Hurricane Dorian — After Thoughts


Dearest Readers:

Today is Saturday, September 7, 2019. Looking out the windows, I see beautiful sunshine, just like yesterday morning. Finally, we have power. It is so nice to awaken, even though I really haven’t slept, to the coolness of air conditioning. The humming of ceiling fans. The comfort of my pups, happy again now that the blackness has disappeared. Freshly brewed coffee! Oh. Happy. Day!

Hurricane Dorian arrived in the Charleston, South Carolina coastlines like disgruntled tourists, determined to make her presence known. At exactly 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning, our power faded into total blackness. Shadow, my giant schnauzer, was sleeping with me on that night of little sleep for me, and when he heard the air conditioner and fan go quiet, he screamed a bark of horror. I awoke, rushing my fingers across the bed to comfort him; nevertheless, he continued barking his tempestuous tone of fear. Finding my iPhone on the bed, I hit the flashlight, got out of bed, yawning from exhaustion. Shadow followed me as we walked around the house. In the distance, I heard a loud, threatening roar. Dorian was here.

Carefully cracking the back door, the winds rushed inside, forcing the door to open. Shadow rushed outside. I held the iPhone high, noting the rushing, angry winds flapping trees, swaying back and forth. I listened to the sounds of the winds, imagining a roaring lion hungry for food while hunting her prey.

I heard a croaking sound, fearful. I’ve never heard a frog croak so strange before. I looked around the ground, hoping to find the frog. A hummingbird flew next to my face. I held my hand out, hoping it would land on my hand so I could keep it safe. The hummingbird flew away into the storm. The croaking continued. Searching frantically, I wanted to save the frog, only I couldn’t.

Although it was 1:00 a.m., I shouted for Shadow to come inside. He pranced around while the winds reminded me of a vacuum system. The winds inhaling deeply. Exhaling with a torrential downpour of rain. Shadow. Shadow. Come inside please, Shadow. I wanted to rush after him, but he zig-zagged across the yard, barking so hard I was afraid he would awaken neighbors. While he rushed across the yard, I could not see him at all. He blended in to the blackness of night. The only way I could determine his location was through his barking. He sounded like he wanted to tear Dorian apart. I was horrified Dorian might lift him up, tossing him around, tearing him apart. The winds were so strong, reminding me of the tornadoes I’ve lived through. I thought of the movie THE WIZARD OF OZ, wishing I could tap my red shoes to fly safely away with Shadow. My husband, Phil, slept soundly — like he always does with a hurricane.

I had difficulty finding Shadow since our outside lights were off. The downpours of rain gushed in sheets. I stepped outside, finding it difficult to breathe. Shadow. Come inside boy. Please!

Something brushed across my leg. Shadow! His fur was soaked. I grabbed towels to dry him. He licked my face. Boy. That’s a hurricane out there. You will not go outside again! While drying his waterlogged body, I felt his entire body trembling. Shadow detests storms. On a normal rainy day, he is hesitant to go outside. Normally, he will brace his four legs stiff, refusing to move outside. I suppose he wanted to make certain we would be safe in the wrath of Dorian.

Wrapping my arms around Shadow, we cuddled for a bit. The windows of our home are sealed tightly although I could still hear the roaring lion of Dorian. She screamed with an earth-shattering breath of determination. Shadow whined. It’s ok, boy. Mommy will keep you safe. He moved closer to me. I checked the back door, to make certain it was locked, then Shadow and I moved to the den.

Listening to the storm in the blackness of a night of terror, I prayed. Please God, keep us safe. Keep our neighborhood safe and let all of us survive without destruction.

I checked weather alerts on my phone. Category Three. Hurricane Dorian storms into Charleston. Later, as the dawn of morning arrived, I watched pine trees bending over. I opened the front door of my home, just to see how strong the winds were. The gusts of Dorian’s winds thrust the door open, hitting the wall. No doubt Dorian was an angry lion. Roaring. Screeching. Gusting. Thrusting. She wanted inside.

Stepping outside, the porch was soaked. Somehow we forgot to remove our American flag. It had fallen onto the ground. I’ve got to get it. We don’t allow the American flag on the ground. Please God, keep me safe. Rushing carefully to reach the flag, my clothing was soaked. I grabbed the flag. It flapped onto my face, as if to say thank you. Fighting to close the door, I placed the saturated flag in an urn in the foyer and locked the front door.

