Ana May 10 local_radar1431250637364

One thing I like about the web is the ability it gives you to zip off to a webcam at a beach a thousand miles away, and see things for yourself.

As I write at 6:00 AM it is still dark down there, and the wind is blowing the wet flags off shore. It looks like a gloomy start to Mother’s Day, but not all that different to other rainy days I saw back in the early 1980’s, when I lived down there.

(I worked delivering furniture to brand new condos that were popping up like mushrooms. It was an interesting place to work, because everyone else was on vacation. Ever experience delivering a sleeper-sofa while a party is going on?)

The webcams from Kill Devil Hill and Whalehead Beach, up on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, show a relatively cloudless dawn twilight,  and modest onshore winds, so I guess they are not really feeling the tropical storm, though it may curve up the coast today and hit them with some thunderstorms tomorrow. Ana will weaken rapidly once its eye is over land.

The place to be is North Myrtle Beach, if you like a gusty rain.  They’ll be north of the eye, and getting onshore winds.

North Myrtle Beach is where I used to live, a couple blocks back from the beach, in a cottage dubbed “The Lazy Daisy”.  I recall that, out of force of habit, I put a garden in, in April, working bags of manure into soil that was basically pure sand. I kept hitting stray bricks, and when I asked an old-timer what brick structure had formerly stood where the The Lazy Daisy now stood, he said “Nothing. Those bricks are from a place around three blocks south of here. Hurricane Hazel flattened it and washed those bricks up here.”

I came back to check out the neighborhood after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. North Myrtle Beach was relatively unscathed. The real damage was south of Myrtle Beach. Every mile I drove south along the Grand Strand showed worse damage, until the entire shore-front block was shoved inland and jumbled into the cottages a block back from the beach. Down towards Murrell’s Inlet a bored looking National Gaurdsman told me I wasn’t allowed to drive further, (though I doubt I looked much like a looter), so I went on by foot.

What I liked best was the optimistic attitude of the locals. They were all looking forward to all the jobs with good pay that would be available, as everyone rebuilt.

The shore-front cottages had all been built on pilings twelve feet above the sand, and all that was left was the pilings, except for one, lone cottage, standing midst many pilings with its twisted, splintered, wooden staircase hanging down to air, ten feet up. That owner had built fourteen feet above the sand.  I’ve always wondered if people learned from that guy, and rebuilt atop fourteen feet pilings

What power Hugo had!  Ana is a mere breeze. However it made a pretty swirl, seen from outer space yesterday.

Ana May 9 vis0-lalo

Believe it or not, that organized swirl is a form of chaos. (Strange Attractors) That is something to ponder, before church on a Sunday. A snail is just another organized swirl that forms out of chaos.

A family also forms out of chaos, which is a marvel worthy of pondering about, on this Mother’s Day.