Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene, Part Three

An unwelcome guest in my back yard, also known as Queens Creek

Aside from strong winds, rain and an ardent desire to push Queens Creek up into my house, Hurricane Irene also brought widespread power outages.

At the peak of the storm Saturday afternoon/evening, afraid that any of the large pine trees surrounding my house could do me in at any moment, I moved down  to the dungeon basement, which I rarely visit.

The basement serves only two purposes.  It houses over forty years of Chesapeake Bay Family junk, and the Chesapeake Bay Children use it as a ripstick/skateboarding heaven, complete with Christmas strobe lights and graffiti.

But last Saturday night, it became my worst nightmare an emergency shelter.

I brought some Christmas candles candles, a flashlight and my cell phone downstairs and parked it for what seemed like an eternity many hours until the worst of the winds subsided.

Thank God for my cell phone, which allowed me to text.

This eclectic collection  of junk of stuff next to the lawn chair I was sitting in includes a picture that hung over our fireplace back in the 1970s; the Christmas candles candles that provided much-needed light; some wine, a half-eaten bag of sweet potato chips, the plastic box that holds memory cards of all the photos I've ever taken, and some more junk. Oh, there's a Coca-Cola can in there too, but I hate Coke and only took a sip.  I was desperate for entertainment and thought it might be fun. I'm wild and crazy that way, especially in the throes of a major storm. I'm pretty sure that can of Coke is still down there.  Who wants to bet it's still down there 20 years from now?

The previous shot was taken with the flash.  Here's what it really looked like.  I couldn't find that Coke even if I did want to drink it. 

The only source of communication with anyone amusement during the storm came from texting, however my cell phone's battery life was limited, so I had to pick and choose my communications wisely.

Some of the most entertaining text messages came from my neighbor in Hallieford across the creek.  She recently moved to Mathews after many years in Northern Virginia. Her husband went to high school with me and Chesapeake Bay Middle Sister, and they're temporarily living in his mother's house almost directly across the creek from my parents.

Her daughter and Chesapeake Bay Son played on the same soccer team last spring, so we've had many opportunities to commiserate get to know one another.

She has a superb sense of humor.

Anyway, she and I exchanged texts over the course of the storm, including the following which took place Saturday, just as things were really getting exciting around here.

Hallieford Neighbor:  "Your window treatments are exquisite! (Referring to the plywood panels covering the sliding glass doors facing her house.)  You must have hired the same designers we did.  Hope all is OK."

CBW, giddy from exhaustion and processed foods:  "HAAA!!!  I can't see a (insert an unsavory word here that is slightly stronger than "darn") thing, it's like a tomb in here!  Wine tastes the same though, so all is good.  Hope you all are OK too.  I have a generator and stuff, not that I know how to use it."

Important Safety Note:  CBW does indeed have a generator in her garage.  She has no idea how to use it, thus it was not pulled out once during the entire ordeal.  She had no intention of blowing her head off or dying from carbon monoxide, which would be the only possible outcomes if she got into a wrangle with a generator.

Hallieford Neighbor:  "Yep, we're sandbagging.  Well, we're putting Mother-in-Law's load of topsoil in garbage bags to keep water out of the basement where some of our stuff is stored.  Ain't this fun?"

CBW:  "B*tchin!  (Remember, CBW, who normally prefers PG-13 language, was exhausted, stressed out, worried, and had been sipping high fructose corn syrup from a can. In the dark. Pardon her foul language, but she just couldn't help it.)  Just how I pictured my life--I mean my weekend!"

Hallieford Neighbor:  "Didn't you CHOOSE to move back here?  I am still learning/musing/scrambling.  We will catch your stuff as it floats by.  Friends do that."

CBW:  "Bless you.  And yes, I chose this bliss.  I believe that is the definition of insanity:  Moving back to Mathews HOPING for a different outcome."

More photos and stories as time permits over this holiday weekend.

Otherwise, stay safe and hurricane-free, but do keep a close hold on friends, especially those who can keep you semi-sane and laughing in the throes of a major storm, whether that storm is figurative or literal.

p.s. Yesterday I drove down to one of the county beaches and am happy to report no major/horrifying/life-altering/disastrous erosion, although certainly there was an impact. The pictures I took will go up soon, assuming laptops, weather systems, and prevailing moods winds cooperate.

Have a great weekend!


Mental P Mama said...

Wait. I'm coming down there, too. Have they lowered the price on the red brick house yet?

Jamie said...

seriously, we needs to start a commune.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

MPM - Just make an offer, I'm sure they'd entertain any and all bids...

DJ - Yes, we do.

Well, Chesapeake Bay Middle Sister is on her way here. She flew into Richmond and is driving in as we speak. Should be a very interesting weekend!

Country Girl said...

Loved this blow by blow!

Meg McCormick said...

I was awake during the wee hours of the storm, sitting on my bed, wringing my hands, wondering how the rest of my family could sleep through all that WIND, worrying that a tree would come crashing through our house and crush us or trap us or... GAH. I almost went down to my basement, too. But I didn't. And when it started to let up I was finally able to get to sleep. Hoping we don't have another one of those kind of storms for a really long time!