Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Tuesday, September 16, 2003  

So here comes Hurricane Isabel. I must secretly admit (why must I?) Okay, I will boldly admit that I adore wild weather. I love it when weather just steps in and says “STOP!” I hope I’ll hear it say that on Thursday. I would love an extra day off to knit. Even if it means I have to clean my own house this week - who cares.

I think weather reporting has become one of the most comic and absurd of the media offerings. Heat indexes, chill factors, severe weather ... Fer cryin’ out loud! If it’s 98 degrees with 98 percent humidity it feels like 98 degrees with 98% humidity. It doesn’t feel like 105.

This doesn’t mean I don’t take wild storms seriously. And I am sorry people along the coast will take some hits. But the rest of the year they live in the paradise lands of oceans and glorious surf and sunrises over the sea. Hurricanes are just the price one pays to enjoy a daily walk along the beach. Just as I savor the privacy of country living I know that it means I wear out cars faster and spend rather lots more on transportation than someone who lives along a bus route in a city. Everything in life comes at a cost.

My part of tidewater VA is pretty far inland, so we face little real danger unless a tornado pops up in our yard and there’s nothing one can do to avoid that. We’re about 100 miles up the Chesapeake bay, still tidal, but way away from the worst of the winds. The last hurricane to hit us was Floyd. It rained 12 inches in something like 12 hours that day. In the middle of the storm everything turned quiet and we went out into the cornfield to experience the temperature, wind and humidity shifts. It was very beautiful. Then the rain returned.

2 or 3 years earlier Fran came through. That was a wild storm. I’d made it into town - one of the last cars to get into town before the road was closed - the VDOT trucks passed me as I drove through the flooded patch by the marina. Within minutes the power had gone out so I walked on down to a friends’ house and watched the wild surf and high winds for a while. Power returned before the roads opened back up and I took back roads home in the middle of the day. At home, though, we’d had a lot of wind damage.

It was the small trees that took the hit. Our house is in a small clearing of young woods along the edge of a big field, and backed by a much older and larger forest. The young trees that fringe the yard are all a jumble of grown-up cutover. At the time they were all about 15 years old. Fran came through and just snapped the tops out of a good dozen or more trees. It killed them, but it was a strange looking thing to see these trunks poking up into the air. Of course, it didn’t kill all the trees - it thinned out the scrub and some 7 years later those that were left have had more sun and room to branch out. It’s quite pretty in a wild sort of way.

We are also 25 feet above the river so there’s no danger of our house flooding. But in ‘85, when Gloria hit, we had a high tide like I had never seen before. I was at home that day with BD at work and LD at school. Gloria was not a hurricane by the time it hit land, but it was a big storm. All day the radio was announcing shelters in Gloucester and Midlesex county. I heard even our county opened up a shelter. Suddenly I realized that this much flooding would probably affect us too. So I walked on down to the pier and found the forest that nudges up to the marsh had flooded up to my underarms. Paddles, life jackets and bailing scoops were floating about among the trees. I could swim in the forest!! The pier was about 4 feet under water. Though it was November and chilly, I plunged in and swam in and out among the trees. I figured I’d never get that chance again. When LD came home from school I hustled him down there and told him to go swimming. The idea of swimming in November in the forest was completely magical for me. And do you know....that little stinker doesn’t even remember doing it!?!

Eh so. It is wait-and-see time. I’ve watched many a hurricane come through. I’ve never lived really close to the landfall sites. We get the big rain storms, power outages, a few downed trees, but not the winds that lift the roof off your house and slam it into your neighbor’s car. And I will be sorry for those who suffer losses but secretly I’ll be glad that the earth is bigger than man and there are things of mystical power that we can never fully understand.

And I will be glad for a day off to knit and spin.

posted by Bess | 5:12 AM