Sunday, December 02, 2018

Whew! Hurricane "Season" is oficially over!

 So, today December 1,  marks the end of the 2018 Hurricane Season. Yay!

Had two close calls: "Florence" and "Michael" during a topsy-turvy weather half-a-year as we inched our way through sometimes harsh conditions.

Fires, floods, snow, tropical storms, hurricanes, and other assorted weather rolled across the country in 2018 and the most dangerous storm predicted locally was Florence as it seemed to be headed to blast through the Lowcountry.

Sounded ominous enough that on the internet, there appeared pop-up sites to request shelter as families were told to evacuate and head away from impending danger.

Just as pleas for help were being posted, so were compassionate offers of a place to stay and hunker down until the danger passed.

I felt fairly safe and prepared as I hauled out my 12-year old generator, made sure it cranked up and gathered a supply of gas.

As it turned out, both storms struck just a glancing blow!

That was great news as I have never had to use my generator during a storm or suffer an extended loss of power.

It always starts right up when I test it but fortunately, I never had to try it in the dark, in the rain and with winds buffeting me from every direction!

And a nervous cat upstairs, impatiently waiting for me to get the lights back on.

But, in the spirit of being a nice guy who had a comfortable spare bedroom and bath available, I posted my offer of shelter and awaited responses.

Nothing happened during Florence but I felt I had offered a good deed.

Thanks, Rolling Stones for "Gimme Shelter!"

Now, the storm Michael was never a severe threat and there was less really scary talk as it approached South Carolina.

BUT, to some, even a small danger had to be considered.

I did hear from a young couple who wanted to make a few changes to feel safe.

They were camping - in a tent - somewhere in Mount Pleasant and asked if my offer was still good.

I could not picture a KOA - or any campsite - East of the Cooper but, I asked a few questions, they packed up and headed to my home in Hanahan.

All of my "camping" had been done while I was in the Marines many, many years ago.

Back then, my tent was small, olive drab green camo, and was rolled up in my backpack.

My clothes also were that nice shade of green so we would blend in. and I had been issued a metal canteen and wore a steel helmet.

When my children were small, I tried to recreate the glamor and excitement of sleeping outside, under the stars in my Tallahassee backyard.

 But it didn't turn out to be a happy evening for them or the kittens. The mosquitoes did just fine.

Oh, I almost forgot, I also had enjoyed some "tent time" during Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany a few years ago.

Nobody there was wearing olive drab.

The massive "tents" held about 5,000 revelers and another 2,000 serving staff.

And various Oomp-Pah- Pah bands.

Some were even in short pants...wearing suspenders!

And all were drinking large glasses of beer.

But, back to the young Nomadic couple who parked in my backyard and waved a greeting at me when I stepped out on my deck.

I asked about the flowers on the dash and was told the wife liked flowers but, of course,  these were plastic.

Upstairs, as we chatted and got to know each other, I learned they had been camping all around 6 or 7 states for months.

Their next destination after Charleston was a person's backyard down in Beaufort.

Of course, this camping decision depended on where the storm Michael headed.

We settled in, they brought their stuff upstairs and into their room.

I asked if they wished to use my washer and dryer?

They immediately thanked me and started running their clothes through the cycles as our conversations continued.

Married only a few years, the mid-20s couple had decided to see the country before settling down and had no particular place - or state - in mind. They were enjoying the travel but did look forward to a real bed for the evening!

He noticed my guitar and asked if I played. I admitted I HAD taken lessons for 6 months but dropped that after realizing one had to practice more than the one day of the week when the one-hour lesson was scheduled.

He not only tuned my acoustic guitar and played some Bob Dillon and Beatles songs, his wife mentioned she played the sax but they had never played together.

We quickly took care of that!

The storm sorta raged outside as we sat up and talked quite late. I woke the next morning around 10 am (a retired guy's choice!).

But they didn't join me until closer to noon. They REALLY liked having a roomy, comfortable bed for a change. We all were pleased the storm had shifted away and now had rained itself out.

The weather was clearing and they decided not to go back to Mt. Pleasant but to do some sight-seeing and then head on down to Beaufort.

He had done work as a Busker (playing for tips on a street corner) and had some serious skills as a chef.

I watched as he took elements from their small food larder and produced a meal that was outstanding.

I made notes of condiments and other things he used to see if I could add healthy variety to my simple meals, cooking for one.

All in all, it was a pleasant "exchange student" type of experience. I heard tales of being on the road and making lots out of meager supplies.

Before they left, they did go buy a 3-man tent to replace their smaller one.

We promised to stay in touch but I have not heard back from them yet.

I hope their brief stay in South Carolina was uneventful after the Michael storm was handled by seeking shelter

I also hope they take out their instruments (he also plays an electric ukulele) and they jam together!

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

Thanks for stopping by as I add to my initial one thousand entries on my 12-year old blog. The second thousand is launched and on its way.

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