“The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.”

Some mornings all the elements converge just right and the most gorgeous day dawns. Today is one of those mornings. The breeze is from the north, and I could smell the ocean when I was out with Gracie. Both of us stayed on the deck, not wanting to come inside. The smell of the salt water flooded my mind’s eye with familiar images. I saw the ocean with its tiny whitecaps hitting the sand. I saw the grasses atop the dunes dancing, blown by the slight breeze.

The morning air is cool today. Sharp sunlight glints through the trees hanging over the deck and leaves shadows of armlike branches. The small round mirrors hanging from the pine branches send a reflection of white circles bouncing around the side yard. The birds fly in and out, and I was glad I filled the feeders yesterday.

Today in all its glory needs to be savored.

I’m watching the news about Hurricane Harvey. I know what it’s like to dread the coming wind, rain and high water. I remember Hurricane Bob. It left trees across roads, wires hanging from split telephone poles and branches all over streets and yards. I lost a fir tree in my front yard, my second Christmas tree, but I still felt lucky because the tree fell away from the house. Stores were closed. I was without electricity for days. I cooked all of the freezer meat on the grill trying to save it. I drove all over to find ice. I couldn’t believe the damage I saw. It took a long while for the clean-up and for everything to get back to normal.

On August 25th 1954, two amazing events occurred. Hurricane Carol developed near the Bahamas and started its way toward New England. It would reach the coast days later, at the end of the month. Carol was devastating and deadly. Cape Cod was evacuated. More than 10,000 homes across New England were damaged including 1,545 that were completely destroyed. 3,000 boats and 3,500 automobiles were wrecked. Even Boston wasn’t spared. The wind sheared off the steeple of the Old North Church. Though I was only seven, I have memories of this storm. The giant, old elm tree across from my house went down and fell on the street making the road impassable. My father brought my brother and me outside during the eye of the hurricane to see the tree, and we climbed among the branches. I remember how still it was and how quiet.

The second amazing event was my sister Moe was born. Today she turns 63. She was under 5 pounds at birth so the hospital kept her until she gained more weight. That was the practice back then. She was still in the hospital when we lost electricity so we glad she was. By the time she came home, our house was back to normal.

My sister and Carol are forever joined in my memory.  That’s not to say they have anything in common except both were born on the same day.

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18 Comments on ““The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Its that time of year. New releases crowd each Friday and my friends at amazon bring me new stuff each week to listen to. Steven Wilson’s “To the bone” marched in to my house and literally blew my ears apart, and not just because I was playing it really loud. I have been begging my friend im6 to find a stream of the disc – I know that he did not like “Hand.Cannot.Erase” but I am hoping this fits his wheel house.

    This evening Iron and Wine’s acidic lyrics delivered in an acoustic melodic form will be sitting in the mail box. I have listened to it courtesy of amazons auto rip and its ok, which means I will grow to like it.

    Meanwhile yesterday they made the draw for the group stages of the Champions League and wouldn’t you know it, the Bochum Belle’s Borussia Dortmund have been drawn in the same group as Tottenham Hotspur. I am not sure I can bring myself to open hostilities with Birgit, but first game between the two teams is on September 13th.

    Tiger town and our (not so) fab baseball team made the World news last night for three bench clearing brawls with those odious Wankees. I still don’t get why pitching at a players head isn’t an automatic 20 game suspension. Their catcher got pounded by the heavy weight that is Cabrera.

    • Bob Says:

      Trying to get an edge on your opponent is a long established baseball tradition including cheating and violence. Brushing the batter back in the batter’s box is part of the game along with sliding into second base looking to take away that double play away. Several rules now make it harder than in the past. A ground keeper can help win several games a year. Bill Veeck who owned the St.Louis Browns, Indians and White Sox had the grounds keeper move the left field chain link fences in Cleveland’s old Municipal Sdadium out another ten feet when the Yankees came to town.

      • Hedley Says:

        Gotcha but I still think the ball to the head is a straight red and 20 games.

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, I had to smile and think of you when I heard in the news that our teams meet again. Maybe some short-term friendly hostilities on November 21st? September 13th is a Wednesday which means chorus rehearsal in Dortmund so I can’t watch the first game. We’ll get to know the goals in between, it’s soccer town Dortmund after all. BVB! BVB!

      Kat, ask any German what happened in 1954 and the only possible answer is that we’ve won the soccer World Cup 🙂

      • katry Says:

        I like the priority of the World Cup in 1954. It something I totally understand. Ask any Red Sox fan what happened in 2004 and winning the World Series will be the answer.

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit, skip the rehearsal, this is too important. Of course you are selling all you best players, as usual.

        Hmmmm, maybe I can get myself worked in to a “be mean to the Bochum Belle” frenzy by the 13th…Come on you Spurs

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Now I will have to go and listen to Steven Wilson as I don’t know him at all. I’ll head on over to iTunes and give a listen.

      I do like Iron and Wine so I’ll want to hear what you think after hearing it a couple of times.

      Perhaps friendly bantering is in order between you and Birgit. You have plenty of time to prepare your remarks.

      I saw the brawl a couple of times on NESN and on the news. I was amazed at the number of players ousted from the game. It reminded me of a brawl the Sox had with the Yankees. It unloaded the bullpen also and Zimmer got tossed to the ground by Pedro.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hurricane Harvey is the first crisis for Trump that he didn’t create himself. Hopefully, he will do a better job than ‘W’ did when Katrina struck New Orleans. Somehow, the lack of urgency to help people stranded in the domed stadium and on rooftops afterwards by the administration seemed based on the fact that New Orleans is primarily a black city. Corpus Christi is a majority Hispanic city and South Texas is a Democratic stronghold.

    I don’t understand people who want to ride out a major hurricane. My life is far more important than my possessions or my property. The few very important things I can pack in the trunk of the car and leave. Everything else is covered by insurance. The storm surge brings out poisonous water snakes and gators looking for some dry place to ride out the storm like your garage.

    I took the day off from work to burn up vacation time from last year. We can only keep one additional year. Today has been cloudy and cool but very humid.

    • katry Says:

      I think Trump is on top of this as he saw what Katrina did to Bush. This is when he can look presidential. I just hope he won’t bring Play Doh.

      I remember reading about some friends who decided to have a hurricane party to wait out the storm. None of them survived. I don’t get that either. Hurricane Bob was fierce. I’m thinking we haven’t had a hurricane in a while so I’m afraid we might be due.

      • Bob Says:

        Of course, Texas is a very red state so it might be different. I’m not as optimistic about Trump ever acting presidential even in the face of a disaster.

      • katry Says:

        I think those around him will remind him of Bush and what happened.

  3. sprite Says:

    Happy birthday to Moe!

  4. im6 Says:

    I’ll probably post a longer comment on Facebook, Hedley, but so far I don’t share your enthusiasm for Mr. Wilson. He’s not bad, but it never engages me. The first song sounds a little Stone Roses-ish to me and Refuge (and some others) remind me of Peter Gabriel. Once upon a time, that would have been a good thing, but one day I simply grew weary of Pete and now can’t listen to him without being bored out of my mind. Proceed with caution, Kat.

  5. olof1 Says:

    It is quite nice here today, a mix between cloudy and sunny and just enough warm but the few remaining flies behave nasty si I guess we might have thunder later today. We’ve had very little thunder thius year and almost all of it has missed this village.

    I remember my first hurricane, it was 1969., I can still remember the tiles aflying away from the roofs. The worst one we’ve had was Gudrun and she tore down more trees than we cut down in three years. Almost the entire southern Sweden were out of power, we here onlky for a few hours but my mother didn’t have any electricity for over two months and this was in the middle of the winter. That I hope I’ll never have to experience again.

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Your flies do hang around for a long time. We have a short fly season which seems longer as they are so annoying.

      We had a perfect day yesterday, and it feels the same this morning.

      I never gave a thought to hurricanes other than here and the Caribbean. The hurricanes never come in winter, only summer, late summer, and fall. The snow is our winter enemy. I have lost power for a long time because of snow.

      I looked up Gudrun. They called it a cyclone and said it was the same as a category 1 hurricane. “About 415,000 homes lost power in Sweden and several thousand of these were without power for many days and even weeks in some cases, as about 10,000 homes were still without power after three weeks.” Now imagine that storm intensified to a category 3 which is what hit Texas.

      Have a great day!

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