I’ve already named a blog Hurricane Jack, so I was majorly bummed when I couldn’t use that title for this blog. I think most of you who read my blogs are/were affected by Hurricane Florence. For our area, we experienced power outages at home & our business (an ice cream shop for those that aren’t familiar with the world’s largest strawberry), lots of rain, & wind. Being without power at home is no biggie for me, I was raised in the boondocks of Ellerbe. Anytime a storm brewed, our power went out. When Hurricane Hugo came through in 1989, we were out of power for nearly two weeks. Thankfully, Daddy kept us going with the help of a generator. When we knew a hurricane or ice storm was coming, we had to draw water up because they have a well, make sure no clothes were in the dirty clothes basket, get the candles together, flashlights, Daddy would load & unload the generator, gas up the cars, get extra gas for the generators, & so on. Much like many of us did in preparation for Florence. With Florence, we only lost power at our home for 36 hours-that’s great compared to two weeks! During Hugo, I was a teenager & big hair was the rage. The worst part of that hurricane was having to make appearances with flat, lifeless hair! The worst part of Florence was dealing with a computer/iPad junkie named Jack! It was like a coke addict who could not get their next hit. I’ve heard of people talk about their animals acting strange prior to a storm, the same holds true for children & particularly Jack. My aunt who drove a school bus & was a teacher assistant for many years, always said children got wacky when it rained. Turns out she was right! Prior to the hurricane actually hitting when the local channels were going crazy with excitement about the possibility of the hurricane in their viewing area, this made Jack go even more nuts. He couldn’t sit still, needed constant attention, touching me all the time. Jack’s behavior prior to a storm, is very much like an animal sensing something with the weather, he went wacky. Sadly, Friday morning our power went out around 8am & did not get restored until 6:30pm Saturday night. I am not complaining because the power was out, but trying to give perspective on the addict. Jack could not wrap his head around the why we were out of power. He kept flicking the light switches, messing with the router, his computer. Lee had a generator & was able to give him power for his devices but there was no internet. He wallowed around on me & interrogated me about the power. The child even got so desperate, he prayed. Jack never prays. He prayed that the power would please come back on. When night was upon us, he worried me to pieces about the candles I had lit. Wanting to cart them around the house, eventually blowing them all out (he nearly burned down the house once with a candle once-a story for another time), putting the flashlights in our eyes constantly. Gah, we needed a Valium for us & him! Lee’s Aunt Vickie & Uncle Chuck helped us by having Jack over for a few hours since they had power. They were sanity savers!
Lee, my Daddy, & a local friend spent the week prepping for the hurricane. Buying parts for the huge generator to run The Berry Patch. There is so much work involved in farming. A lot of the labor goes into preparing the farm for weather or a weather disaster. Not only did Lee have the farm to worry about, he had to worry about the homemade ice cream in storage. Thursday afternoon, we spend the latter part of the day boarding up the produce stand & boxing up jarred items & things that could potentially fall-which was basically everything . We absolutely could not lose that inventory. The power went off several times at the big strawberry & Lee had to leave & start the generator several tunes. Pictured below is the enormous giant generator used to power The Berry Patch. We are forever thankful for farmer friends & Daddy’s.
As the hurricane continues to pass through our area today, Jack has been much more manageable, but that’s not saying a lot. If I was lying around reading, I was be summoned to his room. If I was walking by, I was called in his room. The hum of the generator was definitely not a pleasant noise, kind of reminded me of being at the State Fair, I just needed a funnel cake, a lemonade, & greasy french fries to complete the scene.
Coleman & Ava stayed with Mama & Daddy since they had power most of the time. Other than damage to our mental states & becoming partially blind from having a flashlight in our eyes at all times, we are thankful for safety, the men & women who provide us with luxuries & then repairing them, our first responders (in which we have needed so often), & caring family & friends. As we all recover from this storm, please remember to support your local businesses. A lot were closed for several days & that hurts the pocketbook, support when you can. Now it’s back to awaiting for Jack’s sleeping pill to kick in & fall asleep to the Golden Girls-I’ve missed those ladies!