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

 

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!

Hurricane Florence


Dearest Readers:

While I sit here listening to news reports about Hurricane Florence and the evacuation I feel confident we will stay here, comfortable inside our home. We’ve done this for many years whenever a “hurricane is a-coming,” and I feel safe here. Our home is brick. We live less than ten miles from the beach, but I’m certain there is no place like home!

I’ve had several friends calling today seeing what our plans are, so rest assured, all of you, I will keep you all informed! I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to find out what can be done about my wrist, with exception of surgery. Suppose I should call the office tomorrow morning just to make certain they will be opened.

Many of my friends suggested we leave. My reply is a funny, You’ve never been in a hurricane before, have you? Never fought traffic on Highway 41 for over ten hours (at that time Highway 41 was not a major road, and to make it worse, there were no service stations to stop at to find a ladies room) It took us ten hours to move 57 miles!

Two cars ahead of us was an RV. By now, people were getting out of their cars, knocking on the RV’s door, in hopes they could use their facilities. Several boys and men were walking into the woods. Not me, I prayed that soon traffic would move and we would find a place. 

Exhausted, we saw a motel.

Phil was still recovering from major heart surgery at that time. We were in two cars, anticipating cell service. News Flash! All the cell phone towers were jammed. We could not use our cell phones, so we tried walkie talkies. Phil wanted to stop at the motel to get a room since we were so exhausted! Not seeing the motel, I agreed.

Finally, in a room, I rushed to the ladies room to release a most painful bladder. Opening the door of the bathroom, I looked around this room. Oh my. This isn’t the style of motel I’m accustomed to staying at. Yes. I’m slightly spoiled. I enjoy really nice hotel rooms, and this one reminded me more of a ————–! Use your imagination!

The motel room smelled musty. The bedspreads felt sticky, and when I walked on the floor barefoot, my feet wanted to stick to the floor. Disgusting. Exhausted, I went to the car, got one of my pillows, uncovered the bed linens and fell asleep. The next morning, we chose to return home. We drove 57 miles in less than an hour. No traffic! Mt. Pleasant, SC was a ghost town. The storm had turned. All was fine!

After that experience, we decided evacuating just isn’t worth the time. Rest assured, I will keep all informed. Just stay tuned to my next post as we listen to the latest news. Maybe I’ll pop some popcorn. Oops. Didn’t buy any.

Oh well. Life goes on!

 

 

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