If only I had a nice steaming cup of coffee. My head pounded. I’ve had migraines since I was nine-years-old, after I was hit by a car. The crown of my head was as soft as a newborn baby’s head after I was tossed around, thrown from the hood of the car onto concrete. Reportedly, the only thing that saved me was the fact that the force of the impact knocked me out and I flew around like a rag doll. I remember hitting the hood, the wind escaping me. When I awoke, my body rested on the concrete sidewalk. People stood around, looking at me. Opening my eyes, I saw my father. He touched me. “Are you all right?” He said, looking horrified.

When I have a migraine, it affects my cognitive abilities. I have a tendency to struggle to speak correctly at times. Stuttering. Now that Hurricane Dorian was here, the pressure gave me headaches. I don’t remember having such headaches during other hurricanes, but this headache lasted for three days.

Thursday morning and afternoon I remained close to Shadow and my other pups. All of them wanted to cuddle so I rubbed them. My fingers combing their fur. Soothing. Calming. Hearing a loud thump outside, I reminded the dogs to stay. They obeyed, while whining. They did not wish to be alone.

I grabbed an umbrella, opened the back door, walking outside. Opening the gate to the side yard, the wind blew it closed. Determined, I pulled the gate open, walking outside. I knew it wasn’t safe, but I wanted to know what the noise was.

A huge tree branch fell onto the road, barely missing my husband’s rental car. Checking my phone to make certain it had power, I posted a road was blocked due to the storm on Nextdoor.com.

Exhausted from fighting to get back into the house, I decided to take something for my headache. The barometric pressure left the crown of my head so tender I ached. The dogs and I went to the bedroom. No sleep for me, but I listened to the sounds of three dogs inhaling. Exhaling. Sleeping.

Meanwhile, Dorian continued attacking her angry visit to the City of Charleston.

For over 40 hours we lacked electricity. We drove around a bit, finding a 7-11 open, cash only. Several people entered the store to get a few items, only to be told it was “Cash only.” A couple of these people ranted, cursing. “What do you mean – cash only? I’ve got a debit card!”

“Never been in a hurricane before,” I said. “You must be new to our community. Welcome to Charleston. During hurricanes debit cards do not work. Nor do credit cards! Welcome to the dark ages! “

After surviving so many hurricanes that teased Charleston I knew what to do.

*Cash. You must have cash!

*Make certain your car has a full tank of gas.

*Be kind to neighbors.

This has truly been a LONG WEEK for Charleston residents. A mandatory evacuation was proclaimed on Monday, Labor Day. All schools were closed. Interstate 26 was reversed. Traffic seemed to be moving rapidly. In all reality I don’t believe many people chose to evacuate. The storm predictions revealed Hurricane Dorian would arrive on Thursday. No doubt many people would lose income this week, all from a hurricane.

For three days, I did not wear makeup or style my hair. I simply forgot to unpack my ‘hurricane curlers.’ No doubt I looked and felt like a tattered rag doll. Friday morning, with the sun shining brightly and the threat of Dorian gone, I found those curlers. Due to the humidity and clamminess inside our home, it took seven hours for my hair to look “decent.”

Today is Saturday. I have much work to do in the front and back yards. Tree branches to pick up. Raking and getting our lives back together again.

Today’s forecast is 84 degrees. I suppose I should get busy and start to work.

Another hurricane survived — now — “Gone With the Wind!”

More Rain – Hurricane Dorian – Day Three


Dearest Readers:

Just another quick update. Yesterday, while we were doing a few errands. I noticed the amount of cars on the roads. I really believe most of our community is staying home. Lots of traffic, although it moved well.

Today, we are in anticipation of greeting Hurricane Dorian. Earlier, we had torrential rains and winds. Now, at 10:29 am, we have a few winds. Birds are still flying around, so all is well. At times DirecTV freezes, but that isn’t anything unusual.

I suppose I’ll update again later. In the event you do not find additional posts after this one, it is because we are not in civilization at the moment!

I’ve attempted to count the number of hurricanes I’ve tolerated here in Charleston, SC but I cannot recall the number. I was here during Hurricane Hugo, resting and working in the Cigar Factory building with 60 students. Floyd was another. Ah Heck. Who counts their experience with hurricanes?

