Monday, August 29, 2011

Weathering the Storm

A wet and windy hurricane.

In case you hadn’t figured it out from Facebook and Twitter, we survived Hurricane Irene! She arrived on the North Carolina coast sometime Friday. By early afternoon, we already had rain and wind. By early evening, trees were bending, limbs were breaking and transformers were blowing through the neighborhood. Have you ever heard a transformer blow up? It makes a low, grinding whine, and then there’s a popping sound, and then silence – often accompanied by a sudden loss of power and a plunge into darkness. Which is exactly what happened to us at about 7pm Friday night. One minute we watching Blue Planet, sipping wine and staying dry. The next we were sitting in the dark with only the sound of the wind and two whining dogs to keep us company.

The French press does not require electricity.

After the sun went down the wind got worse. We braved the storm to sit on our screened in porch with a battery operated radio, tuned to the local NPR station, and listened to the reports roll in – flooding in Carolina Beach, the bridge to Wilmington closed for the night, power outages across the city and, to top it all off, a tornado warning. I have to admit – as I sat next to Nathan, huddled in the dark with a glass of wine in my hand, I couldn’t help but admire the power and wrath of nature. When your house isn’t flooded and your windows are intact, it’s easier to appreciate the beauty of a good hurricane. 
We finally went to bed around midnight, only to wake again at 3:30 in the morning for another hour of porch sitting and listening to the wind howl and the crack of limbs breaking. In the morning, when we were up for good, we surveyed the damage from the safety of our home – we were still experiencing heavy winds and it wasn’t safe to go outdoors until late afternoon. We were lucky, as usual. Besides losing power for about three days, throwing out a lot of frozen food and spending all of Sunday cleaning our yard, we emerged unscathed. I know a lot of other people weren’t so lucky, so I am not complaining in the least.

This is me, in front of a fallen tree.

Tea lights - important hurricane survival gear.

Thanks for all the blog comments, Twitter messages and Facebook posts checking up on us and asking if we were okay. We were and we are. Best of all, an hour after we got power back this morning, we also finally got our Internet connection hooked up at the house. Which means I can now resume my habit of blogging regularly.  Irene, maybe you're not so bad after all!

Soon: a recap of my first week at school (including my first time teaching!), an update on half marathon training, and Project 365. Until then!