Hurricane Matthew – Shake, Rattle and Roll

Yesterday I had three unexpected phone calls from Texas  – one from my cousin Gaylen who lives in Houston, one from my sister Leora who lives in Rosenberg and one from my cousin Frances who lives in Willis. I also had a rare text from my good friend Carol who is one of the Little Women of Worsham Street in Montgomery and another text from a close  childhood friend Tinabeth who still lives in Richards where I grew up plus an email from another of my oldest Richards friends, Warren, who now lives in Arkansas.  All of them were worried about our safety at Casa de Canterbury as weather channels across the country focused on the path of Hurricane Matthew which was churning up the Caribbean wreaking destruction in Haiti and moving north toward the USA with projections for a path that would put it along our South Carolina coast Friday and Saturday. I imagine we weren’t the only ones contacted by family and friends.

Our local TV news channels echoed the national weather bureaus with their models of Matthew’s trajectory and our governor declared a state of emergency with evacuation of the low-lying coastal areas. Interstate 26, the main highway leading out of Charleston, became so congested traffic crawled and stood still for hours. At 3:00 o’clock yesterday afternoon, the I-26 lanes moving into Charleston were re-routed so that they became outbound lanes to accommodate the heavy flow. An estimated 1.1 million people will leave the coastal areas headed north to Columbia and beyond to ride out the storm on higher ground.

Early yesterday morning – early being a relative term – let’s say about 9 o’clock, I went to the grocery store to get our necessities: sweet ‘n low, bread, water, chips and toilet paper. The parking lot of the Kroger was packed. The carts were scarce so I knew the race was on. No problem finding sweet ‘n low. Evidently we were the only household requiring artificial sweeteners in an emergency. Bread, chips and toilet paper were more difficult but still available – water OUT. That ship had sailed. Shelves empty. Case closed.

Not to be outdone I left the Kroger and drove down to the CVS drug store on the corner and saw more cars in the parking lot than usual but luckily they still had a dwindling supply of water. I bought two packs of bottled water but while I was waiting to be checked out, I spied the candy bar sale of buy one, get second one for a quarter. I picked up four Mounds bars and told Shirley the counter check-out lady I was now prepared for whatever the hurricane brought.

I replaced the batteries in our four flashlights and have a lighter at the ready for our candles. I surveyed our front porch and brought in the cushions from the rocking chairs. I feel I have forgotten to do something major here at the casa, but I can’t remember what it is at the moment. If anyone has a recommendation, please comment.

Hurricane season for us on the Atlantic Coast is from June 1st – November 30th., but don’t hold us to that schedule. Hurricanes are like babies – they can be later or earlier than planned. Most of them are harmless, but sometimes we have a Big One, a real Doozie, and then an estimated 12 million people along the Atlantic Coast are at risk for loss of life and possessions. That is apparently our situation this week as Hurricane Matthew is bearing down; and the elements are ready to shake, rattle and roll over us.

Thanks to our family and friends for checking in with us. It makes us feel loved and reminds me that storms occur in all of our lives every day  – often we have our own personal hurricanes that have nothing to do with the weather. A phone call, a text, an email or God forbid – an actual visit – just might be the kindness that helps someone weather their storm. Be prepared.

And stay tuned.






About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
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13 Responses to Hurricane Matthew – Shake, Rattle and Roll

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    I was going to add to the hysteria and message you to see how preps were going. The last time I looked, we were going to be spared yet another storm up here in PA. Everyone is groaning as we really need a hurricane or tropical storm to break our drought. Mom Nature is toying with us all.

    Candy bars and Sweet ‘n Low are always essential. I can’t get through these things without mixed nuts, but we all have our priorities. Did you get enough dog food and instant coffee? Next time we face a big one, I’m boiling several gallons of water for my ginormous Thermos. The artificial sweetener dies you no good without coffee.

    Hang in there and provide updates if at all possible.

    Love to you and T and the Pups!

    Ann and the Almighty Pack

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings to Ann and the Almighty!
      We have plenty of dog food – and extra treats as well!
      Coffee is always available, although I drink iced tea during the warm weather and save the coffee for winter…but always have plenty for emergencies…
      I wish we could send rain to you – I know skipjack creek would appreciate it!!
      We send hugs and kisses to you from Casa de Canterbury before the storm…will try to send updates…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heather Hartt says:

    Praying for you all! I have a son near Columbia if you need somewhere to go. I guess hunker down, cuddle up and have a candy bar! 🙂 Hugs and love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Heather! I didn’t know you had a son out here…what a coincidence…where?
      We will keep updates going…
      Hugs and love to you and all of your family, too…
      P.S. I already ate one of the candy bars…:)


  3. Luanne @ TFK says:

    Stay safe!!! On a lighter note, I was worried for awhile about your shopping list. I felt so much better after you loaded up the Mounds bars.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne Boring says:

    Sheila @ Better bring the rocking chairs inside also, just to be sure. Praying for your safety.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are staying tuned and hope you’re staying safe. Sounds like a beat of a storm 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bob Slatten says:

    I think we’re set …. food and water, pet meals … yard free of things that blow.
    Stay safe and, if you can, dry!

    Liked by 1 person

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