Missing Mr. Hanks


Dearest Readers:

It has been a tough, sad week for me. Losing my little Hanks the Tank, as I called him when he first arrived at our home, I’ve found myself looking for him this week, realizing he was not here anymore. Others knew him as Hank, but I called him Mr. Hanks. He rushed to me, happy with a personal name from me.

Hanks, the Tank…At Last, he has a happy home!

Mr. Hanks was protective of me, from the beginning. If my husband crossed his path, Hanks rushed to stop him. Now, I ask you, just how can a small mini-schnauzer manage to bite my husband like he did so often. We tried scolding him – never spanking him, just letting him know his behavior of biting was not acceptable. Occasionally, when I could, I grabbed Hanks harness, holding him back. Never did he bite anyone else, not even the pet sitters. Two years ago, he stopped biting. If Phil startled him, he rushed to grab his pant leg or shoe, only to place his mouth on Phil’s leg or foot, but he didn’t chop down on it like before. I suppose he finally realized my husband was not like the Phil who owned him previously. 

When I became the foster for “Hank” I was told he did not like to be crated. At our home, we do not use crates. We have a gated area for all of the pups. It seems to work well. I purchased dog beds, placing them on the floors so they would not sleep or play on the cold tile floors. They were demolished within a week! 

Finding a stack of old pillows, I washed them, placing each inside a pillow case or pillow sham. Mr. Hanks crawled up on two of them and that is where he slept when he did not sleep with me. All of our dogs enjoy the pillows. I suppose because they must contain hair particles or our scents. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve washed those pillows, and none of them shred them. I suppose they realize these pillows are for them, our four-legged family members. Each of our pups has a special place where they sleep. Now, Sandy Bear sleeps on Mr. Hanks pillows. Sandy Bear and Hanks were close buddies.

Mr. Hanks was an interesting character. How I wish I could’ve heard the stories he held within his heart. Stories of ill treatment. Stories of fear. Stories of how he felt when his family members took him to a kill shelter to have him euthanized over seven years ago. He still had life to live, and with us, he did. Fortunately, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas saved him, contacting me to see if I could open my heart to a special needs rescue. 

When I served as Hanks foster, he was adopted; however, I had dreams about him. I’ve never had dreams from other fosters I kept. One night, I awoke hearing a bark at the front door. You must understand, my grandmother gave me the gift of visions when she went to Heaven. On the night I was having a vision about Hank, I opened the front door, but he wasn’t there. I contacted the person who adopted him, wanting to know how he was. At the time, he was ok.

I realized Hanks was communicating with me, and so, I listened to every dream I had about him. One dream told me he wasn’t happy where he was, and when I contacted the owner, I discovered why. 

Later, I drove to rescue Hanks from the owner and we adopted him. When he saw us, he recognized us. Rushing into the house, he ran to the toy box, picking out a tennis ball, Mr. Hanks was home!

Mr. Hanks loved the treadmill. Every morning when I stepped to get on it, I had someone behind me, ready to walk. Mr. Hanks. I have no idea how he knew how to work a treadmill, but that was Mr. Hanks! He observed life with excitement and happiness with us. I stepped off, and let Mr. Hanks walk. He was such a delight!

Mr. Hanks stopped playing with the treadmill and tennis balls last year. His legs hurt him. There were times we still played our little game, “I’m gonna get you Mr. Hanks,” and I rushed near him. He barked his happy bark, attempting to rush at me. His little, tender legs made him squeal. 

Last week, he decided it was time to go. On Monday, he ate and drank. Then, his tired body rested. Tuesday morning, he didn’t want me to pick him up to go outside. He growled that mean growl he knew so well.  He refused to eat or drink. The lights in his eyes were dark. I held him close telling him to fight. He turned his head away. No food. No drink – all day.

Wednesday morning, I called the vet, asking for an emergency check-up even though Thanksgiving was the next day. Arriving at the vets office, I had Mr. Hanks bundled up in a blanket, holding him close to me. They examined him telling me it was time. And so, I leaned into Mr. Hanks asking him if he was ready to go see Shamus and Shakespeare. He did not respond. His body was shutting down. My vet said it was only a matter of time, and the only humane thing to do was to grant him peace. I whispered sweet love words to him, while rubbing him. Minutes later, he took his last breath and I cried so hard.

