Just a quickie to let you all know we are riding this one out here in Onley. The rain started during the night - we have had 1 inch so far. The wind has not started, tho there have been gusts over 35 mph recorded at the airport, 5 miles away from here.
As many of you know, I started packing up and putting things away as far back as last Monday. It is amazing how much junk sits out where a wind of 100 mph can pick it up and blow it away, to say nothing of my carport that often acts like a wind tunnel anyway. Even tho it is attached to the house, if you have seen this blog in the winter time, you will know that does not mean things don't get wet. I have posted pictures of the van covered with snow while parked on the carport, so I was not surprised to see the van dripping wet this morning when I got up.
As many of you also know, we were expecting to evacuate - the plan was to leave Friday morning... the cages are in the van, cat food, kitty litter, people food, water, but I have brought my medicine bag (toiletries, Rx, etc) and suitcase back inside. So, we were all set, but Spook had other plans. He did not show up for breakfast, so I could not catch him. And I was not going to leave him behind. Then, too, I did not know what I was going to do with 4 cats up there in a house smaller than what I have here, tho I considered taking 2 of the cats over to my house and separating them that way. Basically, I did not get any sleep Thurs night trying to figure it all out. Having outside cats that HATE being inside a house is a problem. Punkin is elderly, he was not young when he arrived here during Hurricane Isabel with a young 3 or 4 month old Spook by his side. Punk has health issues, so that would have to be addressed. Even bringing him in the house here has been a problem, and I bet if one brought Spook in, he would smash thru the glass windows in an attempt to get back outside. Then there is Hadji - if you read my blog regularly, you know he is diabetic, but currently is maintained without insulin. The stress of an 8 hour trip in the van might set him over the edge. The cats have never been in the van for more than 10-15 minutes, just long enough to get to the vet or home.
Then there is MY personal problem - fear. I hate driving, hate bumper to bumper traffic, am terrified of interstates, and then there is the physical strain of that long drive even without all the evacuation traffic (150,000 tourists from Ocean City, MD, alone!) as all the seaside people are being told to get out. Then there is the physical problem of carrying the cages and cats into a house, especially down the steps into my house if I stashed 2 cats there and kept 2 in my uncle's house. See why I could not get any sleep? Putting up with 24 hours of hurricane seemed easier. I guess we will know in a day or 2 if that was the case.
So, here we are. As I type this, Irene is still south of the Outer Banks of NC. Hatteras has reported winds at 87 mph. We are praying the path jogs a bit more in a easterly direction and takes the eye a bit further off our coast. There has been a mandatory evacuation of our islands and coastal communities, both seaside and bayside. I live on what is called the spine of the peninsula, a half mile east of the RR tracks with an elevation of approximately 35 feet above sea level. we are about 3 miles (as the crow flies) from the ocean and 3 miles from the open Chesapeake Bay... but only 2 miles from the tidewater marsh on seaside and 2 miles from the harbor in Onancock Creek. If you draw a line due west from Richmond, you will find Onley. Irene is currently a Cat 1, not a 3 as she was yesterday, and for that I am ever so grateful.
I do want to thank those of you who have called and emailed to see how we are doing. If we have power tomorrow, I will post again. If not - well, I will when the power does come back and I have the time. Thanks for your prayers.