Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene - Not the Only Blowhard

Irene is threatening the east coast of the United States. It is scheduled to hit the North Carolina coast and then move right up the coast possibly hitting seven states. This is the first hurricane since the 1930's to threaten New York City and the possiblites for disaster there are very different from threats to N.C. . Coastal areas in NC are seasoned in meeting this kind of threat. New York City is full of people with no cars and dependent on the "underground city" that supports the city above. Flooding, not winds are the threat to the island.
In any case we are blessed to have early warning systems that give days for preparation. If people will just refrain from being stubborn blowhards who feel they know better than the experts everyone can be safe.

I grew up in Florida in the 50's and 60's when we had much less warning and certainly less predictable forecasts.I remember being in a very sound structure boarded up, with lots of supplies, and being without power (to a child that reads -no TV). I remember the hard work I did boarding up.Kids used to help, and our parents were busy boarding up the business, I also remember the overwhelming clean up job after the storm. As a kid it all seemed quite exciting not scary.
Today homes are not built like that anymore even in Florida. A wood frame house just cannot withstand the same force of winds. Our house was concrete block and stucco, with stucco interior walls. The roof was built of barrel tile specificaly designed to stay through hurricanes. Our windows had custom designed plywood that screwed on with bolts and allowed windows to be opened on the side of the house that was away from the winds.
I was never afraid . I remember sitting at the window watching the police inspecting the road where an electric wire had come down.I thought it was great because my family had potato chips and soft drinks and other treats we rarely ate in those days. It was a family party and at least one time it got me out of taking a test at school.(It must have been Math if I remember it so joyfully)

Now I live safely in the Piedmont of NC and we rarely get more than heavy rains left over from hurricanes that have blown apart. Hugo was the big exception . It came right up through this part of the state and destroyed lots of big trees and some structures. It lives in infamy.

We used to really tease the poor girls who shared names with these storms. Now they are named for boys as well and the equally opportunity extends to all ethnic groups,giving some poor newsreaders and weathermen a difficult time properly pronouncing the storms. Irene is a good old fashioned name. It sounds so sweet and grandmotherly. Perhaps because it was my mother's middle name I feel this way and the the old song "Goodnight Irene" plays sweetly in my head every time they mention the storm. Let's hope Irene is a little less blowhard and a little more sweet as it hits our coastlines in the next few days.Stay safe wherever you are. One day the east coasters can tell their grandchildren about the week they experienced both an earthquake and a hurricane.

A blowhard is a boastful or talkative person according to the dictionary. Hmmm does that refer to the storm or this talkative blogger?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Maryland ,Murphy and

I am planning to go to Maryland soon to visit my sister Linda. It has been a year since I have seen my other sister (Sharon) too. Sharon lives in the same state I do but it is 4 1/2 hours away and in the middle of nowhere (Murphy NC). We planned to travel together to Maryland to see Linda. Sharon is younger than Linda and me so she still has a young family of 3 children (the ages of my grand children) Being a widow, Sharon has full responsibility for the kids and coordinating babysitters, housesitter, catsitter for her was a problem. She has vision problems so we also had to coordinate someone to drive her 1/2 way over to me so we could travel the train together. She lives two hours from everywhere. We looked for trains, planes and busses from Atlanta, Asheville, and Chattanooga. We finally decided on a train that will leave from my part of the state. While trying to coordinate Sharon's journey. I was having my own problems getting the trip together. I have had a cat that has been sick and it is important that he get his meds and eat. I have worried about leaving him. His sistercat is a hog who pushes him out of the way and eats his food if I am not there to keep her away. My oldest son can always be counted on to drive me to the train 1 1/2-2 hrs away and he will be in Utah. Everyone else needs to be at work that early in the AM. I finally just decided to get my own ticket and pray. Almost immediately everything fell in place. cat sitters, babysitters housesitters, rides for both Sharon and me.

This next week should be full. I will enjoy my grandchildren's visit and we plan to sew. Tuesday we will go pick up Sharon in Asheville, NC. She has not been over in this part of the state for a few years. We have a lot to catch up on before we meet up with Linda in Maryland.

Before I go I want to get some bracelet packets together so I can knit on the 10 hour trip to Baltimore . It is easier to string the beads when I am not on a moving train. I am sure I won't need as much distraction on the trip since Sharon will be with me this time but I enjoy knitting to pass the time.

We plan to stay a week which is why housesitting was necessary. When we get to Linda's we are planning to help her get her house organized so it is easier for her to function. She has had 2 surgeries since April and even with a wonderful family who help out she would appreciate the help of her sisters. She said every trip to the hospital has brought more stuff into the house.

I am excited about spending some time with both of my sisters. When I return I will have very little time to get ready to return to school and in that time I have several appointments I must accomplish before I am back in the strict schedule of the school year.