Now, I must adjust to my life without Mr. Hanks. I am crying while writing this. How does one learn to stop grieving and move forward? Rest in peace, Mr. Hanks. I pray you will communicate with me once again soon.

I love you and miss you. I hope you send me a vision soon. My love to you always, “Mr. Hanks, the Tank!”

Thanksgiving, 2018


Dearest Readers:

I realize this is Thanksgiving week; however, I wanted to share a bit of a touching, sad story. This morning, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, we had to let our precious little 14-year-old+ mini schnauzer go to doggie heaven. Since Monday evening, he deteriorated rather quickly. He ate his dinner. Drank water, and on Tuesday morning, he could hardly walk. I lifted him gently, carried him outside and watched him struggling to stand  just to potty. His legs were like spaghetti. Although he wobbled to stand, he couldn’t.

I watched him all day, noticing he would not move. He lay in his urine, I cleaned him and did all I could. At dinner time, he turned his face away. Refusing to eat, even when I tried to hand feed him. He rested on his side. His breathing was labored and he was lethargic. This was not Mr. Hanks.  

All night long, I watched him. He hadn’t moved at all. I had his favorite pillow next to him. A blanket and a beach towel. No movement. Hank loved pillows and blankets! Early this morning, with no response and no movement, I made a phone call I prayed I would not have to make. I asked the receptionist if the vet would check him over. He would.

Arriving at the veterinary hospital, Hank was examined. His breathing was labored and short, like he had raced, or been on the treadmill with me. Yes, Mr. Hanks the Tank loved the treadmill. He would always jump on it before I could! Hanks truly had a delightful personality when he was happy, which was all of the time with us.

Prior to us adopting him, or maybe it was him adopting us, he lived a life of cruelty when his family member passed away, and the relatives did not want Hank, so they took him to a shelter to euthanize him. Fortunately, he was saved when Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas intercepted, saving his life. 

Hanks, the Tank…At Last, he has a happy home!

After we adopted Mr. Hanks, he was a bit reluctant to accept my husband. When I reviewed his papers, I realized his former owner and my husband had the same first name. That’s when I realized in Hank’s eyes, he was fearful of someone named “Phil.” It took us many months to get Hank to stop nipping and biting at Phil. I don’t recall him biting him in over two years. Sometimes, he would rush at him, I suppose to protect me, which he didn’t need to do, and he would place his mouth over Phil’s toe, or foot, growl and walk away. Obviously, he grew up in an abusive family; nevertheless, when I touched him, or moved away, he would grumble and follow me around the house. 

Mr. Hanks the Tank was a special needs schnauzer. All he really needed was for someone to reach him gently, touch and rub him and speak softly to him. In our home, he did not see abuse, only kindness, love, respect and acceptance.

Tomorrow at Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for God providing Mr. Hanks to come into our lives. While I write this, I am crying my heart out over losing him. It was one of the toughest and most heart breaking decisions I’ve made. My animals are my family!

Happy Thanksgiving in Heaven, Mr. Hanks, the Tank. I pray you are with Sir Shakespeare Hemingway, and Prince Marmaduke Shamus. Mommy loves all of you. I give thanks for God sharing our lives for only a while. I love and miss all of you.

CHATTAHOOCHEE CHILD – EXCERPT


 Dearest Readers:

Listed below is a bit of Chattahoochee Child:

PROLOGUE – Rhythms

October 2003

There is a rhythm to life, moving us at a pace we control by the decisions we make. When I was lost, and alone, I embraced the Chattahoochee River while listening to the melody of rhythms created by the symphony of dancing waters. As a child, I was fearful of the rushing waters of the Chattahoochee. Once, while standing on the banks of the murky waters, my mother shoved me, laughing deviously, reminding me of a witch.

“Mom,” I shouted. “You pushed me. I could’ve fallen into the waters. You know I can’t swim. I could drown.”

Her laughter reminded me of Boris Karloff. Evil. Cruel. Conniving.

“Well, if you drowned, I’d have one less child to worry about. Not that I worry about you, ever. You’re so independent. You seem to love being alone. But I know. You’re a stupid girl. Stupid girls cause trouble. You’re the thorn in my side.”

I crossed my arms and walked away while listening to mother’s hateful laughter.

Water has always held my passion. On the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, I feel embraced in the hands of God when I slowly allow my body to enter the sanctity of water in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. While the water soothes me, I dare to find the courage to allow my body to float in the water so I can travel with the current to faraway places.

