weather pushed aside as I 'grew up' Mother Nature decided to send a little wind our way one August night in 1992. Nothing like watching concrete walls 'breathe' in and out in a waving motion, or listening to the roaring of what sounded like jet engines at full throttle, to watching and praying as first the roof lifts up and slams down over and over to peeling off completely like skinning a tomato. Running from room to room as one safe room after another is demolished. Yes, Andrew put life back into perspective, with all his fury.

In case you aren't sure of who I mean, for those that didn't live through it, ya'll call him, Hurricane Andrew. But for those that survived, he needs no introduction and is, just Andrew. There is no mistaking of which Andrew is being talked about. And of course there is a distinction of time now, before Andrew and after Andrew. That simple. Life before Andrew was not complacent but definitely more relaxed, at least for my family. After Andrew though, even tropical storms get our attention. I learned as much as I could back then about hurricanes, and it still carries with me to this day.

However, once again life interrupted, until 2004. What can I say about 2004 besides it was probably one of the hardest years we've had to endure, after Andrew and 2000, when my Dad passed away getting ready to come home from the hospital. Yes, there have been hard times in between, family members passing, my fiance being killed, and more, but we survived. In 2004, we weren't sure we would.

August 6th, 2004, 1:28AM, the phone rang, our hearts stopping thinking that it would be the phone call we all dreaded, something happened to my nephew on his tour in Iraq. Well, it was the same mother, but different child. My 17 year old niece was in head-on collision, she is being medivaced to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, they don't know if she will be okay or not and it took them over an hour using the jaws-of-life to extract her from the car. I aged about 20 years that night.

Fast forward - August 9th, 6th surgery, Jenny is alive, not sure if she will ever walk again, let alone become the police officer that she had been striving for in the last 2 years. And there is a storm coming, his name is Charley. Fast forward - we survive Charley, no power for over a week, but we have generator going once my brother-n-law (we just call him our brother) Jim comes up and hooks everything up. That he had time is amazing, since he is the father of my niece, and was building a ramp up the stairs to be able to bring his only daughter home from the hospital.

Fast forward again - we finally have power back up, and are still cleaning up, when low and behold there is another storm on the horizon, her name is Frances. We survive Frances, although we weren't sure she would ever leave. We start the clean up process, again, living off generator power. Our Pappap (grandfather) comes home from Pennsylvania to Cutler Ridge (southern Miami), and the next day winds up in the hospital, having 'died' 3 times on the table having a catheterization procedure. Back down to Miami we drive.

No, not possible, there is another storm, projected on the same path as Frances, this time her name is Jeanne. So, I leave my mom down south, and drag one of my other nieces (different sister) back with me to Central Florida. Can we not get a break or something???

It was during these storms that I went back to what my dad taught me, tracking hurricanes. I can't say how they will steer, but I am getting fairly decent at getting within 50 miles of where it will hit once it makes up its mind which general direction.

From 2004 on, I have learned as much as I could about not just hurricanes, but any and all weather. I have much more to learn, I am a perpetual student, soaking it all in. Maybe not all the technicalities of it, but that's okay. One day I hope not only to chase and photograph storms, but also to maybe help in some small way of spreading the message, you don't have to live in fear of weather, but have a healthy respect of what Mother Nature can and will do, so be prepared. I also would love to be on the researching end of storms - I want not only to see them, but to know how, where and why they do what they do, and just maybe someone won't get hurt needlessly.

Thanks for listening - and yes, honestly, this was the short version! :~P

- Seasprite


Dewdrop said...

Welcome to the team, and thank you so much for your support and waking hours while you "watched over me" during the weekend. You are a gem!

Wayfarer said...

Short version? So when is the movie version and release??? LOLOLOL!! Congrats Christine. Welcome to the team. Best bunch weather goobs in the south..

Christine - Hammock House said...

Thank you both, I appreciate it. It was a nice surprise! :)

Mike Wilhelm said...

Looking forward to seeing your updates. Now we have to be aware of Gustav. Welcome!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the welcome Mike. :)

Yes, am watching Gustav carefully.

Jay Reid said...

Welcome aboard!
Please buckle your seatbelt...for Gustav... :) Jay

Anonymous said...


It's buckled, just in case, Jay!

Thanks! :)

Jay Reid said...

And now, Hanna comes out to play...

Michael said...

Welcome to a great team christine! look fwd to meeting you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Meso Mike! :) I look forward to hopefully learning even more from everyone.

Storm Chasing Mikey said...

Welcome aboard Christine. I love your photography! Very inspriational. I sure hope Ike avoids Florida. I'm here awaiting Hanna.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the welcome aboard and about the photography, appreciate it.

Talk about inspirational, some great images of the clouds for Hanna! Looks just like raw power ready to erupt.

Yes, even with the latest tracks, we are watching Ike closely. Have family all over Florida, from northeast coast all the way down to southern end and around the west coast up to panhandle, and of course, we are smack in the middle. Then there is the rest of the Gulf Coast - family in Alabama, Louisiana and of course Texas. Hmmm... think we like being near water or what?! ;)

Take care!