Hurricane Pinks

Well, the battens are hatched – the hatches are battened – as well as may be – and we wait knowing tomorrow brings a storm the likes of which I haven’t seen for some twenty years.  

Hurricane Irene is plowing up the eastern seaboard and headed right for us here in southern New Jersey.  We’ve stock-piled plenty of water, batteries, flashlights, an oil lamp, fruit, bread, canned salmon and tuna – not to mention a large bag of cat food and litter.  I’m making sure all our digital devices have full batteries tonight, and am even keeping a bag semi-packed in case a hasty retreat is necessary.

The yard is as secure as we could make it.  All the sweet birdhouses in the wildflower garden have been taken down and stored in the shed.  It’s a good thing the house wren had been the only summer inhabitant.  He’s been gone these past few weeks so all of them were empty.

Where do the birds go when the hurricanes come?

What will happen to my bunnies, and squirrels, and chipmunks that we watch every morning?

And, what of my woodchuck!  He of my Simple Pleasure post this week!  Will I ever see him again?

You see, some twenty years ago, I lived in Charleston, South Carolina – ground zero for Hurricane Hugo.  That was a category four storm – 156 mile an hour winds – spawning tornadoes – you do a storm like that once – never again.  Up until that day, I had large red headed woodpeckers eating from my feeder just out the kitchen window – my delight to watch them every day, along with the jays, and sparrows, and cardinals, and finches.

After Hugo – the smaller birds returned – but never saw the woodpecker again.  I lived there for four years.

Hugo arrived just six months after we’d moved into our new construction home in a nice new development called, Canterbury Woods.  We renamed it, Canterbury Sticks, post Hugo.

My husband at the time was the engineer on a submarine that was being worked on.  It was strapped to the dock while all the other ships were sent to deep water.  He was able to be home with me and the kids – toddlers at the time.  A family with three children were staying with us – they lived a mile from the shoreline – we were 15 miles inland.

I was overwhelmed with fear!  It was like a great claw hand had a grip on my shoulder and was shaking me uncontrollably.  Trembling, I would run to my bedroom and bath and gag from my nauseous stomach, the fear had so consumed me.  I had to pull myself together – I was the grown-up and had to be able to look after my children.  They were happily playing with their friends – not a care in the world.  I was melting down.

The sky was dark and the rain barely beginning that afternoon.  Within hours, the landscape of my neighborhood and town would be radically changed.  In my room, I shook with fear and cried out to God to calm the storm in my heart and mind.

Then – it happened – a vision!  The Lord gave me a vision!  I saw my house as though looking down upon the roof.  On the roof, sitting straddled and facing each other, were two HUGE angels!  They were laughing and talking and the winds were blowing – but they paid it no mind.  Trees would fall towards the house, but they just brushed them away with their arms and continued laughing and chatting.

The Lord spoke very clearly to my spirit:

“As your house is built on a firm foundation, so, too, you have built your life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.  
You will not be moved.”

There was a flood.  A flood of PEACE that surged through me.  The shaking and trembling stopped.  I was calm and at rest.  I rejoined the adults in the family room and weathered the storm.  We put the children to bed in their rooms while we listened to the horrible roar outside, feeling safe within.

In the morning, when we rolled out of bed and into the street, the shock and awe of the devastation was astounding.  A pine tree went through the neighbor’s house, diagonally across the street from us, like a missile.  Two doors down, a tree fell through a house, cutting it in two.  Roofs ripped off, trees down so that it was impossible to drive on the street.  It was an overwhelming sight of destruction.

Not a soul was injured – but, such frightful stories they told of how they passed the night.

And, our house?  We lost nine trees.  They all fell AROUND THE HOUSE in a circle – not a one touching the house – as though brushed aside by an unseen hand.  Oh, there was a small branch that took out $35.00 worth of shingles from the corner of the garage.  My neighbors didn’t have any shingles left at all.

Miraculous!  The Hand of God – faithful to keep!

So, where is my “hurricane pink” today?  Well . . . here . . . a last look at my pretty pinks in the wildflower garden.  I expect it will be rather windblown by the weekend’s end. 

And . . . here . . . the sky last night after a deluge that flooded the streets.  The camera doesn’t do it justice.

Today was a lovely, sunny, warm day – just the thing for gathering supplies and putting all things in order.  Doing what we know to do, to the best of our ability.  Trusting God to make up the rest.

The worst of it will be hitting us by tomorrow night and through into Sunday morning.  It is slow moving, so long hours of sustained category one winds will be very damaging.  I expect we’ll lose power.  Don’t know when that will come back.  And, every time we lose power, I lose my internet and have to call Verizon to have them reconfigure FIOS from their computer so my modem will work again.  I expect they’ll be busy – don’t know when I’ll be back online and in the blogging saddle again.

After hitting us, Irene will continue up the coast and be buffeting my son, daughter-in-law, and baby Mackenzie up in New England – on Mackenzie’s birthday, too!!!  What a way to celebrate!

Prayer for protection of life and property is appreciated.  Miss you all – but hope to be back with you by mid-week!  Good is good – all the time.  All the time – God is good . . .

Sharing my Hurricane Pinks with:
Beverly’s Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound
Spiritual Sundays with Charlotte & Ginger

P.S. Addendum:  It is now 7:18am – the morning after Hurricane Irene poured across South Jersey.  We are well and dry – though spent most of the night wringing towels to keep the basement stairs from flooding the basement.  Very weary – but well – lost power for only a minute.  Tracking the storm as it heads to my son’s part of the country in New England.  May sleep most of the day – but hope to get some blog reading done and regroup.  Thank you to all whose thoughts and prayers were with us here on the eastern seaboard!  Joy in our faithful God!
 

