If you know me well, you know I do not like storms. It’s not really storms themselves, because I do not mind the rain, lightening, or thunder, but it’s specifically the wind. Yes, I am terrified of wind (when it is associated with storms). This is a deep rooted fear that likely goes back to being stuck in a few really back thunderstorms/tornadoes when I was pretty young. I’m talking preschool to early elementary school years.
So I am sure you are asking, why in the world would you move somewhere where there is a huge threat of hurricanes? Well my friends, that is a great question. Charleston is a lovely place and we absolutely love living here….except for the traffic and of course hurricanes. One of these days, I am going to write a blog about why we were drawn to this city and why it’s so great, but for now, we’ll stick to the main reason I do not like living here.
We moved to Charleston about four and a half years ago. That means we have now lived here for four hurricane seasons and we have either evacuated or considered evacuating 3 out of the 4 years due to hurricanes. The first year was great! It was a mild summer, not too much heat or humidity, followed by a mild hurricane season. But after that first year, things have gone down hill. First there was Matthew, then there was Irma, and now Florence….good ole Florence.
Flo had this town all shook up and worried. First she was supposed to turn and stay off shore, then she decided to come directly toward Charleston, then we heard she might just turn up north with a Myrtle Beach or Wilmington landfall. She was pretty unpredictable from the start. But when it comes to hurricanes, this town or state doesn’t play around. As of Tuesday, the whole coast of South Carolina started shutting down. You guys CVS shut down and isn’t reopening until Sunday morning. That in itself is a miracle and meant no work for me!
I had already taken the weekend off to attend a medical conference in downtown Charleston. It was going to be mine and Kevin’s first time staying away from the kids over night. I was actually really excited about everything that was supposed to happen this weekend; the medical conference, staying downtown and exploring the city that I love, being kidless with my husband if only just for two days. Well, Flo just ruined it all.
Instead of packing for our staycation, we were glued to the weather channel trying to decide if we needed to leave. The governor released an evacuation order and my first instinct is always to leave, but Kevin wanted to wait this one out to see if we really needed to leave. All of the previous hurricanes we’ve experienced, we left and left early. Fortunately, he made the right call and we were able to stay safely.
I can’t help but feel that writing this blog and being happy and relieved that we didn’t suffer a direct hit is a little bit selfish, especially seeing the devastation that our neighbors in North Carolina are living through. This one narrowly missed us, but there are so many suffering. Where I can image packing up your kids and some belongings not really knowing what you’ll return to (because we’ve done that twice), I can’t image the reality of your worst fears coming true and coming back to such devastation. I pray that that I will never experience that. Fortunately, this time we just got a little rain and mild wind.
While the rain and wind we have gotten really wasn’t enough to shut down this city for nearly 5 days, I am thankful for this time. Even though it wasn’t spent as originally planned, it was time I needed that I didn’t know I needed. Some people are annoyed and frustrated saying that the governor over-reacted, but I am thankful. Thankful that this state was prepared and ready to handle the worst and thankful for the unexpected time off to spend with my husband and kids. We’ve slept in each morning. Had breakfast together every morning without worrying about being late for work. We played, played, and then played some more. We spent an afternoon downtown, exploring our city, Charleston, shut down, without the hustle of it’s normal daily activities. We camped out downstairs just in case we lost power the night Flo came to town. So while we are a little stir crazy, my heart is full of giggles and laughs from the last 5 days.
While, I do not wish a visit from Flo or any other future storm on anyone, if you must be inconvenienced by a natural disaster or change in your daily routine for whatever reason, go with the flow and savor the positive moments that you may not have experienced otherwise.
Here’s a few personal pictures from our trip downtown. Charleston is a lovely town. A photographer’s dream.