How do you know when it’s time to leave?

It wasn’t in the book.

The book Husband and I read with all the questions you should ask each other before you get married.

Money, politics, religion, kids, pets.

There was admittedly a lot to cover.

Maybe that’s why the author didn’t get around to writing a chapter on hurricanes.

I might suggest a future edition include something like, “When weather forecasters tell you a potentially epic strong hurricane is coming your way, when do you leave?”

Would our answers have affected our decision to marry?

Perhaps not.

I can tell you now Husband and I give very different answers.

To be fair, this recent encounter with Hurricane Ian wasn’t a true test of how we would choose to respond.

This most uninvited, unwanted guest was due to hit our remote coastal tidal marsh sometime around Thursday of last week.

Turns out, I had a previous work thing earlier in the week up in the big city. I headed four hours up the interstate on Monday and just stayed, expecting Husband and Pup would soon be joining me.

Instead, I came to realize bringing Husband up to the big city was about as easy as getting Pup indoors on a Fall day with the air fragrance of roaming deer filling her nose.

First it was, ”I’ll probably come up Wednesday.”

Once Wednesday arrived he changed to, “Well, let’s see how high the tide will be,” while simultaneously sending me a video showing more water than we had ever seen.

It’s not like he was adamant that he wasn’t going to leave.

That might’ve been simpler.

His plans kept changing.

A particular favorite was Husband saying at 10 p.m. one night, “I’m going to get up every two hours to check the tides. If it looks like they are getting too high, I’ll come. Pup and I’ll probably leave around midnight.”

The thought of them waiting too long or arriving loudly at 4 a.m. kept me up most of that night.

Not Husband.

“Did you get up to check the tides?” I asked.

“Nope. Slept like a baby,” he replied. “I thought it was more important to get some rest.”

And so, there you have one of those recurring life questions.

Dear Reader, how do you know when it’s time to leave?

A hurricane?

A holiday party?

A bad relationship?

We’ve all had that situation where we had to learn the hard way, where we stayed too long.

Luckily for us, Mother Nature was forgiving to us this time around. Far from the devastation we’ve all seen in southern Florida, we got the weak side of the storm. It passed by during the lowest of tides lessening any devastating storm surge.

Of course, this is only Round One.

We’re here for the foreseeable future.

The question will be asked again.

When will we leave?

I’ll lean on the staying power of our ongoing marriage to trust we can answer in a way that makes us both happy and safe.

Daryn Kagan is the author of the book “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.” Email her at