More later! Stay safe and stay tuned!

Hurricane Dorian – Day Two


Dearest Readers:

Today is Day Two of Hurricane Dorian anticipation. Are we ready? Of course!

We’ve been on this roller coaster before, and I confess, I do not care for roller coasters! During Hurricane Hugo, I stayed with 60 students at the college where I was employed. Yes. 60 students! Most of them I knew. Believe me, during the hurricane, I got to know many of them! What I discovered is the stronger the students acted, the weaker they were, and the most horrified.

Today, I have the Weather Channel on, listening to when the prediction of Hurricane Dorian is predicted to arrive. Although I haven’t confirmed the news, I’ve been told that Charleston is basically a ghost town. No traffic to fight! Also, reportedly, a few of the Cracker Barrels are closed. It will be interesting to see if and when Waffle House closes. I’m certain you’ve probably seen the signs posted on highways previously saying “Waffle House is open,” on Christmas Day.

Perhaps later today, I’ll hop in the car and drive around, just to see how Mount Pleasant is preparing for Dorian – a feisty female hurricane with a strong breath of wind.

We have water. Food. Fruit. Doggie treats. We’ve been on this roller coaster before. We will survive. Reportedly, Dorian will be a category two when she dances into Charleston. We have been home since Saturday. Today is Tuesday. I think I’m ready to get out of this house and tour Mount Pleasant without traffic.

Perhaps I do need a break. There’s much too MUCH stress in my life now. Perhaps I’ll share a bit of that news when the stress breaks and all decisions are finalized. As for now, I need another cup of coffee, in preparation of Dorian.

Have I said I detested “hurricane season?” Looks like additional storms are brewing in the Atlantic too. Hurricane Juliette is brewing somewhere.

Someone yesterday stated they always name hurricanes after women. I set him straight on Facebook rather quickly, letting him know that during the Feminist movement, which I was a part of, it was decided that hurricanes should rotate the names between men and women. Isn’t it about time? Men are just as unpredictable as women. Hugo is a male name and he pounded into the Charleston Harbor as a Category Four!

As for Dorian, I think she needs to simply fade away! More later, readers!

Hurricane Dorian


Dearest Readers:

This will be a short post. I promise! If you are following weather reports, then you must know, we are probably in the path of Hurricane Dorian.

What’s the latest? When will it hit? I haven’t a clue. I turned the television off earlier after listening to the reports most of the morning.

As for Charleston, I-26 has been reversed to West bound only. With all the growth we’ve had within the lowcountry, I believe our leaders (and some of those are questionable) realized after Hurricane Floyd in 1999, people residing in Charleston cannot get out of the hurricane’s way unless roads are reversed.

See, in this lovely city that so many tourists love, Charleston does not believe OR PLAN — for growth. Subdivisions are built without additional infrastructure. Builders and developers LOVE to build here – since most of them do not live here. Why would they care about traffic???

Enough. I didn’t mean to get started on my latest complaint about Charleston, South Carolina – HOME OF THE GOOD OLE BOYS!

i’ll do my best to write additional reports about Hurricane Dorian later. Perhaps tomorrow. For now, since it is Labor Day, I suppose I should labor and do a few things around this house. After all, in the South, we always have a clean, sparkling house when guests arrive. If Hurricane Dorian is a-coming, I want to make my best impression when I rush to close the door on her and let her know she is not welcomed to come inside my home.

Hurricane Florence – Finally It Rains


Dearest Readers:

I suppose I should report, it looks like Hurricane Florence finally visited Charleston. We’re getting rain now. Looks like it has been a nice soaker – just like a normal rainy day. The winds are dancing on the tree branches just like a normal day when we have rain.

I haven’t been outside yet, but I will in a moment. Neither have I listened to the latest news broadcast about Hurricane Florence. I did get a news alert about a ‘possible shooting in North Charleston’ so I suppose things are returning to normal now. I was hoping the violence would leave the Charleston low country permanently.

Florence is being kind to Charleston, SC. All is fine. All this hoopla, mandatory evacuation and panic from others who’ve never been in a hurricane, for me, I found it slightly humorous! I’ve been in at least five hurricanes. Hurricane Hugo. Hurricane Danny – I think he brushed the low country. Hurricane Floyd. An unnamed tropical storm that teased Charleston, and now, Hurricane Florence.  We were blessed. Never did the lights flicker. As I glance outside, my lawn looks normal. Nice and wet, but normal.

