Even though we have been spared a major hurricane coming ashore, I still can't put the hurricane coverage behind me. I've been amazed to realize how many people I know up the coast from me: friends in Port St. Lucie, Jacksonville, and across the Charleston area--and further up the coast, Myrtle Beach, the Outer Banks, and the DelMarVa area.
Just by coincidence, I'm drinking my coffee in a cracked mug that came from the Salty Dog Café that I got during a wonderful Hilton Head vacation in 2010. I know that storm surge has become the major risk from this storm, and I'm wondering how those barrier islands will be transformed.
Maybe as the day progresses, we'll realize that they've been lucky too. And even if they haven't, no one in the U.S. will suffer the way that Haiti will suffer. I've given this information before, but it bears repeating. For those of you who want to contribute something to alleviate suffering, I recommend Lutheran World Relief--they've been in Haiti for decades now, and they'll stay there for decades to come, alas. They also have a great record of actually using the money for relief instead of for staffing administrators in offices back in the U.S. Go here to make a donation.
During our Thursday experience, I was able to get outside to take some pictures at 3:30 p.m. Here's the extent of our downed limbs, from the house across the street. Note that the palm frond is split around the tree:
Here's how the house looks with the accordion shutters closed--what amazing shutters! The whole house can be protected in a matter of minutes. And the benefit of having small cars is that we can put them both in the driveway. If we'd have been expecting a flooding event, we'd have parked them in the other direction. But I was convinced that 3 palm fronds in the tree at the head of the driveway would drop (as of today, they haven't yet); I was trying to protect the engines from the crashing palm fronds:
Now, if only we had something similar for the doors.
My favorite memory from Thursday is my spouse who played his violin on the front porch for over an hour. The porch has always had good acoustics, but with everything moved off of it, the acoustics went from good to great.
He played a variety of songs, from "Singing in the Rain," "Keep on the Sunny Side," and "You Are My Sunshine" to a variety of hymns, like "Blessed Assurance": the storm/rain medley.
As I've said before, we were lucky--we never lost power. I did accidently turn the freezer off when I was trying to turn it down, but I realized my mistake in an hour and was able to reset it--no harm done, as the temperature only rose a few degrees.
We were also lucky that we didn't have anyone living in the cottage, so we could store lots of our outdoor stuff there. We haven't begun to fix it up either, so we didn't have to worry about moving the dirty outdoor furniture into our pristine cottage.
And now, we need to move back towards normal life. I have gone back to my regular sleep patterns--no more waking up between midnight and 2 a.m. wondering what the 11 p.m. update held for us. Let me try to remember what I had planned to do this week-end, before the hurricane coverage took up residence in my brain.