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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