Yesterday, Marcia (who is back from Michigan just in time) and I started digging out Needle Nicely's vast inventory of plastic bins of various sizes accumulated from previous experiences with hurricanes. The majority of Needle Nicely's pillow-sized canvases (or larger) hang on 7 sides of 4 racks. Those were left in place with black trash bags taped to the top so any water would drip down and not touch the canvases. I also double-checked that no canvases were touching the floor or had threads hanging down (water wicks up through dangling threads--definitely a no-no).
While Marcia and I were busy as bees, a customer came in looking for a Christmas stocking. She took photos to send to her d-i-l, waited for a response, made a selection, then sent a photo and waited for another response. What she selected was a Strictly Christmas stocking that I had just received. I had priced it and inventoried it, but it hadn't been hemmed. Lois suggested that she would pack the Christmas stockings in one bin and the belts in another bin while I hemmed the canvas and then selected the fibers to get her started, if she decided to ignore her current project. Of course, during hurricanes you are inside with free time; however, you probably have no electricity (no air, no
phone, perhaps no cell towers for cell phones). It is really difficult to stitch by candlelight. It gives you a new appreciation for those medieval stitchers who only had candlelight or firelight in those dark castles! Candlelight is supposed to be romantic, but trust me, it sucks when it is the only light!
This morning, Marcia, Toni (a customer and fellow Met Opera attendee), and myself worked at getting the finished models from various spots around the shop. Most importantly, Marcia (the tallest) used either a grabber (used by people recovering from hip or knee surgery) or a 24" stretcher bar to eject the pillows on the shelf around the top of the shop. They were flying like missiles! In past years, I have put finished models in black plastic bags. However, Macy was so active this past winter in emptying many of the Needle Nicely cabinets--we had space for all of the models tucked inside. Kudos to Macy!
Marcia left at noon because she lives on the barrier island and they always need to evacuate during a hurricane. She and her husband have a hotel in Kissimmee that takes dogs, so Nicky won't be left at home (as though that were a possibility!). Vero Beach always makes the barrier island evacuate, because when winds get to 45 or 50 miles per hour, that is too strong for emergency vehicles trying to access the island over the apexes of the two bridges to the barrier island. Thus, the city turns off the water and electricity to encourage people to evacuate. Of course, I have previously noticed that our electricity is always cut off on the hour, be it noon or whatever. Hmmm.
Toni and I chatted for a while, giving me time to cool down and get in the mood for lunch. She left about 1pm and I sat down to eat. It gave me an opportunity to look around while I was eating, discovering things that could be better stowed. I finished about 2pm and assembled the items I wanted to take home, like the money and back-up cash. I also packed up the brand-new laptop that I had just purchased. I covered the printer with a black trash bag. I also cleared perishables from the refrigerator, since it is a given that the power will be off. I know it will be at home, but at least we have a big cooler there to keep some things for a few days. My husband is going to purchase some ice tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn, since he forgot to take ice out of our fridge ice-maker and store it in the small freezer we have in the garage.
Finally, it's 4:15 pm and Ray appears with his helper. When I precipitously relocated here in 2005, I specifically asked the landlord's man-in-charge about having him install hurricane panels (which after a certain year was legally required in Florida). He said, sure, Mary. When I contacted him, he said he was too busy, but did refer me to Ray, who agreed to install the shutters. Thank goodness! My 80-year-old husband and I have replaced the metal sheets that came with our home in 2001 with accordion shutters. Eleven years we did manage to install the shutters I had purchased for Royal Palm Pointe. But we were that much younger.
Here are some photos showing the interior of Needle Nicely and the exterior while our shutters are being installed.
More shrouded canvas racks.
This is Ray's associate buzzing the layers of paint off the screws to attach the shutters (Yes, they painted over them at least twice since I have been in the plaza!).
After all this, tonight when I returned home, the 5 o'clock update suggested that the hurricane was going to go along the coast and then it is going to do a Ueeey and come back to us. Perhaps only 90mph, but back to us. Really big sigh!