Goodbye Irene!


Yesterday, the City of Charleston felt a bit of Hurricane Irene. Today, all is quiet. No rain. Still having gusting winds, but nothing like yesterday. While writing, I watched (and heard) several tree branches falling into my back yard from a neighbor’s pine tree, and a dead oak tree, standing tall in my yard.

“Oh God, please don’t let the oak tree fall,” I prayed, watching it swaying as tree branches popped and fell.

Pleased to say, the tree held. I will hire a tree surgeon to take this tree down. Hopefully, I’ll not have any difficulty getting permission to cut it down. Once, it was beautiful, with lots of leaves and plenty of shade. Now, I still have leaves, although not many. I will miss this tree when it is gone. We’ve been connected since moving to this house in 1977.

During the path of Irene, I heard many people say they would just throw a hurricane party. I laughed. “You’ve never been thru a hurricane, have you?”

Nope, they nodded. “If it hits us, you better hope you don’t throw a party. The people who appear the strongest are the ones who will shriek and freak out during the storm. It isn’t a pretty sight to watch!”

Thinking of my experience during 1989 when I was a volunteer for students during Hugo, I do not wish to ride out the storm again, and I certainly don’t want to fight the congested, non-moving traffic like I did in 1999. My husband and I drove our cars onto a less-traveled road on Highway 41, only to stop in bumper-to-bumper traffic that failed to move, as the winds increased, the band of rain arrived and we thought we would end up sitting on the highway when the storm approached. Fortunately, as we stayed in the traffic, moving only 57 miles in 9.5 hours, we watched the winds decrease. We found a hotel, or perhaps I should say, an interesting motel that was probably opened for business in hopes to get the hurricane traffic and not their ‘normal clientele.’ We were so exhausted we did not care! The next morning, we drove home — in less than 45 minutes!

For this storm, I told my husband I would gather enough snacks and foods for three days early, in the event Irene visited us. I filled the car with gas on Tuesday. Shopped for all that we would need, including paper plates, and I had everything prepared for us to stay. I simply refuse to fight that traffic again. It was such a nightmare in 1999!

For all who are in the path of Hurricane Irene, I wish you well. You are in my prayers and I fully believe all will be well. It may not sound like all is well as the strong winds whistle along the coastline and inward, but Irene is now downgraded to a category one. This too shall pass.

Goodbye, Hurricane Irene. I see the sun breaking thru the clouds as I write this. The wind is blowing briskly, but there is hope. Sunshine is on its way. The awakening of a new day!

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