We haven’t had mail delivery in two days. I haven’t a clue when it will be delivered, but I’m hopeful my order from Chewy.com will arrive before my Bratty Boys run out of food. All the WalMarts are closed! Isn’t it funny? No. It isn’t. We live in a hurricane prone area, so we must be prepared!

Last night when I turned the Weather Channel off so I could attempt sleep, I heard five people were killed during Hurricane Florence. A mother and an infant killed when a tree crashed into their home. The father was rescued and rushed to the hospital. Someone died from hooking up a generator, and a woman had a heart attack and died. I haven’t heard anything about the fifth loss of life and I pray there are not additional victims. For the families affected, I am so sorry for your loss, especially for the loss of a mother and infant. Suppose we’ll hear more about those stories later.

Looks like all the residents of South Carolina can inhale…exhale…and breathe now! I suppose this is Day Six of Florence. I think she likes Charleston. To all who were in the eyes of Florence, I do hope you are safe now and realize life is slowly returning to ‘normal.’

This is the first hurricane I’ve actually slept well in. Normally, I get so tense and horrified I do not sleep. Not this time. I’ve prayed and prayed, placing everything in the hands of God. Thank you, God. All is fine!arthur-ravenel-jr-bridge

 

Day Three – Hurricane Florence Update


Dearest Readers:

Thought I’d post a quick update regarding Hurricane Florence. We are ready for her. Today is day three of listening to the Weather Channel, and Channel 2 weather reports. By now, I’m almost burned out from listening to the same thing…over…and over…and over again!

Hurricane Florence is now a Category Three. Yesterday at this time, she was Category Four. Just shows, you don’t mess with a woman when she’s in a hurry to get somewhere, and forgets the directions. Only then, will a woman a clam up to make others feel as cold as ice, or as stormy and powerful as the winds when she is – shall I say – annoyed!

My hubby says I’m good at that. LOL! He also says I’m ‘childish,’ whenever I give him the cold shoulder. He should know, so I’ll not confirm or deny. After all, we are discussing a ‘hurricane a-coming,’ aren’t we!

To those in the direction of this her-I-cane, yes, intentionally misspelled so please don’t say I have a typo! To all of you, I want to say, if you’re lacking faith, or do not pray, maybe tonight is a good night to say a little prayer. Trust me, God is there. He listens, even when storms are-a-comin’!

Someone in my neighborhood must be having a hurricane party. There are lots of cars parked on the roadway, and I hear laughing, shouting, and maybe a bit of music. Maybe someday I’ll get gutsy and throw a hurricane party. For this hurricane, all I want to do is watch TV and snuggle up with hubby and the Bratty Boys! Yes. I’m sick of listening to the latest predictions, of where…when…and how… I simply want this Hurricane Florence to get to her destination and leave, and I pray the damage and power of her rage will not be as strong as ‘they,’ on the Weather Channel and local TV are predicting.

During this time I remember when I worked at the culinary college in 1989 during Hurricane Hugo. The administration was looking for volunteers to help with the students, so I volunteered. I don’t think I slept for over 30 hours or longer. I learned a lot about students during that time. The old cliché, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, certainly applied. Several students wanted hugs so, I shared hugs with all of them. Those were good memories during Hurricane Hugo, and after the wrath of the storm, when it was confirmed that we could allow everyone to go outside, just to get a fresh breath, I felt a newfound pride for all that we endured. Some of the students held teddy bears, pillows, blankets during the intense sounds of Hugo. All of them needed the comforts of home, so on the fourth floor of the historical building, now called The Cigar Factory, we snuggled together in a big warehouse room. No windows. Only the roar of a freight train, as we listened to Hugo and his arrogance. Because the building is such an old, brick historical building, at times, I could see the flash of lightning, and when I did, I shivered. I have an intense phobia of lightning, but I knew, I had to be strong. Some of the students wanted to pray, so we joined hands and prayed.

Standing outside the morning after Hugo, the students thanked me for being Mom to them. How proud I was of myself and these students. We survived a devil’s night of Hurricane Hugo, and we were the better for it. Hugo taught us strength, and mostly, that hurricane taught some students to pray and to have faith. I’ve always said a bad start means a great ending. Suppose that is true.

