Monday, August 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home

My home in Norfolk is in an amazing neighborhood.  Beautiful old homes, crape myrtles, waterfront, parks, sailboats, a cute library, and a few independently owned restaurants.  I will even be able to walk my daughter to her little preschool when she starts in 10 days.  I love it here and we picked this area on purpose.  Unfortunately, it has one issue that gave me a little bit of pause when signing the lease:  flooding.  Major *build an ark just in case* kind of flooding.  If it rains hard or the moon is at a certain phase people park their cars on certain streets to avoid the 3 foot deep "puddles" that show up. 

It is a delicate balance between this view:

The view from behind the library near my house

And this view:

Typical flooding in Larchmont - this street is on my everyday running route

So when Hurricane Irene had her sights set on the Outer Banks and Hampton Roads I knew that it probably wouldn't be safe to stick around.  The City of Norfolk then made it easy when they declared my street a mandatory evacuation zone.  Okay okay, twist my arm.

I packed my kids up and we headed to DC where my mom lives.  But not before I had run around the house like a crazy person making sure it was "hurricane" ready.  Windows, doors, outdoor furniture, electronics, my husband's car - all had to go somewhere special or be turned off.  Packing for the three of us (plus my dog), worrying about the traffic heading west, wondering when we would come back and if our house would be damaged.

Add to that that we own two homes in Irene's path.  We own a small home in Norfolk and another home in St. Mary's County, Maryland that are both rented out. So I had three houses on my mind, plus my kids, my pets, and of course my husband is 8,000 miles away.  Not even able to talk to me on the phone about all of my fears and anxieties.  It was hard.  The hardest and most frustrating thing so far this deployment. 

But we got lucky.  All three of my houses fared well in the storm.  I have a mess to clean  up in my yard, but nothing that an hour with a rake can't handle (or possibly a phone call to a yard guy).  We have power and everyone came through in one piece.  I am very grateful for good friends who helped me get my husband's car to a garage, who made sure I had a place to go during the storm, offered their homes, their time, their babysitting services, and who checked on my houses after the storm to calm my nerves.  Friends who had lunch with me in Northern VA even though I come with two very unpredictable kids.  In the heart of the storm I really felt loved and appreciate the community I have surrounding me so much. 

Now that I am back in Norfolk, with babies in their own cribs, and a glass of wine in hand I can finally say that "I Survived Hurricane Irene".  


Lori said...

So glad all fared well. We were sweating it too...especially knowing that our next door neighbor had several trees down. I just saw that one coming to ours!!!

HOLY there some water there! Trees are out like nuts here, and we couldn't get on several roads, but man! That's a lotta water you've got up there!!!

And for the record, totally second just calling the yard guy. Totally!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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