DSC_0013***

It feels a bit strange to breathe oxygen into my lungs after my mother’s lungs no longer needed the breath of life. A part of my being was swimming in the waters, drowning, anxious to touch the bottom depths of the riverbed, to find the grief missing from her death. My mother failed to share her life with me. Now with her death, I realized we could never make amends. Although I made many attempts to bury our emancipation, she refused to move forward. Over 20 years ago, I cried from the loss and rejection of my mother. I did not feel a wall of grief pounding down on me after her death. Instead, I felt an incredible need to confront my sister and embrace the shores of the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia.

Now that she is gone, I’ve discovered I loved my mother, not because she was a good mother. I loved her for giving me life. Never did I approve of her mind control strategies, or for the emotional guilt she used to punish me by being so cruel. She was quick to remind me that I ‘wasn’t a good girl…I behaved badly…I asked too many questions, defying her authority.’

When she was angry at me, she called me ‘Little Miss Goody Two Shoes.’

’ She twisted her words and actions, making me believe I was worthless of love from anyone. I loved her because I wanted to love her. She was my birth mother. Without her bearing the pain of childbirth, I would not have life, and I am thankful for the precious gift of life she bestowed to me. As a child, I dreamed of her returning a mother’s love; instead of sharing it, she tortured me with the supremacy of her dependence. Once, she stated to me that actions meant more than words. Without a doubt, the actions of my mother spoke volumes! The more I grew up, the more she pushed to control me and never let me go. I retaliated in the manner safest for my sanity. I broke away from her web of destruction. As a grown woman, I lived with ‘survivor’s guilt,’ the guilt of surviving and escaping the misfortunes that were due to me just by being born.

“Life’s never a bed of roses,” Mom said to me as a child. “You and your silly big girl dreams ain’t nothing but a joke. You ain’t never gonna find no one to love you…NEVER!”

Before her death, I chose not to reopen the cycle of bitterness delivered by the hands and poisonous tongue of my mother. Rehashing my childhood would do nothing to help our situation. She was a melancholic, unkind woman who lived life in the dark shadows of her past. I wanted to move forward with her, to make peace with her, regardless. My fondest wish was for Mom to learn to love me. Most of all, I wanted her to learn to love herself.

The true test of life is how we educate ourselves to forgive our parents for the trials and tribulations of life’s disappointments. As children, we are born into the life we live. As adults, it is our decision how we choose to mold ourselves into the person we desire. We can take a step forward, to build our life into productive, respectable individuals, or we can reflect on prejudices of the past, living our lives in a shell as a mirrored imitation of our parents. I chose to break the mold, refusing to look back with regret.

Detecting Esophageal Cancer


Dearest Readers:

Although the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I wanted to share a story about my father’s battle with esophageal cancer. The month of April is the scheduled month for Esophageal Cancer Awareness.

When my father was diagnosed, medical professionals assumed he was a smoker. He never smoked – EVER!

DIAGNOSIS – ESOPHAGEAL CANCER

The diagnosis rings in your ears. Esophageal cancer. A thousand thoughts and questions race inside your mind and you find it difficult to cope, think or relax. You want a second opinion. You want to live and you want things to be the way they were, before your quality of life was questionable due to cancer.

Tuesday, December 9, 1997 was the day I became an advocate for esophageal cancer. The endoscopy revealed a tumor, located in the esophagus. A malignant tumor…Cancer…the dreaded word echoed inside my brain. No! I screamed! It cannot be cancer! There must be some mistake! My father took such good care of himself, but like lots of men from his generation, he refused yearly exams and only went to the doctor when he was ill.

Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is a difficult cancer to detect. Many of the symptoms, such as coughing, difficulty swallowing {dysphagia), and indigestion are thought to be acid reflux. Esophageal cancer may start as tightness in the throat or pain in the chest. Recurring hiccups, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or regurgitating food and weight loss, could be symptoms of cancer of the esophagus. Until my father’s diagnosis, I was clueless of the disease. Now, I serve as an advocate, to educate others, and to prepare families about this debilitating disease that attacks profusely, steals dignity and quality of life and can kill. I describe esophageal cancer as the silent cancer.

