R is for Rain Storms

and other weather extremes

Long Island’s hurricane season goes from early summer to November-ish. Tropical storms brew off the African coast and make their way across the Atlantic, aiming for Caribbean islands and the Florida coast while picking up speed and dumping sheets of rain. If we are lucky, the hurricanes veer off to sea before reaching the northeast coasts of New Jersey and New York. Flooding and crazy surfing conditions are certain. 

The one advantage of hurricanes is that we see it coming and can prepare. 

In 1985, Hurricane Gloria barreled up the coast and hit Long Island with a vengeance. My husband, Matt and I lived three miles from the Great South Bay, in a cozy cottage with our two and half year old daughter, Sara. I was nine months pregnant with my second baby and the storm hit on my due date. 

We secured the house, the boats, and helped my parents since their backyard was the Great South Bay. The flashlights had fresh batteries, the bathtub in the finished basement was filled (we had a water well and expected a power outage) and I assured the obstetrician’s nurse that I was fine ( I failed to report the Braxton-Hicks contractions). 

Gloria hit, blowing down trees, flooding streets, and knocking out the electricity. Windows rattled. The giant chokecherry tree in the backyard toppled onto the neighbor’s garage and threatened to crush Sara’s play set. We saw the uprooted tree leaning over during the eye of the storm when the wind and rain ceased for a few minutes before the storm moved on, backhanding its wrath. 

The storm left as quickly as it came. We did not have power for a week. The hospital was on generator power. I held onto my pregnancy. My mother-in-law, a nurse, took my blood pressure regularly. The tree removal and neighbor’s garage repair had to wait for insurance adjusters. 

In the end, I had my daughter, Hallie-beautiful and healthy in every way, exactly a week after the hurricane. And we saved the play set. 

My theme for the 2022 AtoZ Blog Challenge is titled Grand Prompts To Ask Your Grands. Each day in April I will present a conversation starter/journal prompt to ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, older neighbors, co-workers, yourself…you get the idea. The questions are meant to forge connections between and within generations and inspire storytelling and journaling. 

Pray for Peace

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The Heart of Bakers and Artists

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Becoming America’s Food Stories

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

11 thoughts

    1. It was kind of funny. The hospital had record births when the storm came through. I had to cook what I had in the freezer for the baby’s welcome ti the world party at a friend’s house whi had power. The extra week was needed. When the day came, she was lined up perfectly, 2 pushes and all 10lbs of her was born.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That was the strongest storm/hurricane I had experienced since moving to CT. We had no power for almost 2 weeks. I can’t imagine being pregnant at that time… and that you held onto her for another week! Thankfully I had a gas stove, so cooking went well, coffee could be percolated, but hubby had to search for ice almost daily. That was a job in itself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. U faced a storm just before due date !! WOW , must have been scary– am glad things didnt get escalated. We too face storms in India now and then but as am not in coastal area, comparatively dont face the wrath that much but its a matter of time with climatic changes , low lying areas getting impacted – Anything can happen

    Dropping by from a to z “The Pensive”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a powerful memory, Antoinette. I have great memories of thunderstorms and rain sounding on the roof in my childhood (our rains out here don’t come close to matching these memories). Still, none of my rainstorms were as dramatic as yours…and thankfully no hurricanes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna. My sister in law lives in Oklahoma where tornado reign from May to July. I’ll take a hurricane.


  4. I love rain and enjoy a good rain storm as long as there is not too much damage. Living in Los Angeles we rarely see rain let alone a good rainstorm.

    I was staying in Charlotte NC when hurricane Hugo hit in 1989. That was one of the biggest storms I ever went through. The power was off where I was staying for about a week. The night of the storm I decided to park my car on the street which was a good thing because when daylight came I saw that our parking lot was covered by fallen trees. If I had parked in the place where I usually parked my little VW Rabbit would have been smashed.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

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