I have a lot of objects in my home. Lots of stuff, as one would say. I guess I have developed affection for my possessions. Mostly this comes from the fact that I have moved around so much, I try relentlessly to hold onto objects as they make me feel safe.
Do you ever look around your home and see familiar objects around you and immediately feel waves of recollections streaming back? Almost everything in my house has a memory linked to it.
So does my hurricane radio.
I have experienced two hurricanes in my life and none of these experiences is something I want to relive again. The first one was hurricane Marilyn in 1995, while vacationing in the US Virgin Island. I was literally in the eye of the storm and have described this extensively in a previous post.
The second one was barely a year after in North Carolina. Although it was not a direct hit at that time, as I lived inland, it was still a very unsettling experience. In the autumn of 1996, the east coast was devastated by hurricane Fran. I lived in a second story (and the upper most) apartment and spend most of the night hugging my cat while sitting in the bathtub. The storm was strong and I felt at all times that the roof above me would be lifted by the strong winds and disappear. Most likely, the winds were never strong enough so far inland to do that, but I guess after living through one devastating storm, one gains respect for Mother Nature and its fury.
As with every storm of this kind, or any natural catastrophe for that matter, the worst is the aftermath.
Nothing is ordinary. There is no power, sometimes no water and everything comes to a stand still. The stores are closed and there is a state of emergency declared, with curfews implemented. It feels like being part of a war zone.
I will never forget the drive to work the following morning, seeing all the fallen trees and damages and collapsed power lines.
I also recall to this day my drive to the only open store in the area, the nearby K-Mart. We were let in one by one, given flashlights and let literally loose into the dark isles. All one could hear was the eerie silence, interrupted only by voices in the distance and dripping water from damage pipelines. I went there that day as I realized that it was terrible to be without power, but even more devastating to be without any communication. No radio, no TV. I wanted something that was powered by batteries so my mission that day was to purchase a battery driven portable radio. As luck would have it, I found one right away without needing to venture too far into the store. It was almost as if finding a treasure.
To this day the radio still works and use it every summer on my terrace. It works both on batteries and power, but I have never ever used it plugged. Considering that the power is different here, I most likely never will.