BFQ Diary #2: Something Old and Something New

Something New: Anticipating Hurricane Matthew

So, there’s this hurricane. Named Matthew. And he might pay a visit to Raleigh in a few days. Scenarios vary, and it’s still quite possible that he’ll veer out over the Atlantic, but the speculation and discussion about his approach is making it hard for me to concentrate on my Boss-Fight Quest. (Said quest being to finish the first draft of a novel within one season, deadline Nov. 30.)

About a month ago — over the Labor Day Weekend, just as I was getting rolling on my draft — Hermine brushed the coast of North Carolina, but it was almost a non-event here in the center of the state. In Raleigh we got a lot of steady rain for about two and a half days. It was good writing weather.

At her strongest, Hermine was a Category 1 hurricane, but she had been downgraded to a “post tropical storm” by the time she tickled the Carolinas on her way north. (I don’t mean to minimize. The Outer Banks took some damage, but even that wasn’t too bad according to the news.)

Hurricane Matthew appears to be a different kind of beast. He intensified from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 hurricane in just 24 hours. Now he’s settled down to a Cat 4 and is ravaging the Caribbean. He’s expected to weaken to a Cat 2 before Friday night or Saturday, when he will arrive in or near my state. The TV meteorologists are in their glory. The governor (boo-hiss, for other reasons) has declared a State of Emergency for Central and Eastern NC.  It’s all making me … ansty. It’s hard to relax and drop down into my work. Hell, it’s hard to sit in a chair.

Okay, that’s an understatement; let me try again: If I had a visible meter on my forehead, its indicator needle would be frantically sweeping back and forth across the dial, from “nervous*” to “thrilled.**

To be clear, those theoretical meter labels should be translated thusly:

  • * Ohhell we could lose power, and windows could shatter, and Very Important Plans could be disrupted, and we could run out of bread, and …
  • ** Ohmygod this could be the most awe-inspiring storm I’ve ever frolicked in!!

A few minutes ago, I opted to make a quick visit to the store, even though my daughter and I will go on our regularly scheduled grocery shopping trip tomorrow. I needed to find out if a run on milk and bread and bottled water has begun yet. It has not. All the shelves and cases are well-stocked. The atmosphere is calm. Everything is normal. I bought bread … and an unneeded gallon of chocolate milk. (I don’t buy bottled water, because the tap water here is fine, but I figure having a spare empty gallon jug around sometime on Friday won’t be a bad thing.)

The trip helped. A little. At least it relieved enough of my antsiness so that I can sit here now, to a write this BFQ Diary entry.

Something Old: This week’s photo prompt is ‘NOSTALGIA’

Nostalgia for me right now is more like déjà vu than like reminiscing. It’s being pleasantly surprised when a new experience arouses familiar emotions, emotions that were once inspired by something very different.

Here in NC there are not as many natural bodies of water present in daily life as there were in MN. (Land of 10,000 Lakes and the Mississippi and the pond my old apartment overlooked.) I know North Carolina has lakes and rivers too, but they aren’t yet within my personal driving territory. What I have now is the Atlantic Ocean. As spectacular as the sea is, it’s only a rare treat for me, because it’s a three-hour drive away.

I’ve been missing water badly.

This week, I went to a local park. There’s a bit of water there, in the form of a small drainage pond fed by some culverts, but, even though it’s pretty enough, it just hasn’t been inspiring the same feelings I had while gazing into the waters in MN.

2016-07-08-great-blue-heron-at-library-park

Still, I’ve gone back to the park several times. And each time I’ve noticed this magnificent rock that lies just off the boardwalk that winds through the dense wood.

my-rock

This time, I finally decided to kick off my shoes and clamber up.  (Yes, I’m in a skirt; luckily there was no one around to flash.)

the-rock-on

Which was fun, because I like boulders too. Then I turned around to see the view from my new vantage point.
rocks-view

At that moment the sun peeked out from behind intermittent clouds and the breeze picked up, making the leaves flutter and the shadows dance. That’s when my nostalgia hit. The peace and joy I felt was just as good as it used to be when I was sitting on a bank overlooking the Mississippi. Maybe even better, because now I know I’m really home.

EDIT: As I wandered the nostalgia responses, I found a reference to this song, which I’d entirely forgotten:

Talk about nostalgia! As a 10 year old, I spent a lot of time pouring over my sister’s collection of 45s from her youth. I remember listening to this one over and over while I was babysitting my nephew; he loved it when I’d pick him up and wildly whirl him around the room in my arms. And now I have tears in my eyes … ah, nostalgia.

~***~

Find all my photographic projects at Haunting Photos (there’s also a link in the blog header.)

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Here are links to some of my favorite entries for the NOSTALGIA prompt  from others:

(I’ll add more as I have time to browse the entries, so feel free to check back.)

Missing Mongolia | If you Only Stay Little | Just look at that bread! | 1963, captured beautifully. | A sheep queen. | Dreams of Childhood | Dad’s Tools |

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5 Comments on “BFQ Diary #2: Something Old and Something New”

  1. Well, I hope the hurricane doesn’t hit our state too harshly. Living in Florida, we were hit with 5 hurricanes in one year – several class 4/5, but I was much closer to the ocean.
    Now, we’re 3 hrs away too -which generally is safer than on ocean because it will lose strength coming over land. This doesn’t mean we won’t lose power.
    As far as missing bodies of water, I so understand ~ coming from the Finger Lakes area originally. Yet, I’m lucky to be between Lake Wylie/Lake Norman with several little kayaking ponds in between. Are they the same? No, but I have a feeling you’ll be finding your own little pond of paradise. Many people living here for 20 years are unaware of many of the accessible ponds of decent size. So I hope you look at this as an adventure, to find a hidden gem. Good luck!

    • I’m far more worried about you in Florida than I am about me in North Carolina! I’m glad you’re 3 hours inland. Stay safe!

      I will definitely continue to seek a nearby water spot. Like, you I believe there’s one out there for me 🙂

  2. […] Renae Rude BFQ Diary #2: Something Old and Something New […]

  3. I just canceled my trip to FL, where my Dad is evacuating, and I had a conference. Having lived through many hurricanes, including Andrew, allow me to help you feel better.

    You’re going to get wind and rain, but nothing like FL who has no terrain to break it up. Your biggest issue will be falling trees. I’m over in Winston-Salem and a tropical storm sent a tree through my roof as I sat at my computer. Missed my head by a few inches. Pines have very shallow root systems. So avoid rooms near tall pines. You’ll be way better than anyone in FL.

  4. zipcoffelt says:

    Hurricanes used to be sort of fun when I was growing up on the east coast. Now? Not so much. Thanks to climate change, those storms can be fierce. I laughed at my brother before Sandy (he lives in New Jersey) because he was so worried about it. I had to eat my words. Stay safe, Renae!! And stock up on bottled water even if the tap is good today. Might not be after Matthew comes through…


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