Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Here we are a couple of days after Hurricane Irene blew through Gloucester. We did just fine and praise God it wasn't as powerful as advertised. Brenton is visiting and brought a friend with him from Oregon, Parker Smith, we have Lauren Mealey (a 22-year-old friend from Corvallis) living with us this summer, and Anna joined us for the hurricane party. So if my fingers and toes are correct, that was 18 people under one roof for Hurricane Irene. What a night. I am quite positive I wouldn't want to be around for a category 2 or 3 blow. Three trees went down in our vicinity, including one on the neighbor's roof, but major damage was avoided and no one was hurt. We lost power for 14 hours -- fortunately we are on the county water system and have a gas stove and water heater -- and everyone slept downstairs because I was worried about trees falling on our house. Literally, the floor was covered with people on mattresses.
As you can see, Judah is with us. He's a splendid chap, quite popular with his brothers and sisters, and is just now starting to laugh and jabber somewhat in his own distinctive lingo. He was born May 6 under traumatic circumstances, for both him and Julie. God is good, however. At one point the doctor told me that if Julie hadn't had an emergency c-section, we may have lost both of them in another 20 minutes. Julie is doing well, as you can see, and so is Judah. He spends a lot of time being carried around, believe it or not.
Last week was quite crazy. We had an earthquake that struck about 80 miles or so from here -- a 5.8 temblor -- on Tuesday, that rattled the house and nerves. I was in the courthouse and at first thought the folks at Camp Peary across the river (a mysterious CIA camp) were blowing up things again. But it kept shaking and in fact shaking more vigorously. When I poked my head out the door I saw people running for the exits and hollering something about an earthquake. The last quake of note in Virginia occurred in 1897, to give you an idea of how infrequently these things happen here. Then Irene blew in on Saturday. I went shopping on Thursday in advance of the storm and it looked like there had been wide scale looting in the store. No water was to be found anywhere, entire shelves were cleaned out, the place was packed ... it was wild. The gas stations had long lines of people filling up containers for fuel for generators (a staple for homeowners in these parts) and by Friday you could see people hauling furniture and family belongings out of low-lying areas along the rivers.
Irene proved to be a lot of hype, however, and not nearly as destructive as feared. I am thankful for that. My prayer throughout the hurricane, which started blowing in earnest Saturday morning and continued to about daylight Sunday morning, with continuous sheets of rain, was that the Lord would keep us safe, not allow any trees to fall on our house, and to keep our neighbors and those in our community safe. My prayer was answered.