October is my favorite month. The southern coastal humidity dries up and the air is crisper, the night skies are clearer, the acorns are dropping, and the sycamore leaves continue to drift down, yet the flowers are still blooming, and the cicadas are still singing for a little while anyway. The chill air and resulting morning dew reveals the nighttime efforts of neighborhood spiders. We noticed this month, that it was not entirely necessary for people to spread around the fake spider web stuff. We had an abundance of the real thing! Of course, we have lived here long enough to know that we can’t quite relax into the beauty of fall until Hurricane season is over.
Last Spring The Daughter had been part of a confirmation class with a few of the youth at our Anglican church, and after a long break over the summer, the plan was to have the actual confirmation when the Bishop of the Diocese visited in early October – coincidentally the weekend that Hurricane Michael unexpectedly swept north and drenched Hampton Roads. A perfect storm of a weekend.
Friday, all weather stations predicting just a little light rain, we took The Daughter over to Hampton for the YMV Mission Overnight. All of the choral and instrumental ensembles performed for the residents, and then got up Saturday morning and did chores cleaning up the Chapel of the Centurion at Fort Monroe.
Things were looking considerably more ominous when The Daughter got home around lunchtime on Saturday, and it was raining when #1 Son set off to attend the wedding of a Granby Crew boat mate in downtown Norfolk. The rain and wind was quite heavy an hour later when we dropped The Daughter off to join her fellow confirmands at an afternoon meeting with the Bishop.
By evening the deluge had commenced, and the usual streets were flooding. The wedding reception was cut short to get everyone out of downtown before they all (quite literally) floated away. Mr. Garner and I cautiously braved the flooded streets staying to the center, and taking the route with better drainage in order to retrieve The Daughter and join everyone at church for a light dinner. This is not a group where people linger to chat, but this time everyone pretty much left after the last mouthful. We navigated home and battened down the hatches.
Because of all of the rain from September, the ground water level was high, and the storm hit at high tide, so The Garners had some flooding in the yard and the basement, but nothing that our sump pump couldn’t handle. Ha! Then, the power went out around midnight, and the rain was still falling, and the wind was still blowing.
Sunday morning we woke to some water in the basement, and no power yet, but the sky was clearing up. So, The Daughter and I got ready for church, driving on amazingly almost-dry streets. Mr. Garner stayed home to oversee the generator which he set up to run the sump pump and the refrigerator, and the coffee pot. 🙂
The worship service was Spirit-filled despite the lack of power, and then, at just the right moment, power resumed, flooding the altar and baptismal basin with light. Quite stirring! At home, our power was restored around 4 pm in the afternoon. We were quite grateful.
The following weekend our AHG troop camped out in the beautiful weather that always follows a hurricane. And the week after that was our mid-term break. We still had all of the outside activities, but we relaxed a little. I caught up on some chores; The Daughter on some reading.
We also fit in two field trips. First, we visited the Chrysler Museum to see their exhibit, “The Agrarian Ideal,” with works by Monet, Van Gogh, Winslow Homer and a few others. The next day we fit in the Victory Rover Harbor Cruise. The weather was just gorgeous. The tour began by circling our local port showing us the harbor side of things that normally we see from a bridge. Then we proceeded up the Elizabeth River to Hampton Roads past submarine berths, and Navy ships, including a look at the brand new destroyer USS Zumwalt. It was a fascinating tour and well worth the money.
The month closed with the usual Halloween activities – except I had a rehearsal. Yes – Bellissima, in final preparations for our concert series “Rejoice!” needed to brush up on a few things. So Halloween night, Mr. Garner was in charge.
On my reading list this month: The Long Roll, by Mary Johnston is proving an excellent choice. At the Still Point , is still on the stack as well as The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems, by Frances Mayes. I would love to report another title, but I’ve been enormously busy keeping up with all of the political writing!
A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”