Am I completely selfish in hoping that we have at least 18 named Atlantic tropical storms or hurricanes in 2018? Why would I want more named storms after the mayhem caused by Harvey, Irma and Maria last year? Because if we do, Hurricane Sara might make history! My name made the list this year.
So, clearly, the answer to my first question is a resounding “yes.” I am completely selfish. I mean, I don’t want mayhem and tragedy; just rain to raise the water table (and a pipeline to move some to California), wind to prune dead limbs (and lay them gently on the ground), and some overhyped media coverage to ensure we get a day or two off work. Not flooding, fallen trees, ruined homes, injury and death. Just excitement and a storm named Sara.
(Besides, they retire names of storms that are particularly deadly or horrific. I’d like my name used again and again.) Storm names for Atlantic tropical storms or hurricanes are used on a six-year rotation. Sara is the only new name introduced this year; it replaces Sandy, after she messed up in 2012. (Four storm names from 2017 are retired: Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate.) If Hurricane Sara 2018 behaves as I outlined above, I can write another selfish blog post in 2024.
I admit I cheered Friday night when the nightly weatherman showed the list of names for 2018 and I saw my own name. (I grandly gave a shout-out to my friend, Beryl, who also made this year’s list for named storms. At No. 2, she’ll be storm famous, I’m fairly certain, as the fewest number of storms recorded is 4.) At No. 18, I have a chance. (We had 28 named storms in 2005. That’s the record.)
Get this. Not only is the name Sara in the Top 18 names for storms this year, but it’s Sara — without an h.
I pointed that out to Sarah, the clerk scanning my groceries at Publix Saturday morning.
“Did you know that we could have a storm named after us?” I asked her, generously including her as a possible 2018 storm despite her extraneous h. “Of course, it’s spelled correctly. No wasted letters.”
I also might have mentioned this at my grandson’s birthday party Saturday evening. (He’s 3!) And around my kitchen table Sunday, when my sons came over to wish my husband a happy Father’s Day.
And, quite possibly, I made enthusiastic mention of this fact while lifting weights with my friends Monday at 6 a.m.
“I could be a named storm!” I had concluded then.
“Hurricane Sara is already here,” Kathy said drily.
But I knew they shared my excitement. Really. Just not for planks.
Then later during our staff meeting, I exclaimed the news.
“Did they spell Sara correctly?” my boss asked.
(Better than a raise! He gets it. He understands how important it was that they spelled my name correctly! S-a-r-a. No h. But a raise would be nice, too.)
But even better than having a storm named Sara is this: My daughter and her husband are expecting a daughter in mid-October. And they are naming her Adira Jane. (Adira is Hebrew for “strong.” Jane is my middle name. It stands for “amazing Gramsy,” what my grandchildren call their young grandmother. Minus the “amazing,” which is a bit cumbersome. At least for now. Jane, by the way, may have the additional meaning of “God is gracious,” also in Hebrew.)
Using my middle name wasn’t accidental! They purposely chose to name their first-born daughter after me. (I still can’t believe it.) I initially thought “Adira Jane” just had a nice ring to it, but my daughter stressed the middle name and looked at me knowingly. So. I don’t want to presume, but I think I will have a namesake.
To test that theory, I sent my daughter a text.
“How do you spell my granddaughter’s name?” I casually asked, without asking what I really wanted to know.
“Adira!” she responded quickly, followed by two texts:
“And Jane with an h.”
Ha ha. My daughter knows me well.
Every year I’ve scanned the list of potential names for tropical storms and hurricanes — hoping, but not expecting, to see that S equals Sara. Sara without an h. It happened! And it thrills my selfish little heart.
But to have a grandchild purposely named after me? Priceless.
By the end of the hurricane season, my name could be both famous and familiar. A famous storm. Hurricane Sara. A family name — hence, familiar. Adira Jane. No h.
Hurricane Sara. Adira Jane. Each has a nice ring to it.