Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Window Seat -

Crossing the Rocky Mountains - August 2018

I still prefer the window seat in order get a view when the clouds allow. . . . . . and
 of course to take photos of the often wild and awesome scenery below.
These days, on long haul flights, especially over night, I often take an aisle seat 
which makes it easier to get out if seat mates are sleeping.

Our trip planned for this week was somewhat questionable when
Hurricane Florence paid us a visit, but thankfully it looks like we'll make it. 
Planning to meet up with two very special long time blogging friends - and
many of you already know these lovely ladies - in one of our favorite cities
 on a beautiful island.
Western Canada we'll soon be on our way!
More later!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hurricane Florence update + simple comfort food -

No comfortable feelings when looking out the windows at the mess surrounding
 us, and more still falling from the remnants of Hurricane Florence on this grey, 
dreary, soaking wet Sunday morning. But we are grateful, so grateful, that we have
 been spared major damage and unbelievable flooding now coming to so many
 areas of this state. Florence has impacted the entire state of North Carolina
and part of South Carolina also.
We still have bands of gusty winds and drenching rain circling but, unless trees
 fall due to saturated ground (and the rain will continue through Tuesday), we
 should be OK other than the possibility of power outages. 

Funny how 'comfort food' can be so personal. My go to food in times
 of worry and upset, has always been my simple childhood breakfast of
 toast and marmalade.
Very English I guess, and something that continues as a staple in my kitchen,
 crusty wholemeal toasting bread, butter, and a pot of perfect marmalade.
 Add a mug of strong black coffee, or a cup of hot tea, and calm comes
 with each crunch and sip. 

To our dear friends in western North Carolina, stay safe as Florence
 pays you a visit today. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hurricane Florence. . . . . . .and an excuse for a party!

We're doing OK so far and thank you so much for all the good wishes you sent, 
and continue to send, as we remain hunkered down watching the drenching rains fall.

Before turning in for the night Thursday, Bob and I took a walk down our street. It was quite eerie, silent, not a person visible, most lights out, most vehicles parked at the bottom of driveways away from towering backyard trees. We could make out heavy clouds skidding across the sky. The sound of the wind already rustling through the tree tops was somewhat spine-chilling - it was reminiscent of a Halloween night but without colorful goblins and fairies with their trick or treat bags. Later it was a noisy night with continuous things falling on the roof, thankfully so far just twigs and smaller branches - Nature pruning our oaks!  

Yesterday I got up early, headed into the kitchen to bake muffins and pizzas to share with our neighbors, just in case we lost power later. We watched live TV coverage from the coast as it was slammed by Florence's eye making landfall. In the afternoon we were in touch with several neighbors as the wind picked up and the heavy rain squalls started. We decided to have an impromptu Hurricane Party here early evening. It helped us all unwind a little while enjoying drinks, snacks, and good conversation about things other than the hurricane.

Today, the stronger winds subsided early morning, but now drenching bands of rain have come and will last for several days as Florence continues to move away from us very slowly - life threatening flooding, power outages and falling trees remain serious concerns. 

Our thoughts go out to friends in coastal areas of both North and South Carolina, inland areas and now also to those in western North Carolina where Florence will apparently turn and head north in the coming days. . . . . .the entire state will definitely be saturated. Stay safe. . . . . . 

. . . . . and keep your wellies handy!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Calm before the storm. . . . . . . .

Today we await the visit from Hurricane Florence. She continues a path
 toward the North Carolina coast to make her landfall tomorrow at a
 beach town we often enjoy, the one we always visit in Autumn which is our
 favorite season at our beautiful coast.

I know I've been overly stressed and short tempered for the past couple
 of days as the media bombards us with a mishmash of
  'end of the world', 'fire and brimstone' destruction stories, and yes perhaps 
that's what will happen. It's all in the hands of a greater power from hereon.

This morning when I read the words 'we are in peril' somewhere on my screen
 here, I realized only too well that a huge part of our area is in imminent danger 
from winds and rain, structural damage, and massive flooding, during the coming days.

Juvenile American robins on the front porch.

Even our birds have disappeared from the garden. Do they know 
something is amiss and have 'evacuated' further inland to a 
safer place?  
These young robins, and other fruit eaters, have decided the fig tree no
 longer looks like a place for breakfast.

Our cottage almost looks unlived in today - bare porch, no more hanging 
baskets and feeders, furniture stored away, pots moved. . . . . . just
the grill left out on the back deck in case we lose power and have to 
cook outside. Bob was able to get propane yesterday after three days
of trying, and we also managed to find gas for the cars. Tomorrow we'll 
 park in a deck at the nearby shopping center as we have so many huge
 trees around us - nowhere is safe for the cars even on our street - and as
we are on a cul-de-sac we only have one exit which could be blocked 
by fallen trees.
Memories of the damage we sustained in Hurricane Fran (1996) from trees
 falling on the house, one destroying my car in the driveway, no power for
 10 days, then months of clean up, remind us how we take modern day life
 for granted until those 'perils' arrive. . . . . . and of the mighty power of Nature!

Thanks so much for all the good wishes that we stay safe in the
days ahead. We too are hoping the best for our family, friends and
 neighbors both here locally and scattered across North Carolina.
 I'll be back here as long as we have power. 

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