Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grandpa Harke

As if life wasn't crazy enough last week (work starting, an earthquake, Irene), there was an even more sad event.  My mom's father passed away overnight last Monday.  He had been in a rehab center after falling and injuring his leg badly, and was doing fine.  But Monday afternoon, he became very spacey and unresponsive, and died in his sleep later. 
The funeral was a great tribute to his life.  The service was held in the same church that he attended his whole life, and where his father was once a Pastor.  Because my grandpa had served in the Army during World War 2, he was given a military service at the graveside. That was one of the most touching events I have ever been a part of.  The men who were there to honor him had a quite a bit of "fruit salad" (the decoration for honors they had received).  It was such an honor to witness that, and to thank my grandpa for his life, and service to our country.  I find peace knowing that he is now with the Lord, in perfect health and spirit. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mean Irene

A lot has been happening around here....so hopefully there will be more blogs posted this week:)  In the Triangle, we were fortunately spared from any of Irene's destruction....but that was not the case in Eastern NC.  We have close ties to most of that area since Brent is from Washington.  I was out of town Saturday when the hurricane hit land (more on that in a future post), but thank God for smart phones!  If I didn't have Twitter, Facebook, and texting - I am not sure how would have gotten any information on our friends and family.  The only major hurrciane I have ever been through was Fran, in 1996.  I would have slept right through it if a friend hadn't called to check on us in the middle of the night.  Because Fran hit such a largely populated area, the destruction was so enormous, and I remember thinking life would never get back to normal.

I can only imagine that is how the people in eastern NC feel right now.  We drove down to Washington yesterday to help family and friends who had trees down or water in their homes.  My in-laws did fairly well, as they only had about 2 inches of standing water in parts of their condo.  The water table was so high that water was leaking through the concrete slab and up into the floors.  The worst part must have been when my mother in law noticed storm sewage seeping up through the tub drain, almost overflowing the tub into her home.  I can't imagine how nasty that smelled, and how terrifying that must have been.  Thankfully, the sewage did not leak onto the floor.
We knew that my sister in law, Kathryn, had gotten the worst damage down in Bath.  They live right on the creek, and are surrounded by some really large, old trees on their lot.  Their house is high enough above the river that they were not in danger of flooding.  But they did have a large tree come crashing down on (and into) my niece's room.  Apparantly, they were all in the room next door when it happened and quickly ran (screaming the whole way, I'm sure) to the opposite end of the house.  Some neighbors and good friends came over to give them shelter at their house. But poor Grace lost everything in her room - they are not sure that it is safe to go back in there.  My heart hurts so badly for her - no 10 year old should have to deal with that.  I am not a parent yet, but I know that we all want to shelter children from the evils and truths of this world, even though it isn't always possible.

I feel extremely lucky than none of my family or friends were hurt in this storm, and most had very little damage.  I have friends on Harker's Island who were all fine, and also in Wanchese who faired well.  I am so thankful because I know there were people around them not as fortunate.
This was the scene all over her yard.  You could barely walk around without climbing over a tree or limb.

This is normally a clear shot to the river.  You can scarcely see the water from where this picture was taken.

This was Grace's room and the girl's bathroom.  It is very scary to see in person.

Another view of the backyard and waterfront

The front of the house, you can see the tree draping over the back part:(

There were scenes like this everywhere - especially in some of the older neighborhoods in Washington.  Huge oak trees fallen all over yards, the road, on cars, etc..  I am not sure how high the river came - I heard reports that it was at least 12 feet at one point.

Just in case you thought this post would lack my normal sarcasm, think again:)
If I see one more news story about NYC and their so called "destruction," I will scream!  Can the small town, for once....just once.....get a bit more recognition?  I am fairly certain the Northeast's Tropical Storm "devastation" does not even compare to NC's Category 3 Hurricane. Just sayin...

Friday, August 12, 2011

39 years......

Today is my parent's 39th wedding anniversary!  I am so blessed to have them as my support system, and they have taught me so much about life and love.  In a world that is filled with couples who say "I do" one year, and "I don't" the next.....it is refreshing to see that commitments still mean something.  Here's to them - 39 years!