It is dark outside now while I am typing this. We’ve had scattered, light showers today. Nothing different from other days when we have afternoon showers. Still, I get phone calls inquiring: Are you leaving? I laugh. Nope, we are staying here. We have the Bratty Boys (our precious, beloved animals). Mostly, we have faith. Phil and I have battled many storms not just the torrential storms, but — all types. Sometimes verbal storms. If you’ve been married, perhaps you understand. 

Yesterday while talking on the phone to one of my dearest friends, we both laughed when we spoke about Hawaii and what they must do when hurricanes knock on their doors. Just where do they go? They can’t reverse a bridge???  Evacuate? Where??? Well, maybe they drive up in the mountains. On second thought, maybe not. Isn’t that where the active volcanoes are? Sometimes my mind should just shut down!

I suppose I’ll have another post tomorrow. I still have things to do. Making certain all the laundry is done. Think I only have a couple of things to wash. I want to make sure our undies are nice and fresh. After all, a hurricane is a-coming, and with it, we’ll probably lose power. Need to vacuum again too. Just tidy up a bit – before the Hurricane knows on our door. The door bell doesn’t work, so maybe Florence will leave us alone!

It is quiet now. No wind is blowing. Perhaps, the calm before the storm…And on that note, I suppose I’ll close and toss a few things into the wash. Until tomorrow!cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridge

 

 

 

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Update – Hurricane Florence


 

Arthur Ravenel Bridge

Dearest Readers:

It has been a beautiful day in Charleston, SC. HOT! HUMID! Nevertheless, still beautiful. By now, I-26 is reversed, and the last I heard, traffic is moving well. Why? From what I’ve gathered today while driving to the doctor’s office, everyone appears to be staying home. In my neighborhood, I still see people. Definitely not a ghost town.

Maybe our leadership finally recognized road traffic in Charleston is a nightmare on every day, and when crashes happen, it continues to irritate drivers. I see tailgaters, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned those who stomp their cars at a red light, driving thru the red light!

Looks like they finally realized roads need to be reversed whenever we are told to ‘evacuate!’ I understand, it’s a ‘mandatory evacuation’ and I do understand what that means. No, they cannot arrest us; however, if we need emergency services, no one will come to ‘rescue’ us. It’s OK. We will be fine!

But this is not a post about traffic. Just a silly update to keep all informed. Looking out my window, I do not notice tree branches or flowers swaying with the wind. It is quiet. Ever. So. Quiet.

According to news media, the storm will hit the southeast coast on Thursday. I feel confident with updates, things will change.

Meanwhile, I have homemade banana bread baking in the oven. Tomorrow, I’m making a stock pot of my famous homemade chili.

Our Bratty Boys are fine. They do not seem to be as hungry as normally, and Sandy Bear keeps looking into my eyes, staring. I scooped him up, held him close telling him we will be fine. The storm might brush us with winds and rains, but we are prepared. Besides, in October 2015, we survived those infamous One Hundred Year Rains…and it was lots of rain! One thing I refuse to do is to leave my animals, like some people do. While they apply brakes during a rainstorm, as if to say, are you crazy? I’m not going out there. I’ll get wet! I have puppy pads ready. Laundry is clean. All is done, with exception of bringing the outside items inside. That will be done tomorrow. Meanwhile, we wait. All is quiet.

Yes, the calm before the storm!

OOPS…Forgot to mention, looks like I need surgery on my left wrist. Next is a CT scan, then I suppose I will agree to surgery. Maybe. All Depends.

I’ve already told the doctor I do not take pain meds – of any kind. This chick will not even consider “opioids!” After all, I am Woman. Sometimes, when I discover my upper body strength now, I tease my husband telling him I’m Super Woman! Hear me roar.

Only this Super Woman is like a little wounded bird now.

That makes me curious – where do the birds go before a storm? I haven’t seen any birds today and that is unusual. On a normal day I see beautiful red cardinals, woodpeckers. Pelicans. Heck, I haven’t even heard a singing bird. No hummingbirds by the Lantana either. Only butterflies. I hope they survive. It’s just too quiet outside. I want to hear singing, chirping birds and the owl I occasionally hear at nighttime when it is dark outside.

Yes…the Calm. Before. The. Storm!

Hear me Roar!