SYMPTOMS 

The symptoms of esophageal cancer rarely appear until the advanced stages of the disease. Unlike early detection of breast cancer and other forms of the disease, cancer of the esophagus is not able to detect by early screening. While it is recommended by the American Cancer Society to get regular physicals, eat a proper and healthy diet, quit smoking, if you are a smoker, and to maintain a healthy weight, esophageal cancer is a silent cancer that creeps up only after it advances. The major complaint from someone diagnosed with the disease is the inability to swallow or retain food. Social activities with friends and quality of life become a major issue.

Treatments for Esophageal Cancer

Cancer of the esophagus is a treatable disease in many cases, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and clinical trials. If surgery is an option, the procedure could relieve the excruciating symptoms and improve the quality of life for the patient. If surgery is not an option and quality of life is threatened, due to the inability to swallow or retain nutrition, the doctor may prescribe a PEG tube.

The Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG tube) is a form of life support for patients who are having difficulty with swallowing, or eating. Insertion of the PEG into the stomach is performed by an endoscopic procedure. With the PEG tube in place, liquid nutrition, along with medications, may be administered directly through the feeding tube, into the stomach. Introduced in 1979, the PEG tube has been used for an estimated 200,000 patients, serving as a form of nutritional support.

At the age of 84, Walter W. Perkins fought the battle of his life. His prognosis was not a good one. On two occasions, I prayed for a miracle to happen when he was near death, and on those two occasions, the miracle was granted. The doctors said he might live six months, if chemo and radiation therapy were successful. He beat their odds, battling this disease for nineteen months with stiff determination, faith, and positive thoughts guiding his way. Due to the location of his tumor, surgery was not an option for us. A few days after his diagnosis, he permitted the doctors to connect the PEG tube to his frail body. Furious that he could not swallow without regurgitating his food, he called his feeding tube an umbilical cord. His quality of life decreased at a rapid rate after his diagnosis of esophageal cancer. Fortunately, the PEG tube provided him the ability to regain some of his weight, extending his life until he became despondent and demanded to eat food again. His doctor consulted with me, letting me know that if he insisted on eating, he would aspirate his food and choke to death. For us, it was a quality of life issue. I did not fight the battle to override his decision to enjoy food again, even though I knew eating food would lead to his death. On July 6, 1999, while I was entering the nursing home for my daily visit, my father aspirated his food and was gone.

Before his diagnosis, I was naïve to the prognosis of esophageal cancer. This disease was not marketed or publicized whenever I read stories about cancer, and I called it the silent cancer, because it silently develops without many warning signs. When I expressed my guilt to the oncologist, I was told that esophageal cancer is increasing and is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing cancers in the world.

Additional treatments are based upon the type of esophageal cancer, location of tumors, and how capable the patient is to respond to treatment. In my father’s case, his age, fragile condition and the location of his tumor dictated his treatment of chemo and radiation therapy. After his second dosage of chemo, his treatment with chemicals and radiation were cancelled. The drugs had left him so weak we almost lost him. The chemotherapy had drained every ounce of strength he had. From this point on, the only treatment would be for the quality of his life.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

A new method of treatment for cancer of the esophagus is photodynamic therapy. PDT is helpful in some cases by injecting chemicals into the blood. Laser lights target the cancer by an endoscope procedure. A minor disadvantage of PDT is the light may only reach cells on the surface, and cancers that have spread are not treated.

Survival Rate

According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate of esophageal cancer is low. New cases are increasing at a rapid rate. It is estimated that in 2008, approximately 16,470 patients will be diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. Deaths are predicted to total 14,280. The Five-Year Survival Rate is estimated to be only 34%. These statistics are not encouraging; however, with developments of clinical trials, drug therapies and the willingness to fight the battle of cancer, I am hopeful the statistics will increase soon.

Quality of Life

All types of cancer create issues with the quality of life for the patient and family. Esophageal cancer certainly affects the quality of all. The American Cancer Society identifies four basic quality of life factors, including social, psychological, physical, and spiritual. Watching my father fighting esophageal cancer, I would like to add one more quality of life issue, the quality, and loss of independence. Before my father’s diagnosis, I watched an amazing independent man walking in his shoes. He lived alone in a retirement community and at the age of 83, he took daily strolls, cooked his meals, gardened occasionally and he enjoyed singing. After the diagnosis and the PEG tube insertion, he was observed by medical professionals to need skilled care – a term I became most familiar with as his advocate. Skilled care was a medical term that meant he needed the daily care of a registered nurse. His social life consisted of a roommate in the nursing home and the staff of medical professionals caring for him. He was too weak to go anywhere most of the time, and when he was able to go out with me, I had to be careful not to take him to restaurants or out for ice cream since he was receiving liquid feedings from the PEG tube and he could not swallow. His physical activity was non-existent because he was so frail. All that remained was the spiritual quality of life. Before his death, my father tapped into the spiritual side of his life, reading the Bible constantly, quoting verses, and singing religious songs, aloud. Before his death, the singing quieted. He coughed constantly and would lose his breath from the coughing attacks. In a whispering voice, he reminded me he was ready to go, if the good Lord decided it was his time. I noticed his voice was still hoarse and his eyes did not hold their usual sparkle.

