Dodging the Proverbial Bullet….

Here in Virginia Beach we are breathing a corporate sigh of relief. Hurricane Florence, once forecast to come our way, mercifully passed us by and landed south of us with unrelenting ferocity.

While we are extremely thankful for our good luck, we are concerned about those souls who lay in its path and whose lives have abruptly changed in the past few days. In particular, a step-brother and his wife who live by the water in New Bern, NC, one of the hardest hit towns in terms of flooding. Rescue operations in that area are still underway as I type. We are still waiting to hear about their fate.

Having lived on or near the East Coast pretty much my entire life, I have always been aware of the hurricane season and its potential wrath. I’m giving away my age here, but my most vivid memory goes back to 1954 as an 11 year-old. My brother and I were separated from our parents during Hurricane Hazel as it roared through the small upper New York state town of Elmira. It was entirely our own fault and our parents were justifiably livid. Hazel, along with hurricane Agnes in 1972, still stand as two of the worst ever to affect areas that far north and inland.

It’s a fact of life if you live by the water that these things can and will happen. Much like mudslides and wildfires out west and tornadoes in the plains states. What is revealed by these events is the character of the citizens affected and those who can help those affected. I think the true human goodness of most Americans shines through.

I was absolutely struck by a photograph that appeared during the recent flooding of Florence in New Bern. To me this photograph represents human emotion on several levels. Fear, compassion, frustration, courage, determination, and love.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Carter/The News & Observer via AP

Don’t you wonder what he was looking at in the moment?

May all be well.

 

About Al

Retired from a couple of professions, trying my hand at writing about the events in our lives.
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16 Responses to Dodging the Proverbial Bullet….

  1. Janet says:

    Having grown up in Miami Florida, I am very familiar with Hurricanes. But it is the flooding with this one that is the most heartbreaking to me as the devastation will require much tearing down and rebuilding. I do not know if the smaller rural areas will be able to do so.

    Interesting about your Elmira comment…my father’s aunt and uncle lived there until there deaths in the late 1960s. We spent many summers driving from Miami to Elmira to see them. As a child who lived in South Florida in a single story home, their house that had a basement with a garage in the back was fascinating. My brother and I were entranced with the basement–even though all it was dark and had in it was a snow blower and the like. It was an adventure to us to creep down there and wander around!

    • Al says:

      Fascinating, Janet. We moved from Elmira when I was 13 years old. Now of course, all my family that was living there has passed so I rarely get back there. Sad to say it is a town kind of dying on the vine. It was pretty vibrant when I was growing up with lots of industry but most have moved to greener pastures.

      As for the basements, you are so right. I remember our basement as rather dank but that’s where the old timey washtub was with its attached roller for wringing out the clothes. The ping-pong table was down there too, not to mention the coal bin!

  2. peter wells says:

    I am glad the hurricane was at least downgraded to a storm but I know the wind and rainfall can be very destructive. I always think, rightly or wrongly, that Islands seem to get it even worse because there is not enough land to calm the hurricane down. Here in the UK we complain about the weather on an almost daily basis but anything like destructive weather is very unusual I’m pleased to say. I am glad you are OK and hope you hear from your wider family soon 🙂

    • Al says:

      We were so, so fortunate as it missed us by the thinnest of margins. My step-brother and his wife got through with only minimal damage and were not flooded out. They were on a rise that kept them dry. I know well about the UK weather, but that’s why you all have those charming ruddy complexions!

  3. Whew ! That was close Al ! Glad you can breath again 🙂

  4. Cathy Zemlick says:

    We’re so glad to hear you’re all safe and well!

  5. Marc J Zemlick says:

    I was struck by the emotion on the gentleman’s face and was not aware of the kitten on his shoulder until I pointed out the picture to Cathy. Your comment suddenly became crystal clear and was spot on. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Dor says:

    I too grew up with hurricanes. They are tests of strength and courage and times when people helping people are the best of the best.

  7. Wrapping you, Patty and your loved ones in love, my dear Bro. ❤ xXx

  8. Susie Lindau says:

    That hurricane was so intense! I’m glad you survived, Al. It could have been so much worse.

    • Al says:

      Thanks, Susie, you re so right. We were planning on riding it out, well provisioned, mostly due to having the two pups. I was afraid we might not get back into this area for many days if it hit. Can you imagine several days in a strange motel with two dogs?

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