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Lynna Clark: Hurricane readiness

Lynna Clark

I didn’t think I was worried. But last night when I woke from a dead sleep to the sound of a mighty thunderous shaking of the ground, I was pretty sure it was either a tornado or Florence.
Visions of being interviewed in my lovely nightgown, with what little bit of hair I have plastered to my ample forehead skittered through my brain. Quickly I vowed NOT to say with every Southerner who has ever been asked about their storm experience: “Whoo-eee! It sounded jes like a freight train!”
Before I could jump up and ready myself for my television debut, I heard another noise: the glorious comforting sound of an actual train whistle. What I had heard in my sleep, what rattled the house was not a storm at all. It was just a regular ol’ train.
I peeked out the window. The rain had not even hit our area yet. The wind was picking up however and I was glad we’d put away all the yard chairs and such. You see, I am old enough to remember when Hugo tore through our county. That night I had woke to a similar sound but it really was a hurricane. Though it wasn’t supposed to come so far inland, Hugo hit our little town of Rockwell with a vengeance. Trees and limbs and debris were everywhere. Before the power went off I filled the tub with water since we were on a well. Quickly I baked biscuits and cookies, made coffee and tea, did several loads of laundry just before we lost electricity for well over a week. We ate everything in the house, everything in the fridge, and everything from the freezer that we could figure out how to cook.
I forget the exact date, but one winter around 2002 or 03, we had an ice storm that knocked out power for a month. Well… maybe not a month. I think it just seemed that long. It was so COLD! At that time we lived in Spencer and thankfully had a gas cooktop. I remember making coffee and pouring it into a mug. When the hot liquid hit that chilly cup, it cracked right in two. That’s how cold our house was. Our son-in-law Brandon was courting our youngest daughter so he kept us in kerosene. It was hard to come by during that time but he always had a way of finding it for us. We’d all huddle around the Kero-Sun, sipping the hot nectar of life and telling stories of times past. I remember us laughing a lot. We found out later that Brandon had power at his house. He just decided to stay in our guest room because he liked his future in-laws so much.
This time, in preparation for Florence we made sure we had the basic staff of life: coffee, creamer, and toilet paper. I don’t have to fill the tub since we’re on city water now. Flushing shouldn’t be an issue, praise God. But I did snip my zinnias and bring them inside. Three loaves of pumpkin bread have been baked and the floor is vacuumed. While we still have internet, I’ve seen some pretty funny stuff regarding our readiness.
Someone said, “Waiting on a hurricane is like being stalked by a turtle.”
My favorite is, “If you don’t quit eating all those hurricane snacks you’re not going to fit into that little rescue basket the helicopter lets down.”
As I write this, the rain and wind have picked up. Pictures and videos of some of our favorite coastal towns are being shared. Streets there are flooded and the pier we walked with the grandchildren just a few weeks ago has been washed away.
Oh how I wish we could wake to the glorious comforting sound of a whistle to find:
It was only a regular ol’ train.

Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderfulLife.wordpress.com

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