Additional research for Esophageal Cancer is underway and I am hopeful that in time there will be a cure for all cancers. Cancer Aid Research, education, and advocacy serve as strong components to understand cancer. Esophageal cancer is usually diagnosed in the late stages of cancer, as was the case with my father. When I inquired about the stage, I was told he was in Stage Four. The outlook for this disease is not a good one. The survival rate is low. If you are a smoker, quit. If you have symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, pain or difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, non-stop coughing, heartburn, or hiccups, make an appointment with your doctor and ask about esophageal cancer. If you are at high risk, the doctor might suggest an endoscopy.

Serving as my father’s caregiver gave me a new perspective on life and the belief in miracles. Now I appreciate the beauty of a new morning sunrise and I can look towards the future while doing all that I can to educate others about esophageal cancer and care giving. The experience of watching my father suffer so much, still with a smile on his face, even when he was angry and in denial about his cancer taught me so much. He encouraged me to move forward with life. I have chosen my life’s direction, or perhaps it chose me, and I will do all that I can to become an advocate for those who battle this dreadful disease. My passion is one of hope so cancer will soon become a curable disease that is not silent. I still believe in miracles.

Sources:

Barbie Perkins-Cooper is a freelance writer who loves the journey and exploration of travel and health. She works full-time as an editorial photojournalist and has published numerous articles and photographs for regional, health and beauty and travel publications including the Travel Channel. Barbie resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband. She is the author of Condition of Limbo and Career Diary of a Photographer. Visit her website www.barbieperkinscooper.com

 

 

Goodbye Hurricane Florence


Dearest Readers:

Normally, when we have hurricane warnings/watches and the winds roar, I get horrified and do not sleep. Not with Hurricane Florence. I’ve slept really great every night, including last night. I awoke after 9:00am this morning. Really strange. Today looks like a normal day in Charleston, SC. We have gray clouds while the sun is fighting to return. No roaring winds sounding like a wild tiger or a freight train. Only a slight whisper of wind. My Lantana moves only slightly. So, I suppose normalcy has returned.

Last night when I awoke in the middle of the night, I turned the TV to Direct TV channel 362, THE WEATHER CHANNEL, just to see what was happening. I must’ve fallen back to sleep before realizing what was on. I do that a lot when I have insomnia. The funny thing about Florence was I slept. I wasn’t afraid. Maybe it’s because I’ve been through at least five hurricanes, staying for all of them:

Hurricane Hugo, September, 1989 – stayed with 62 students at a historical building downtown

Hurricane Floyd, September, 1999 – we attempted to leave due to a ‘mandatory evacuation’. I packed up only one item. My father’s rocking chair, given to him by Sandpiper Convalescent Center when we was crowned “Mr. Sandpiper!” He passed away on July 6, 1999. The grief was so traumatic for me, I wanted something sentimental to take with me. My husband shook his head, tied the chair to the back of his SUV so it would not roll around and off we went. We stayed in a traffic jam for 10 hours, moving only 57 miles! Traffic was such a nightmare we decided to find a hotel. If you’ve read my stories regarding Hurricane Florence, you might remember the hotel for Hurricane Floyd was more of a place where entertainment of a certain type might happen. We were desperate. Exhausted. The next morning, we came home, deciding from now on, we will remain home whenever a ‘mandatory evacuation’ is ordered. Just what will they do to us if we don’t leave? NOTHING! Floyd had turned over night. Charleston was safe. We drove home in less than 45 minutes!

Hurricane Matthew, October, 2016 – we stayed. I failed to sleep. Matthew kissed the coast as a category one storm, causing flooding. 

Hurricane Irma, 2017 – we stayed.