Comments

  1. Will keep you in prayer. We live in New England and it will be hitting us about the same time as your precious family.

    Is it still a category three?

    Take care, sweet sister!

  2. Hi Kathryn

    I’m right there with you my friend. Prayers all around!

    Leann

  3. Praying God’s Peace for you this time too, Kathy!

    Thank you for your comment on my blog today! I think your home must be a place of beauty and creativity! Just like you.

    Deanna

  4. Praying for your safety, Miss Kathy. Thank you for sharing your story of how the Lord calmed your storm. I’m glad you have that to hold on to. We are bracing ourselves here in Maine, but it shouldn’t be too bad by the time it gets to us.

  5. God is awesome! What a sweet testimony! And praying for y’all for this storm knowing that HE IS with you and HE IS in control. :) Blessings!

  6. What an amazing and awesome story.
    I sit on the otherside of the country, where it finally reached 80 degrees for the first time this summer. And to read what you went through and what you are preparing for… I’m dazed.

    Please know that you are being covered with prayers.Prayers are being sent up for you.

    Please let us know how you are doing.

  7. Sweet post today. Stay safe and out of harm’s way – that Irene, she’s a mean so and so!

  8. Wow, what a story! And what a blessing you were calmed by your prayers and God’s vision. Amazing Grace! Stay safe. We are as ready as can be here…probably just a lot of rain and wind (But we are surrounded by trees!)

  9. Keeping you in thought and prayer, as well as everyone in Irenes’ path. We do not have hurricanes….earthquakes and annual Santa Ana Winds that blow up to 80 mph, but no hurricanes. Angels will watch over you again~

  10. Kathy you have such a wonderful testimony to God’s protective hand over your family!
    I pray the same again for you with this current threat!
    Nothing is too hard for God to handle on behalf of His children.
    He is a faithful Father!
    Stay safe my dear friend.
    Much love in Jesus..Trish

  11. Hurricane Update:

    As I write this, it is 7:03. We still have power but we’ve got over 2 inches of rain already – and barely gotten into the storm. There are trees reported down in various parts of town. No cars are allowed on the roads. Hunkered down to watch and wait. Got all my school paperwork done this afternoon. Off to spend the evening reading.

    I’ll check in later – if I can! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. The peace of the Lord surrounds me.

    Joy!
    Miss Kathy

  12. Hi Kathy,

    Stay safe in the arms of Our Father and all will be calm.

    *hugs*

    mo

  13. I have been thinking a lot lately, about total and complete faith in God, despite the surrounding circumstances. One of the things Jesus told his discipes – taught – was to fear not…it takes experiencing life’s trials and knowing no matter what – God is in control…that we come to trust Him more. I pray all will be well, even if there is some damage – God is still in control –
    God Bless,
    Kathy

  14. Praise God for your safety yet again!! I knew which of my blog friends were in the way and prayed with and for you.

    I remember Hugo from the Savannah side of it. What a terrible night of fear that was. Your story gave me a catch in my throat and that “God” feeling in my chest.

  15. Prayers with you all. I have never been near a hurricane, but my husband and sons have helped out after Katrina.
    Thanks for your encouraging story….He is there in all our storms, which I posted on this morning and seem to be seeing that theme through out blog land today.
    Blessings and safety in Jesus Name

  16. The fact that you were able to comment today thrills me that the angels were again on duty! I love the story of your vision. We have no idea what the Lord has in place for us. He tells us in His Word but it’s hard to imagine the reality of it. How generous of Him to let you see it for yourself!!

    Blessings, Debbie

  17. Kathy, my prayers have been and continue to be with you and your family. I’m hoping that the storm won’t cause the damage that’s been anticipated. I just LOVED the story about your house during Hugo – what a miracle! I trust that God sent some *protectors* this weekend, too.

    When you get a chance, please let us know that you’re OK –

    May the Master of the Storm be strong with you – physically protecting you, and emotionally upholding you.

    GOD BLESS!

  18. Glad you made it through the storm okay! I heard there was some tornado action in NJ’s largest city! Craziness….

    Ocean city seemed to escape major damage of which I am glad….so did my Mom’s area (minus half of her pear tree) but I do not know anything about Cape May. I’ll have to Google some info to find out the scoop!

  19. I’m really glad to hear you are okay. I enjoyed this post. I grew up in Arizona, where my only tales are about 115 degree temps and 300 dollar electricity bills. When I became a Navy spouse, we did travel all over but never experienced anything of this sort. If the circumstances hadn’t abruptly changed for me last year, I would surely have been sitting in the dark at this moment in Rhode Island, where we were due to be stationed next. Maybe even flooded out.

    I know the power of prayer lessened Irene, it was huge on the satellite pictures!! America came together and prayed!

  20. Kathryn this post brought tears to my eyes. We have such an AWESOME God who cares for each of HIS children. The picture of your Angels was beautiful, as I have often prayed for the Angels at the four corners of our home. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, and we are now battling a spiritual storm as the enemy has laid traps and lured the loved ones who have turned from God to seek their own will and way. BUT I KNOW that GOD IS ABLE to protect and defeat the evil one. Thanks for sharing this story again.

    Jocelyn @
    http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com

    (I would have sent you an email, but you are a non reply on my comments)

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