Remember in my previous entry, I was raving about all the time I had to do things on vacation? Well, then this happened. So today’s flashback is about, well, yesterday.
We had a 9am yoga class on the beach, facing the ocean on a sparkling morning where I had nothing but a distant sailboat to focus on as I balanced in my tree pose. Then we picked up breakfast and coffee at our favorite market (which is conveniently on the corner of our beach rental house) and ate and drank on the porch, watching the clouds wind themselves over what had been a sunny morning. We changed for the beach, knowing a storm was on the way that evening, ready to wrap ourselves in blankets on the sand. It was all beautiful.
I don’t remember how or when the hurricane panic set in. It feels like one minute everyone was fine, and the next, everyone’s phones were ringing and the lifeguards had changed the flags and all the locals were talking about what time to leave. We left the beach and decided to walk around the shops a bit. We ran into my first grade teacher; I bought a sweatshirt. Everyone tried on shoes. We bought matching sunglasses. We knew our vacation would likely be cut short; we just didn’t know by how long.
And the whole time, a quiet doom was seeping into us. The Beach Haven gas station had two long lines of cars wrapped around the block, waiting to fill up so they could leave the island. (By 6pm last night, it had run out of gas.) Many conversations ensued about what to do (bus? train? drive? but could we get gas? would it take hours to get off the island, with its one bridge on and off?). We called a house meeting, which was awesome and felt like an episode of The Real World.
We packed up our rental in record time and just…left. It was already stormy (not Irene-related) and that just added to the heightened sense of panic, making us all feel like the hurricane was nipping at our heels and would be here any second. About 20 minutes off the island, the skies cleared. No one was talking about the hurricane. Things felt normal. The hives I’d grown on my neck disappeared.
Today, of course, is glorious. It would have been a perfect beach day.
Stay safe, friends.