Just yesterday I took Bella on a wonderful, brisk autumn walk along a tree-lined tapestry of multi-colored leaves. It was warmish – like Indian summer, and I remember how exhilarating it felt to stroll along surrounded by this beauty. It was hard to believe that in a few short days we would be pounded by Frankenstorm, aka Hurricane Sandy. I looked up into the sky and saw that the storm clouds were already brewing. The wind sock on top of a building was eerily still. I couldn’t help but imagine how it would soon be flapping wildly. When I returned home I glanced out across the lagoon and saw the ominous site of our neighbor’s house already boarded up. Heavy sigh…
I am a newer resident to this sleepy fishing town on the New Jersey Coast. This is the second time a hurricane is due to hit since I arrived a little over a year ago. The first one side-swiped us, and we were lucky. This time it doesn’t look as if that will be the case. In a word, it’s just downright scary. My stomach has been in knots all day. We are stressed to the max as we tackle the jobs of buttoning down the hatches around the property – taking planters and bird feeders in, storing lawn chair items in the shed, tying other things down.
I shopped for bottled water – the shelves at Walmart were already cleared out, along with “D” sized batteries for the flashlights, but I managed to find the last box. The local grocery store had the bottled water, so I bought five gallons and two cases along with some food staples. I filled my car up with gas and got some cash from the bank – did all the things the newscasters are telling us to do. Speaking of that – I had to turn the television off because the minute-by-minute details are just making me crazy-nervous. I’ll check later on in the day and first thing in the morning. A constant thread of news on this hurricane could literally drive you to drink!
I’m so afraid of flooding that I’ve decided to get out of here, although some of the neighbors have chosen to stay. At least I have a safe place to go over Katie and Blake’s where I’ll be comfortable. I try to go over a list in my head of the things I have to take with me when I evacuate – most importantly, my pets and their food and paraphernalia. What an ordeal! The cats will have to be crated, which sends them into a tailspin. I can tell they are already anxious. Or maybe it’s just me.
Another neighbor has boarded up his house and left town. The neighbors next door have left. It’s looking a lot like a ghost town. It’s dark and dreary outside now, and the wind has kicked up tremendously since the morning. In a few short hours the plummeting will begin.
So, I’m off now to pack. I gaze out at the gloominess as the day draws to a close, and I whisper a prayer. One way or another, I know everything will work out the way God has planned.