Sunday, October 28, 2012
Knock, knock. Hello. Out. Now. Sorry. Thank you. Did I mention, 'Now'? Okay, okay, okay.
I thought it was a bit....preemptive. I mean, I understand. High tide was due at 11 PM. And, there is only one road out to the highways that head inland. The sooner people move, the less chance there is of a big rush out as the water rises. I get it.
Ms. Conroy, ever the obedient Roman Catholic girl, was packed and ready and sitting by the door at five of eight. Not me. Of course. I had to THINK about packing before actually packing. I mean, what if I forgot something Really Important and had to do without it for a few days? Horrors!
And, of course, everything in the house had to be checked at least three times: Heat? Off. Main water faucet? Off. Refrigerator and freezer? Well, it needed to be emptied but there was no time for that. Bathtub filled with water? Check. Doors and windows locked? Check. Etc., etc., etc.
We were out the door by 8:20 pm. Record time for me, I thought. Ms. Conroy was frowning.
We got to our dear friend's house and she immediately made us feel at home - not an easy task in the midst of four adults, five dogs, and three parrots. I slept as well as one does the first night in a strange bed - and weighed with concern about the impending storm.
I did get to 10 AM mass this morning in Rehoboth Beach. Every stained glass window was boarded up. The church looked a bit like a haunted house. There were about 90 people in church - 40 at the 8 AM, I'm told - and everyone was in good spirits.
We had a special coffee hour celebration for a member who had just turned 94. She was there. In her wheelchair. All dressed up and looking fine. God bless her!
For a little over an hour and a half, I completely forgot about the storm. Couldn't see the rain. Couldn't hear the wind. And then, back outside to get into the car, it seemed much worse than an hour and a half earlier.
I drove down the block to see the ocean. It was WILD. Huge waves crashing. Lots of yellow sea foam all over the beach, as if some rabid dog had just been through the area, menacing the surf. I wanted to take a picture, but the wind was so strong and the rain was blowing sideways and stinging that I just got back into the car and drove home.
I got to my street and had to stop a little sess than half-way down.
The street is completely flooded with about - oh, I'd say - eight inches of water.
Mind you, it was low tide. High tide is scheduled for eight pm tonight.
I can't even begin to imagine what my street will look like at that time.
Oh, and Hurricane Sandy hasn't even landed yet. That's going to happen tomorrow afternoon.
Needless to say, I didn't try to get into the house for the rice and milk and eggs, much less get my recipe books. We went out later to do a bit of marketing. The markets are closing at 3 PM. They were tying down the grocery carts and putting boards up on the windows as we left.
I've been thinking about this morning's lessons from scripture. The Gospel was from Mark (10:46-52) - the story of Blind Bartimaeus. Jesus says to him, "What do you want me to do for you?"
If Jesus came to "Ground Zero" at Rehoboth Beach today, I think I probably wouldn't ask for him to calm the storm or make it go away, lovely as that would be. I might respond in the same way Bartimaeus did. "My teacher, let me see again."
Storms and hurricanes and floods and earthquakes and tornadoes have always been with us. The climate has always been changing, causing chaos and wreaking havoc with people's lives.
Anxiety and fear always blind us from seeing the possibility for good and the opportunities to help others all around us. These very normal human emotions also steal our vision of hope and possiblity.
So yes, we'll weather the storm. Yes, we'll help our neighbors. And yes, we'll continue to pray to Jesus that our vision of hope and possibility will be restored.
At the very least, we certainly have enough water to drink.