Is there a happier time in your life, than when a baby is born? Oh how good it is to write, that Jenny and little Brynn are home and all is well.
The hurricane has thrown a kink in our original plans. I was to go stay with Jenny, after they came home, however Will and Jenny debated whether to stay put or stay at Miss Claudias’ home, under the circumstances. Will and Jennys’ home is just across the street from the laughing river. Their home is built up, well above ground level, but there is a lot of water in that river. Miss Claudia lives a very few miles away, but it is a much safer distance from the Pasquotank river. What a predicament we are all in! I have not held my little grandchild yet and can hardly bear that. My presence at the rabbit patch will hardly change the outcome of this storm, – and Kyle and Christian are encouraging me to go ahead and leave -so I am very torn. What if one of the ” warriors” (the ancient oaks) falls in this battle -or Mama and Daddy have an emergency? This is a quandary, if there ever was one.
I was cooking cabbage and a pot of beans at five am on Wednesday. We are bound to lose power, and I have not forgotten, the two weeks we went without it, now eight years ago. Kyle is handy with a grill, thankfully and the barns provide shelter, to cook beneath. I can at least make sure, the boys do not starve. . .neither will Cash, my boxer nor Christopher Robin, my cat. I stocked piled dog and cat food, a few days ago.
No one can sit at the kitchen table, for it has become a station for all sorts of supplies. This has always been our routine. The table is laden with batteries, flash lights, candles, and all kinds of prepackaged foods, that I usually never buy. There are also paper plates, paper towels and the popular “wipes”. It pained me to buy the paper products, as I am on a quest to live “green”, but without water, such things will be useful and I did at least buy the “eco friendly” type.
As I went about the business of tending to provisions and planning the duties outside to tend to, the weather man , was giving the latest details of the current projected track of “Hurricane Florence”. It seems the thing is now expected to land much further south than previously thought. I declare he seemed a bit downcast about it. I suppose saying things like “partly cloudy” day after day, does leave room for boredom. I of course felt a lot of relief, but also pity for folks south of us. We will still have a hurricane, but the forecast is a lot less serious now, than it was last night. I think I am going to Elizabeth City, after all.
I arrived in Elizabeth City mid afternoon. I wanted to run in the door to meet little Brynn and hug Jenny, but I wanted to make sure that Lyla knew, I was as glad to see her as ever I had been. At this particular time, I do not think it has crossed Lylas’ mind to feel jealous. That may come, but for now Lyla is in love with her little sister and wants to share her with everyone.
It will come as no surprise to you to know that Brynn is beautiful. She has clear dark skin and a crown of dark silky hair that frames her perfectly, angelic face. She favors Lyla a lot, which thrills all of us. There is just something about the birth of a child in a family that changes everything. Everyone is happy and full of hope. It reunites us all over again, in heart – and reminds us all that we belong deeply to one another. Birth remains a wonder, no matter how much this world changes.
Today is Thursday and the expected day for the hurricane to make landfall. . .well technically it is expected very early Friday morning. We are no longer in the direct path of the storm, as was first predicted. .. .still we prepared for power outages. I made a big pot of chicken soup and bought the ingredients for pimento cheese and beef stew. Will brought Miss Claudia over to stay. Miss Claudia brought all sorts of things – food -books and -crafting supplies, so the house is well stocked and we have things to do “come what may”.
All day the wind blew and the laughing river tumbled in the opposite direction that it usually does. Light rain fell off and on all day. Brynn was quiet as a little mouse. Lyla did well, to have been confined all day. Lyla adores Brynn and “makes no bones about it”. We went to bed wondering what the first hours of the day held in store.
I woke early and was on the porch in the first moments of my day. I surveyed the landscape and noted the river was on the same unusual trek. The water churned restlessly, creating whitecaps and the water was a deep lavender. A lone boat bobbed like a cork, in the busy water, near the opposite shore.
As soon as the light crept into the Riverside Village, I called Kyle and Christian who reported all of the old trees had made it through the storm. The house stood firm and had once again done its’ duty to shelter my family. Mama and Daddy shared the same good news, that all was well with them.
I could not reach Tres, who lives in Wilmington, where the storm made actual landfall, and of course, this worried me to no end.
The little town, just fifteen minutes from the rabbit patch, where I work did not fair so well. Everywhere was flooded and folks were without power. The small town, was even mentioned on the national reports. The “Original Washington” suffered a lot of damage. There has not been such results since 1954, when a hurricane named “Hazel” struck the small town. I still remember hearing my grandparents talk about that storm.
Lyla and I made “honeycakes” for breakfast. Jenny woke up with “pink eye”. A local pharmacist agreed to fill a prescription, so Will and Miss Claudia set off after breakfast to pick it up. Jenny and I checked on loved ones. We finally heard from Tres, who will be without power for a long time, as trees were down in every direction, but he was fine and had food and water.
I made chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Chicken soup is good for many ailments and I thought it would be especially good for Jenny, since Brynn was born just days ago.
I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen, which pleased me. I made a beef stew that simmered til it was more than “fork tender”. It would be served over rice, with cabbage and cornbread, for supper.
I also made a special dish for Miss Claudia. It is an orange and coconut concoction that stirs memories of her childhood . . and Christmas.
When the kitchen was clean, and the house quiet, I finally looked at the pictures of the devastation. I thought of my cousin Phillip, who was recently in an awful accident, and suffering with so much pain. It was all heartbreaking and I was full of sorrow for everyone. This prompted me to pray til I at last fell asleep.