Thoughts of the Lady in the Tower
2004-09-07 - 1:57 p.m.
Maybe this will sound weird, but one of the things I miss about living in Charleston (coast of South Carolina) is the hurricanes.
I was reminded of hurricane weather while walking some paperwork across the street. It's cool and humid, and while passing a coworker (probably coming back from a similar errand), she remarked that it was "weird out" today.
What do I miss about hurricanes? The easy answer would be the sense of excitement in the air. We get thrown out of our everyday hum-drum lives into a fever pitch of preparation, and then huddle together in small spaces. Our prep work seems chivvied along by nature itself as the winds increase and the skies darken.
My favorite of these memories was from Bertha (July 1996) . . . I was working at the mall. The day crew didn't know how to close the store, so they had to call in the evening crew just to close . . . Mom drove a friend and I out there and waited for us, since it was getting so close. The roads were deserted and the wind was making lights and trees dance. It was probably 4 pm, but DARK. We hustled through closing and hopped back in the car. I think my friend's folks were out of town and she stayed with us that night . . .
Also, I miss the after effects of hurricanes. Without the computers and televisions we come out of our homes and meet our neighbors (often in an orgy of frozen food preparation before it goes bad!). A few weeks ago, I showed an old family friend around my new house . . . a friend that we got to know in the months after Hugo (Sept 1989, the first that I have a distinct memory of).
We lived across the street from them for 3 years before Hugo, but never met. Afterwards, we've spent Thanksgiving holidays together, watched each others homes/pets while on vacation, and spent probably hundreds of hours in their pool or hanging out in the our garage (I've heard that hanging out in the garage peculiar to that region, but I don't know).
Perhaps my opinion would be different now. I worry about the sump pump in our basement giving out, and between the amount of water dumped during a hurricane and the high probability of losing power, it's not a situation I want to experience (at least, until I get the backup system I've been looking at . . . battery and a second pump, but that will be awhile).
I feel for the people in Florida, especially those who have had major losses. While our house has had trees in it, it wasn't anything major.
You know, it may not be just the hurricanes that I miss. . . it may also be the youthful (foolish) confidence that even though you know people's homes are destroyed and people are killed, it won't ever happen to you.