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Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Preparation & Readiness, Safety on the Road, Summer 2011

VISITED BY AN UNWELCOME GUEST (This one will not be invited back!)

September 1, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

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We met on the Internet

It was not in one of the usual chat rooms, or singles dating sites like eHarmony or Zoosk as one might expect.  She just popped up out of nowhere and introduced herself without hesitation.

At first, I was shocked at how forward she was – her blatant introduction caused me to become suspicious and worried.

She was young, wild, and a “fast mover”.  She didn’t seem to be the least bit bashful and announced her intent to visit the clear blue waters and white sandy beaches of the Bahamas – even if she was not welcome.

There was some mention about coming to North Carolina and Virginia.  Maybe she would stop over for a night and we could spend a little time together.

My sleep that night was restless.  I couldn’t get her off my mind.   I dreamed about our possible meeting.  I got out of bed and picked up my laptop computer, logging into her personal social network site.  I had to see what she was doing at the places she visited.

Her most recent tweet indicated that her whirlwind visit to the Bahamas was over.  Upon arrival, she had quickly moved into town, held her gala party, and left almost as quickly as she arrived – she didn’t even bother to clean up the mess she left behind.  It now appeared that she was going to make a tour up the east coast and stop over in our section of Virginia.  I knew I had to get ready for her arrival.

Her reputation preceded her arrival.  She was violent and didn’t care who she hurt or what she destroyed.  By now, she was a star – like the lead singer in a top-of-the-chart rock band.

Her name was Irene.

She arrived in our area near the coast of Virginia Saturday around noon.  She brought with her all of her band members, grips and sound crew.  Their names rang of those given to Native Americans in old western movies – Blowing Wind, Falling Trees, Raging Waters, Mountain Thunder, and Dancing Rain.

Almost immediately, she stole our electrical power, phone communications, and Internet service.  We were in the dark – silent and scared of this unwelcome visitor.

A small battery powered TV with a tiny 7-inch screen and a raspy sounding speaker was hooked to an old set of “rabbit ears”.  We crowded around the tiny object in the center of the room.  An eerie blue light was cast onto the faces peering in, anxiously wanting to know what she was doing in the darkness outside.

Roads to our home were blocked by downed trees

She closed our roads so that we could not escape; she crushed houses as if they were made of matchsticks, flooded creeks and ponds making them into huge rivers and lakes.  The tidal flow into the Bay set boats next to parked cars and captured acres of sand where we once basked lazily in the sun.

Then, Sunday morning arrived with clear blue skies, a soothing breeze, and bright sunshine.  If  it were not for the destruction she left behind we would never have know she was here.

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Irene wasn’t through.  She continued her wild ride up the East Coast all the way to Maine.  But here, it was over – she had left town around 3 a.m..

We regained power yesterday – a full four days after Irene arrived – actually, much quicker than I expected.  1.2 million other people were left in darkness just like us in the aftermath of her visit

Looking out from our RV living room window after the storm has passed.

We moved into the RV Sunday after Irene left, abandoning the house for quarters capable of supporting our need for water and power.  It was kinda’ neat camping while still parked in the driveway.  Nancy noted the view from our living room window was a pretty as any we had recently encountered on or RV trips.

We have a big mess to clean up along with some damage to outbuildings.

Our camper and home are intact.  But, more importantly, we are all safe.

There is a moral to this story – and it is not to stay away from Internet chat rooms, dating sites or even The Weather Channel (where I met Irene for the first time).  It is one the Boy Scouts taught me many years ago – BE PREPARED!

A tree crushed our storage shed

(The introductory thumbnail is a  photo of singer Irene Soderberg. She is not related to Hurricane Irene or the character depicted in the above text.)

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A fallen tree destroyed a home close to ours

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A huge limb pierced the roof, table and floor in the kitchen moments after the occupants left the room.

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Comments

3 Responses to “VISITED BY AN UNWELCOME GUEST (This one will not be invited back!)”
  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Randy,
    So glad that old gal didn’t do you too much damage, especially to your trailer!!! While I was reading the
    blog I had Hank Thompson on YOUTUBE and he was singing ‘Goodnight Irene”!! Maybe our prayers on y’alls behalf pushed Irene off just enuff… But poor little Vermont really caught it… I had friends in Maine
    Vermont and New Hampshire…. They ALL got out without a lot of damage!!!! Thank the Lord!!!

    Smooth roads, clear skies & balmy breezes !!!!!!!!!!

  2. Gail Duykers says:

    Great story, too bad it is true. The photos are great. We live in South Florida and were thrilled we didn’t get hit by Irene (she would have been a cagtegory 3 at that point). I am so sorry that everyone else had to suffer her wrath. Glad you were okay and that you had your RV to keep you comfortable in the aftermath.

    Stay well and love each other!

  3. d2reid says:

    Innovative story.

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