|source: Earth Wind Map|
Dad loved watching the sky, noting the cloud formations and how they were moving. He loved storm watching. At every opportunity he would cajole his three daughters (we were not always the most willing) out onto the enclosed front porch to watch the lightning and count off the seconds until we heard the thunder. I confess that these were not always happy and carefree occasions. Sometimes the wind and the rain along with the natural pyrotechnics were just a bit scary. Particularly that one time when lightning struck the hydro pole not fifty feet from us. Suddenly there were four white-faced people, one adult and three children, all trying to get back through the narrow door into the house. It's comical now, but at the time anything but funny. So I do have a healthy respect for the forces of nature, but a storm chaser's heart.
|Fulton Walk, Breezy Point, 1970|
|Oceanside and Fulton Walk 2012, after Hurricane Sandy|
Most hurricanes and tropical storms head up the eastern seaboard in early September. Back when I was there, we had always packed up and headed back home across the border in late August. But in 1971, on August 28, Tropical Storm Doria caught up with us. She struck at night and I remember the howling wind and the driving rain. Sleep was impossible so we gathered round the dining table watching the chandelier sway and playing Pokeno. Then the tea and cinnamon toast came out. It the was the best!
I don't think Dad sat down for more than five minutes. He was in his element: tapping the barometer, taking observations from the back deck and listening to the National Weather Service radio. When there was a momentary lull in the wind and rain, we listened to the "plink plonk symphony" orchestrated by 5 saucepans and multiple drops from the leaking roof.
Hurricane Joaquin brings with him that great memory and one more -- the marriage of the weatherman and Irene, my Dad and my Mom. Mom died in August 2010 and Dad's been gone since 1984. I'd like to think that together they are at the helm of this one and will steer him clear of causing major destruction while maintaining the thrill of it all.
|National Hurricane Center Bulletin|
Current forecast models put Joaquin, now a Category 4 storm (an extremely dangerous storm), off of Breezy Point around 8am Tuesday, but the path remains uncertain. What is sure is that it will bring heavy rain and serious flooding across the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic.
Be careful out there and if you are one who is told to leave, do so!
I will be here, waiting out the storm. If I get out the Pokeno set, how be you get the tea and cinnamon toast? Together we can wait and watch and pray that all will be well.
©2015 April Hoeller