Saturday, 15 October 2016
The storm arrived in the early afternoon and was mild compared to the anxiety of yesterday’s tornado warnings (a rare warning for us sand dwellers to get). Today’s 60 mph winds at the port comprised a normal autumn storm. Unlike the gale of 2007 which battered us for three whole days, during which it was unsafe to go out because of flying debris, today’s blow even enabled Allan to dash out into the garden to rescue a small banner that had been overlooked.
All the cats spent most of the day indoors.
Later in the evening, it battered British Columbia with considerably more force.
The Heron Cam showed how very dark Long Beach was in the rain…although we also had some surreal bright sun breaks during the worst wind.
When the storm had blown over and daylight remained, Allan went out to explore.
Allan walked down to the port…
An impressive video was shared of the storm surge a couple of hours earlier.
Our friend Don Nisbett had also boarded up his art gallery windows.
Allan walked on past the boatyard.
Just the other day, a regular local passerby told me again how much he loves the 4 o’clocks because they remind him of his mother’s garden.
Allan went round behind the boatyard to Second SW, the street we used to live on.
I finished my book.
Written by the author of Jambusters (reissued as Home Fires) and Stranger in the House: Women’s Stories of Men Returning from the Second World War, Julie Summer’s When the Children Came Home was simply perfect, full of fascinating stories. While there were some sad and painful experiences, many of the stories shared were happy.
My favourite was about a mother and two daughters who were billeted with a bachelor named Harry. I think that all the world could learn from their story (much condensed here): “He had never encountered a Jewish family at close quarters and they had never been guests of a non Jewish household for such a long period of time. … ‘He had never come across our customs and traditions before and it took time to get used to them. But Uncle Harry was the kindest person you could ever imagine. He took us into his house and without a moment’s hesitation shared everything with us…… In the spring of that first year, my mother explained to Uncle Harry that we were coming up to Passover and that there were certain customs that we had to observe. Uncle Harry was fantastic. He…said…’I always thought Jewish people must be good but now I know for sure’. And with that my mother could relax and share all the Jewish festivals. She always invited Uncle Harry to join us and he always took part. It worked the other way around, too. [At his sister Nell’s for Christmas] we ate plum pudding for the first time, we pulled Christmas crackers and saw the lovely decorated Christmas tree. …..We became family, he became our beloved uncle, and we were proud of the way a single gentile man and a traditional Jewish east end family learned to live together…” He enjoyed their traditional food and pronounced it delicious and “even fasted with us for twenty five hours on Yom Kippur because he thought it would be unfair for him to eat when we were not permitted.”
Sweet; I simply love that Uncle Harry fasted with them on Yom Kippur. This happy story goes on for several more more pages, including this:
Let us all follow this example, shall we?
You will also find stories of how children fell in love with the countryside, including young Jimmy who had an unhappy time with the family who took him in:
Finally grown, with a home of his own, he “planted snowdrops everywhere.”
Stories such as these had me in tears throughout the book, as has happened with the other two Julie Summers books.
Having just read Nella Last’s War about a Women’s Voluntary Service Red Cross shop (which raised money for POWs), I was moved by this story of a grown woman who remembered lavish boxes from The American Red Cross as a child evacuee: “...in 2001…she had the opportunity to show her appreciation for the gifts and food that the Americans had sent during the war. When the 9-11 tragedy struck ‘I went out with a big begging bowl and raised £2000 which I sent to the American Embassy in London’.”
I’ve ordered more books recommended by Julie Summers to continue my reading theme of civilian life in Britain in WWII.
Later in the evening, there was a fair amount of kvetching on Facebook about all the preparation local folks had done for a storm that sort of fizzled. Plenty of us defended the respected meteorologists who warned us of an event that would have been much worse had the wind not stayed at sea.
And for some locals, it was a most unpleasant storm. The Planter Box garden center will have some time consuming repairs to their greenhouses:
(The Planter Box has some excellent Christmas presents to buy, bird houses, pots, garden decor, and this would be a good time to shop there.)
In the midnight hour, Sean Crough wrote to me from Gearhart, just down the Oregon Coast:
I did all the things he wanted. I waited. I told everybody about him, all the horrible things he was going to do. And it was all just a big game to him. We’re done, Storm 2016. You made me take out all my candles, my woolly socks, my bottled water, fill my gas tank. You made me afraid to go out and get any good mixer so I had to drink Capri Sun. All I wanted to do is make a couple corn dogs on the grill and roast a couple marshmallows in my fireplace. You left me hangin’. I can’t believe I fell for you. Even washed my hair two days in a row in fear that I wouldn’t have hot water to have regular hair. And I washed all my laundry and my dishes.. thinking the power could be out for days and I wouldn’t have any dishes or towels. Oh and don’t even get me started about the charging all my devices. I was so freaked out earlier that I only had 61%, dashing to my last hit of electricity. You really pushed me over the limit Storm 2016. . I just really feel like a big sucker. Just makes me want to fight.” He concluded by letting me know that “I was reading all your posts about Stormageddon and you were my messiah”.
Sorry, Sean! I also did laundry and was sort of looking forward to watching Allan make coffee on our new little camp stove.
1995 (age 71):
Oct 15 (Sunday): I actually skipped my [crossword] puzzle and went outside. Spent about 4 hours planting the Bluestone perennials out in “corn patch” until spring. I will mulch them with straw and mushroom compost.
1997 (age 74):
Oct 15: 12:00-5:00 Finished digging Hostas and found confusion between them and Polemonium and maybe Skyler can tell the difference. After I got those potted up I finally started planting bulbs in the patio—all the Hyacinths, 25 narcissus and about 25 red tulips. Rec’d my 100 hardy glad bulbs from Jackson and Perkins. Later: It turned out those weren’t Hostas. They were Primroses.
1998 (age 74):
Oct 15: 11:15-5:00 I put all the hoses away. I took the tomato cages into garage. Then I dug out the begonia bulbs from baskets and put them in shop. I rinsed out the baskets and put them in greenhouse temporarily. I had moved the strawberry trays out of the greenhouse. I finished washed a lot of pots. No sign of Froggie today. It is supposed to be in mid 30s tonight.