The storm had moved past us and into South Carolina by Sunday (Sept. 16). Our house was fine and that afternoon I took the boards off the front window. We were very thankful to have come through the storm with so little damage.
On Monday we could see the linemen going around Burgaw and starting to work on restoring power. After we cleaned the yard we decided to drive around while the girls played at a friend’s house. We didn’t get very far. Highway 53 and Interstate 40 was blocked at the overpass. We drove down Highway 117 South until the road block near the bridge.
The North East Cape Fear river stayed over the bridge for many days.
While it was still raining on Saturday (Sept , we could tell that the worst of the storm had passed. There were even times during the day when it stopped raining all together. We got out side to look around some. Down the street we could see a tree from our neighbors yard had fallen on the power line. This meant we wouldn’t be getting our power restored a soon as we have in past storms.
The next few days many people would turn down our street and drive up to the tree and then have to turn around in our driveway. A lot of it was probably people trying to get to The Laurels beside us, and they couldn’t come from the other side because of flooding.
By Friday (Sept. 14) the storm was moving slowly on to shore. The eye would pass over Wilmington and move south of us. The wind shifted to the east and a few more trees fell, but for the most part it was just heavy rain now. So far our house had been spared.
Unfortunately later that afternoon the rain had soften the ground enough that when a big gust came through it knocked over our willow tree in the back yard.
Thursday (Sep 13) we listened to and watched the news as the storm moved in. Finally we started hearing good news, it had not strengthened, instead as it moved closer it fell to a Category 3, then 2, and by the time the winds started reaching us, it had fallen to a Category 1. Now the big danger was from flooding since the storm was moving very slowly.
All day Thursday we had mostly wind from the north with a little rain mixed in. Some trees fell and we lost power that evening.
The girls played outside some in the tree house. The dog tried to stay with us, but he doesn’t like getting wet in the rain.
This hurricane season was very quiet and I didn’t even pay attention when Florence appeared in the Atlantic. It wasn’t until the storm spun up to a Category 3 storm on Sunday, September 9, and then the tracks all pointed to Wilmington, NC, did I take notice.
Monday morning a coworker and I went to a pre-storm meeting with the College administration at work and the decision was made based on the storm’s likelihood of becoming a Category 4 hurricane, to close on Tuesday. That started a very long week of waiting.
Tuesday morning (Sept. 11th) was spent shutting down the datacenters at work and making sure things were ready for the expected power-outage. I also spent a lot of the morning searching for wood to cover our bay window. But by the afternoon the window was covered, bread and water were in the pantry and all we could do was wait.
Wednesday the storm had slowed down and people were worried it would get even stronger. There was nothing to do but wait. On our evening walk we noticed the Pender Memorial Hospital Emergency Department had closed.
This semester MD has been working on a report project covering India. Part of the project is to put together a display that will be featured at the home school group’s Cultural Dinner in March. Since it’s a dinner, each student’s family will be bringing sample food from the country.
So yesterday we went out to eat some Indian food. The restaurant served a lunch buffet with Tandoori chicken, Chef’s Special chicken, spinach with mushrooms, potato and waffles, fruit with mango sauce, rice in coconut milk, etc.
Both girls did pretty well. Of course they liked the fruit the best, but they ate (or sampled) everything the tried from the buffet. They even say they want to go back.
For the cultural dinner, MD wants to make nan bread and maybe have some fruit. We’re also considering making samosas if we can figure out how to do it.
For the Thanksgiving holiday this year we went down to Myrtle Beach with CDF’s family. They stayed in a condo nearby, while we took the camper to Pirate Land.
We arrived at the campground at about 2:00 in the afternoon and soon had the camper set up. When everything was set up we went over to the condo for the afternoon.
Thanksgiving morning the girls really wanted to swim in one of the pools. Although they were willing to brave the outdoor “lazy river,” I said we would go to the indoor pool since it was heated. It turned out to be a good choice. They had a lot of fun swimming and jumping in. They even made a new friend.
For her birthday, CDF wanted to go on a day trip as a family. She picked Tryon palace since we had never been there and the gardens were supposed to be in bloom. It turned out to be a great day to visit, the sun was out and the temperature cool, but not cold.
Girls in the Gate
In the Gate House
We purchased the garden pass, so we spent most of our time walking the paths. The girls really enjoyed exploring the more formal gardens with their walls and bricked paths. CDF took a lot of pictures of the flowers.
Going into the Gardens
The garden pass also included the Kitchen Office, where the servants used to be quartered and most of the cooking for the Governor was done. We had almost a private tour of the office, kitchen, laundry, and bedrooms. Probably the most interesting part was talking to the guide in the kitchen. She was cooking lunch in the wood fireplace, an actual sausage and rice dish that would have been cooked back in the 18th century. She told us about what the people would eat, and how the servants at the mansion were better fed, and better educated, than most of the town folk. A lot of the people of that time wanted to have their sons and daughters hired by the governor.
On Christmas Eve the family got together for a group picture. We ended up taking two different pictures as people arrived at different times. I was so busy checking for a sufficient amount of light, and making sure that nobody was cut off at the edges, that I forgot to check to see if anyone’s face was obscured. Something to remember for next year.
Second family picture
Sam’s family wasn’t supposed to arrive until later, but they got there before the camera was put away, so we were able to include them in a second picture.
This Christmas we went up to my parents house to make Christmas cookies with my two Aunts. This has been a tradition in my family for a long time, but for a number of years I let others do the baking. This year I was back to being involved, rolling out and cutting the dough. CDF had mixed up the dough and supervised the baking.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
All the children helped out with the decorating. We used frosting and sprinkles to make many colorful designs. CE decided the frosting was better in her mouth. I’m not sure how many she managed to decorate all the way.