The past days have created uncertainty. Will hurricane Matthew hit Norfolk and Virginia Beach or will we be spared. 60 hours ago I was assessing whether we would have soccer tournaments both in Virginia Beach and in Fairfax for each of the grand girls this weekend. I was contemplating whether the flyover would actually happen at the Navy football game on Saturday involving my son or whether those plans would change.
48 hours ago things became more serious. It looked likely that a category 4 would hit us on Saturday. My son was listed on the hurrivac (getting the jets out of Oceana) and my husband was considering putting sleeping bags in the car and how far we might drive and where we might go if we were to leave our home. The talk rotated around where we would relocate things outdoors, where we would park cars, where we would position the generators and how we would maintain our living if we lost power.
I must admit I was slightly in awe of how my son has reacted to the approach of the storm. He considered possibilities, but had a much calmer outlook. Maybe his perspective comes from years in the Navy and multiple experiences of both observing the threat of hurricanes and actually being involved in the storms. Having lived without power for extended periods in New Orleans, boarding up doors and windows in East Beach, pulling a tree off a roof in Pensacola, and moving the family North from Corpus Christi has changed his objectivity. He has also experienced how threats have changed and diminished over the hours of approach. He has definitely taken a “wait and see” position. Life experiences have indeed offered a different frame of reference for him.
I also did a good amount of research on hurricanes that have impacted our area of Virginia in the past, while the ‘Ole Buckeye researched what exactly our insurance would cover. Wind…not flood, and whoa the deductible!
My hurricane research presented surprising facts, one of which is that Norfolk and Virginia Beach are listed fourth as vulnerable cities in the U.S. I must admit, this came as quite a surprise for the two of us, a fact that we had never considered prior to our permanent move. When we planned our retirement relocation, we thought about warmer weather, coastal living, continuing to enjoy the seasons, and getting away from the extreme winter weather in Chicagoland. We did not consider the prospect of a hurricane.
Yesterday we uttered a brief sigh of relief…maybe just maybe the storm will stay South and then head west. My fortune became someone else’s misfortune.
Will it be short lived? Will life continue as it has or be forever changed? Uncertainty continues.
The storm threat makes me realize just how little we control our lives. It also makes me realize just how important it is to react positively and constructively to what life brings to us.
In a few hours things may indeed change. My hope it that the trajectory of this massive storm just goes east out to sea and no one must face the loss of life and property. I also hope that all who may be affected give heed to warnings, watch the path of the storm and the havoc it may create. Be smart and be safe.
I don’t know what the next hours will bring, but then again, no one ever does. Uncertainty exists. It is not just the storms of life, but all life events that make us who we are and how we adapt and react. Life lessons continue to be learned no matter how old we are. My education continues and my prayers go out to those remaining in harms way.