It appears I lost my tablet stylus at the hotel. One of the housekeepers probably thought it was a malfunctioning pen and tossed it. Oy. Anyway, I had to draw my trajectories (that’s right. You’ll see) with my track pad.
So let’s rewind to last week. Every weather update is on Irene, and how she’s headed straight for the coast, as a Cat. 3.
Remember, this is right after we had an earthquake that shook half of the country.
I know, West Coasters, it wasn’t a big earthquake. But we have nice, smooth tectonic plates on this side of the country, so even a little earthquake ripples for hundreds of miles. Your tectonic plates are worse than cellulite on tabloids. And don’t even get me started on the way you drive during snowstorms.
I digress. Anyway, a hurricane has never—as far as we know—hit the East Coast as a category 3. Not since 1850 anyway. How do I know? This nifty little map on Weather.com is full of bells and whistles.
Everybody is freaking out. My neighbor and I are watching the storm as it plows through the Caribbean to see if it will still hit our way. A year ago, there was a lot of hype about Hurricane Earl, which didn’t even make landfall. Instead, it meandered off the coast as a category one, whimpering with some pathetic drizzle and wind gusts I could outrun on a pogo stick. (Earl did have leave pretty significant difference to the atmosphere, however. The barometric pressure change made my water break…)
I’m sitting at home with a hurricane of my own.
As the governor (M) of my household, I declared a state of exigency and called for aid from overseas.
I once heard that cleaning with children around is like trying to shovel during a blizzard. Yes, those are peas.
On Thursday, my neighbor, our two babies, her dog, and a small mountain of toys and diapers all piled into her car and went to Garner, NC, where we shared a room for the next five days.
Of course, no matter how many toys we packed, the two little rompers got as excited about playing with water bottles as a group of grannies listening to Tom Jones.
Look at how much of a ham my kid is. He’s begun making faces in photographs (he gets that from my side).
He especially had a fun time bopping baby E on the head repetitively with one. She didn’t seem to mind.
Notice the cheesy smile he is already rocking.
We did this for a couple of days. Saturday is when the storm really kicked in. We were following the locals that decided to tough out the storm on Facebook. Lots of status updates about the wind, losing power, and rain.
Sometime during all of this, the wind was strong enough in Camp Lejeune to rip the trampoline in my next-door neighbor’s yard away from its anchor and roll it across their backyard.
As an expert in forensic science —what? Okay, fine, I took one class in high school. But I also watched hours of CSI and have read and watched stacks of mysteries, including Sherlock Holmes—this is what I imagine happened.
Trampoline hits fence and launches into the air.
We were probably in the motel room, doing nothing, watching movies on FX, or taking gender stereotypical photos of our babies.
Meanwhile, the trampoline was shooting across my driveway, spewing steel rods and springs everywhere…
See? He’s got a remote and she’s got a pink cell phone.
…as the tumbling conglomeration of bouncing polypropylene bounces across my yard.
I’m probably saying something like, “Dere’s da babies in dere widdle gender roles!” or “Who’s got the remote? Have you got the remote?”
The trampoline makes its final decent.
In the hotel 2 hours away, we have not lost power, and the strongest wind we’ve got is coming out of the air conditioner.
Still watching the weather, we thank God that the hurricane’s center missed Camp Lejeune by just a hair (see the star above), and was hurling winds of only 75mph, instead of 115. In Garner (see arrow), we had gusts up to 30 mph. No big deal there.
In the hotel, Little Champ shows his sweet side by patting baby E on the head. Nice baby.
Camp Lejeune gets 20 inches of rain.
Sunday, after Irene has mostly cleared from Coastal NC, we hear via Facebook that my neighbor’s trampoline is missing. Then that there is a trampoline in my neighbor’s neighbor’s yard.
First reports imply that it is in my yard. I am picturing steel rods stinking out of my house like porcupine needles.
One of my friend’s drives by our street and snaps a photo. It was blurred by the rain on the window, but we could tell that the trampoline was in front of my other neighbor’s house. As in, the neighbor I was sharing the motel room with. We had no idea how it got there. What did it do to my house in transit?
The power was still out and there was flooding and downed trees all over the base, so we decided to stay in Garner another night (Sunday) and leave in the morning. The weather was nice in Garner on Sunday, and since we had cabin fever (and were getting sick from having the A/C on, constantly drying out the air), we decided to go out to eat.
I gave Little Champ his first taste of Jello.
That right there is a victual fiesta.
I knew it would get everywhere (his legs were covered). I didn’t realize just how sticky he would be afterward!
We drove back on Monday afternoon. Beulaville was hit especially hard. We had heard about tornado warnings. Not sure if that is what happened there. Since we were driving through, I didn’t get any pictures.
This is the current state of our neighborhood:
There’s a large fallen tree in the center of the photo (looks like brush). Notice also the fallen tree in front of the yellow car, sticking out at a 45 degree angle.
This is someone’s front yard. There is a house behind/under those trees.
Four doors down from my house. The roots there are 8-9 feet tall.
Four-Five doors down. Same tree.
My neighbor’s backyard.
And in front of my neighbor’s house, there it was, in all its glory:
Personally, I think they could sell it for millions as “modern art.”
My Front Yard.
Again, with the apparent trajectory.
The trampoline itself completely missed my house and car, zig-zagging around it.
If that isn’t proof of answered prayer, I don’t know what is. If that thing had gone in a straight line or even an arched line, it would have taken out our Jeep and at least one room of our house. Instead, it changed directions. Twice.
That’s not all. Remember those steel rods I talked about?
Here’s one inches away from our Jeep. Not even a scratch. I’m wondering if it hit our driveway and rolled under the car. But it still surprised me that it wasn’t even resting up against the tire. An object in motion stays in motion, right? It could have rolled back after hitting the tire. Or it could have stopped a couple of inches away.
Another rod. No signs of it hitting the siding (which is pretty fragile). One foot in the wrong direction, and it would have gone through our front door or worse, through my baby’s nursery window.
Total damage to my house?
That shingle on the ground there came from the top part of my roof. That branch fell from my tree.
On the front of my house, one shingle is slightly bent.
Inside, I had to throw out all the food in my fridge and freezer and clean them because the power was out for 38 hours (I think). My freezer was covered in Tilapia juice, and my ice cream had melted.
Everything I lost in my fridge and freezer was covered by insurance.
But really, I’m happy because it gave me a reason to throw out all my yucky food (I kept the ketchup and soy sauce), give the thing a good cleaning, and buy healthy food instead!
I’ve got to get ready. My husband is coming home soon!!!!