Hurricane Florence, September, 2018 – so thankful we stayed. We considered leaving. After realizing that many of the hurricanes coming to Charleston, turn inland we chose to stay. Hugo turned in to Charlotte. Floyd – ? Sorry, I don’t remember and I’m much too tired to research now.

Will we stay for the next hurricane? Probably. For now, I simply want to thank God for keeping us safe. Lumberton, North Carolina is flooded again. I have friends living in Wilmington. Reportedly, they cannot get out to leave, calling for rescue. My prayers are with them.

As for Charleston, South Carolina? We were blessed. Walking outside, I discovered I do not have any yard debris to clean. It’s just another day in our neck of the woods.

Schools are opening. Phil is working today, and I imagine the traffic jams have returned. Just another day. Goodbye Florence. Soon Hurricane Florence will be history. My heart breaks for those who will have to file with FEMA. After the Hundred Year storm of October, 2015, we had damage, only to discover our wind and hail damage was not covered by State Farm insurance arthur-ravenel-jr-bridgeadjusters.?? We had wind and hail insurance. Not covered??? I was told the ‘regulations recently changed.’ My response: “rest assured, my insurance company will change!” Reluctantly, I filed with FEMA only to be told our home was still in ‘livable condition,’ so they could not assist us. I filed three times. Finally, I researched SBA Disaster Relief.

My advice to those who will be forced to fight with insurance companies is this: You must be diplomatic. Contact the insurance company requesting letters from them, then you can file with FEMA. It isn’t an easy process, just document all phone calls to them. Names. Response…Time…Everything! I really doubt if many of those affected during Florence will have flood insurance. If not, they should buy flood insurance for the next hurricane since history reveals hurricanes hitting the southeast coast turn inland and there is where the major damage occurs.

Meanwhile, I pray we will not have more loss of lives. I haven’t listened to the news broadcast this morning. I suppose I could say, I am burned out! Hopeful, today is a new day!

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

 

Hurricane Florence – Awaiting, Day Five


Dearest Readers:

 

Image of Angel Oaks tree, over 400+ years old. Surviving many hurricanes.DSC_0013

Today is Day Five of anticipating Hurricane Florence. Now, she’s downgraded to a Category One storm.

While looking out my window moments ago, I saw gusty winds. The trees were not dancing an elegant ballet, just an unchoreographed, erratic dance with the branches of trees moving around like an outraged dancer attempting a performance, or a hawk flying over looking for its next prey! Moments ago, the wind gusted. Now, it’s a simple, soft wind, where my pine trees are not moving at all. The mimosa trees sways with the wind. Now, there’s another gust, not nearly as active and unpredictable as the stronger gusts.

It’s only a matter of time now before we feel the hurricane. I suppose Florence wanted to make her debut into Charleston like a talented artist with only one showing, or maybe she did not want to fight the congested traffic of the low country. Who knows?

Much to my surprise, last night I slept well once again. I awoke a bit after 4:00am, deciding to get up and walk around the house to check on the arrival of Florence. Everything was quiet. All of the neighborhood appeared to be asleep. I opened the back door, to find nothing different. Quiet. Peaceful. So nice. So, I went back to bed after turning on channel 362, The Weather Channel.

Apparently, Hurricane Florence really likes North Carolina. Her twirling winds and rain were pounding the State of North Carolina. For those of you who believe hurricanes “only happen on the coast. Inland is safe.” You must understand, hurricanes hitting the southeast coastline turn inward. Hugo – went to Charlotte. Matthew – went inland to Georgia. We had hotel reservations in Georgia. The hotel would allow my dogs! When I discovered the predictions of heading ‘inland in Georgia,’ I cancelled those reservations, choosing to stay home! We were safer here than Georgia! Never did we lose power.

Looks like the gusting winds are back. Most of my trees appear to be strong. We haven’t had much rain in September, so I suppose when we get rains, the trees will guzzle lots of water, only to allow it to remain on the grounds for a while.

And so today, I return to listen to the latest predictions on the Weather Channel while I glance out the windows to watch occasional winds gusting around my trees. Yesterday, I saw a few birds, including an erratic hawk while we drove to a restaurant that was open.

I suppose I was in the mood to have a cocktail — oops, looks like I was a ‘naughty girl,’ drinking three kahlua and creams while my hubby sipped Diet Coke. Oh well. Sometimes, I must let my hair down to enjoy life, even if a hurricane-is-a-comin!’

Stay tuned! More Later!