Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A Hurricane State
I grew up in eastern North Carolina, and spent my summers in Atlantic Beach. I remember evacuating our beach place a handful of time, most vividly for Hugo.
I'm always panicked here about driving in snow and ice (less panicky as each year goes on, given I drive in conditions that would have seemed apocalyptic in my previous life). When early warnings about the hurricane began to emerge, I thought it might be my chance to be blase about a weather event. I was wrong, and was shown once again that weather humbles us quickly.
We attended a wedding on Saturday night when the rain started. Minutes after the ceremony, we were drinking wine and kicking off our high heels on a beautiful farmstead when an ominous cloud appeared on the mountain range. A half hour later, the rain was coming down in sheets.
Frasier, in a lovely hot-air balloon maxi dress, took the opportunity to flee the tent and dance (all by herself and of her own accord) on the patio in the rain. It was the kind of moment when, as a mother, you are both proud and mortified...mostly proud. Like the weather, that girl is mercurial.
The rain and winds picked up as the night wore on, and we endured the storm for hours. It was rarely violent - just constant. Many of us even went for a run (which was the most electrifying run of my life - I was soaked and got a jolt of adrenaline every time a gust shook the trees.)
Only that evening did we begin to understand the full impact of the hurricane. Our grocery store was flooded, local roads wiped out. Wilmington and Brattleboro, two small towns where we like to visit with friends, were hard hit. We only have a leaky basement and downed sunflowers - others were not so lucky. The video of the Bartonsville covered bridge going down is a punch in the gut to any Vermonter.
If you're looking for ways to help VT, check this site on Blurt. They say: "Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need."
I'm confident that our beautiful state will rally - if there is one thing I have learned about Vermonters, it's that they make generous neighbors. (And they're good with power tools, women included.)
And to those end-of-days crazy fools (I want to call you something worse) who are babbling about VT receiving such floods because we're so liberal - please. If you think prioritizing equality and the environment warrants devastating flood waters, you, quite simply, aren't kind or rational. Good luck with that.
I've never lived in a state that I'm prouder to call home.