Tropical Delight to Dread in One Day

After several days of soaking up the sun, drinking margaritas and mojitos, and paying absolutely no attention to the clock, I was more calm and relaxed than I’d ever been before. Surely nothing could intrude on my state of bliss, on my mind floating in a tropical lagoon of pure pleasure.

I was limited in my ability to interact with the outside world. On a small tropical island in the middle of the Caribbean, I was thankful for the periodic power outages every day. My blackberry couldn’t receive any emails from work, and nobody was calling or texting because I was disconnected from the mobile network entirely.

Near the end of my time on the island, I was slowly awakening, as if from a long, deep slumber. Every once in a while, a stray thought about a project at work began to creep into my euphoria. That was to be expected.

But my pleasure in paradise came crashing down when I turned on the TV one day and saw Hurricane Sandy snarling toward the east coast.

Suddenly, my tropical paradise became a forced exhile – everyone I knew and loved was in the path of this monster storm, and all I could do was watch in terror and dread.

I tried to process what was happening – I had gone to the Caribbean during hurricane season – and yet my home in the States was under the onslaught instead? It made no sense.

My friend watched with as much anxiety as I felt. Her family was in inland New Jersey, mine was in coastal Connecticut (my husband was in central Pennsylvania, so I figured he would be safe enough, though I did warn him not to park under any trees). We started imagining all sorts of terrible things.

My Gram lives in a small town on Long Island Sound. To get to her house, you have to drive over a long road through a marsh. At the best of times, the roadway is maybe 5 feet above high tide. The only other road out of the town floods even in heavy rain conditions. Once the weather stations started predicting storm surges of 9+ feet in Connecticut, I got really worried.

We Skyped my family back in Connecticut – What was it like? Were the winds bad? Had they lost power at all? What about Gram? Is she evacuating? What about my aunt and uncle that live down the road from her? Are they evacuating too? Did everyone have food? water? gasoline?

I knew I shouldn’t be worried. My dad is the most well-prepared person I know. He has a generator, they have a fireplace and dry wood stockpiled, and they had coolers with ice just in case the power went out.

But what about the giant trees that loom over their house? What if they fell on the house? To be fair, this was a major fear of mine as a child. There was a massive pine tree next to my window when I was growing up – I was on the second story of the house and it still went up another 50 feet past my window. When the wind blew during huge storms, I was convinced the tree was going to fall right through the roof and onto my bed.

All of my irrational fears were coming out in the moment. I was glued to the TV, watching the wind and waves wage war on the New Jersey coastline, watching the storm surge that would eventually top 12 feet smash into the Connecticut coast.

When I knew my family was as safe as they could be, I started to worry about my friends. I have dozens of friends who live in New York City – what if they got trapped! The subways flooded, the streets flooded, low-lying neighborhoods were completely inundated.

*****

In between all of this frantic TV watching, my flight off of St. Kitts was cancelled. I suppose my plane had been stranded in the northeast. Oh well, one more day on a tropical island. Boo hoo to me.

Except that it happened again the next day. And the next. And by that point, I was desperate to get back home. I don’t know why – I couldn’t have done anything that my family could not have done for themselves, but it was driving me nuts being thousands of miles away.

Finally, I was able to change my flights and fly out Tuesday night (I was supposed to leave Sunday) to Florida. Wednesday morning I got back to the Baltimore airport and began the drive back home. I was relieved to see that only a few extra branches were down, that the autumn leaves had turned into a slippery paste on the roadways, but that overall the area seemed to have survived.

So I went to the Caribbean during Hurrican Season, and watched helplessly as a monster storm hammered away at everyone and everything I knew.

About these ads


Categories: Memories

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Can you share how you embedded your map? I read through the writing challenge post a few times, but i am not seeing how i make it happen.

    • Sure! When you have a google map open, and you click on the link button as shown in the challenge post. Then, you copy the html code (starting with “<iframe width…."). When you go back to your post, I've found that I need to paste the code on the "text" view in the post editor rather than the "visual" view. If I paste it in "visual", it doesn't seem to recognize it as html code, but if you post it in "text" mode, it does. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  2. Yah, we can only feeling helpless for others.

Trackbacks

  1. TRAPPED INSIDE « hastywords
  2. Future Tense: Puerto Rico! « Wander One Day

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sour Mango

My life in photos and other ramblings

A European Summer

A fine WordPress.com site

lifelyricsandpics

Putting my creative self to work through pictures

Thirdeyemom

Traveling and experiencing the world with a third-eye

nicole marie richardson

100 COUNTRIES. 1 LIFETIME. LET'S TRAVEL!

Ming Thein | Photographer

reframing the world one picture at a time

Liberated Traveler

Here to educate, motivate, and liberate.

The Travel Geek Blog

Travel Musings of a Travel Geek

(pre) concept - break your journey

On travel and Photography

The World is a Windmill

Travel, science, cooking, culture... well, just anything that makes our ever-changing planet beautiful!

The Culture Monk

Coffee & Conversation - The Periphrastic Mind of Kenneth Justice

A True Tall Tale

An Ecuadorian Adventure

Gasm Travels

A Photographic Journey

ArchangelTravel

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

George On The Go

A 20 something girl circumnavigating the globe, and teaching languages to all those in her wake.

Artist Dave White

Ashburn, Virginia Artist - Local, Domestic and International Commissions

Travel With Jodi

One Girl, One World, One Big Adventure!

The Art of Bosartis

Computer Art & Me

Victor Travel Blog

Let me share with you my travels around the world through interesting articles, photos and videos.

Food 4 The Soul 93

Live, love, laugh, grow...

Fabulous 50's

Adventure - Photography - Travel

Katie Seibert

art robot designs

Your Future, Your World

The best way to predict your future is to create it

restlessjo

Roaming, at home and abroad

wishstory

What is CLIPZINE?

A Tale or Two to Tell......

A great WordPress.com site

the travelling travelator

journeys from middle england

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 399 other followers

%d bloggers like this: