Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Three Hurricane Experiences or I'll Take Earthquakes Any Day

1. If this particular hurricane had a name, I don't remember it. We knew we were traveling south to Norfolk VA as the hurricane was heading toward the same destination. Our goal, to get there before it did. We nearly made it. Winds were blowing about 50 miles an hour when sailor husband checked me into a cheap motel with our two daughters, one 3 the other, one month old. We had no food with us except formula, no way to heat the baby's bottles. Manager loaned me a one burner hot plate and a sauce pan--but I still needed food to eat for me and my other daughter. The only other person in the motel was the maid, I asked her to babysit the girls while I braved the horrible wind and rain to get to a grocery store where I bought crackers, p-nut butter and soup. I don't remember all the details, just that through the worst of the storm we were holed up in that dingy room because hubby was ordered to stay on the base. I do remember how scared I was.

2. This was that same year after we lived in Navy housing off base. Another hurricane visited, this time I was braver. Hubby, I and kids went to the beach to watch the huge waves. The wind tore the heavy front door off the apartment house. A cargo ship went aground and the foreign sailors waded ashore and ate at the beach restaurants.

3. I know the name of this one, she was called Isabel. We flew into DC, rented a car (a brand new one) and were told to hurry to our destination which was hubby's hometown of Cambridge MD where we were to attend hubby's class reunion. I was also supposed to have a book event at the local library the next day, but it was called off. I stopped in at the bookstore I had a signing lined up for the following day and I told them I'd be there no matter what. (Ha!)

That night the news was full of the weather--of course. We were staying with hubby's relatives who lived right on the Chesapeake Bay. The electricity went out during the night. When we woke up the next morning, there was no yard, only water.

Our brand new rental car was bobbing in the front of the house as it floated. A young neighbor man came to check on us, wearing his chest high waders. He tied our car to the front porch. Everyone feared when the tide went out, the car would go with it.

People went by in boats where the road had been. A bit later kids swam in the front yard. There was no way I could go anywhere that day. We had plenty to eat, our hostess prepared well, and we played board games.

The tide did go out finally, relatives in a big truck came and got us and took us to their house where they still had electricity so we could shower.

We called the rental car place and because we'd taken out flood insurance a huge truck brought us another car and took the ruined one away.

My husband's high school reunion was still held the day it had been planned for and we went and had a great time.

Hubby's relatives lost their pier and their cars were ruined, but the house came through without a problem. We saw many homes that weren't so fortunate.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost so much during this latest hurricane.

Frankly, I think I'll stay on the West Coast from now on.



  1. Wow, Marilyn! You certainly have had a most eventful life! Three hurricanes is at least two too many. (Although no hurricanes would be optimal.) Glad you survived them all so you could tell the tales!

  2. I think I'll stay in the midwest where we don't have enough water for hurricanes and earthquakes are abnormal. Of course, we get a of tornados. It probably all balances out. My thoughts are with everyone who survived the hurricanes and who is now dealing with the aftermath!

  3. Thanks, Susan. I sort of go with the flow no matter what's going on. The scariest was when I had my two babies with me in a brand new place where I knew no one. The motel maid and I became friends before it was all over.

    Joelle, earthquakes can do lots of damage but they don't last long. I've never been in a tornado, but I've seen them from afar. Once in awhile we have one in California, but they don't do much damage.