Her Name Was Gloria

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Her name was Gloria. My first and only hurricane experience.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes Hurricane Gloria:

Hurricane Gloria was the first significant system to strike the northeastern United States since Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the first major storm to affect New York and Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960. It was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that formed during the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season, originating from a tropical wave on September 16 in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. After remaining a weak tropical cyclone for several days, Gloria intensified into a hurricane on September 22 north of the Lesser Antilles. During that time, the storm had moved generally westward, although it turned to the northwest due to a weakening of the ridge. Gloria quickly intensified on September 24, and the next day reached peak winds of 145 mph (230 km/h). The hurricane weakened before striking the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 27. Later that day, Gloria made two subsequent landfalls on Long Island and later western Connecticut, before becoming extratropical on September 28 over New England. The remnants moved through Atlantic Canada, eventually dissipating on October 2.

My husband and I were visiting his parents at their summer cabin in Maine.

Jack and Sally lived up the cliff from the ocean, buried in the huge pine forest above the little cove town called Booth Bay Harbor. Many a famous person docked their yachts in Booth Bay Harbor during the summer. Walter Cronkite had his yacht there. It was called “On Assignment”. (Clever, eh?) Jimmy Dean spent much of his summers up there on his yacht. Of course, Jimmy Dean’s yacht was named “Big Bad John” after his famous song. His massive yacht was 53’ long and took up a significant portion of the Harbor when he was in town. It was fun to walk down the hill and see which yachts and sail boats were in for the day.

All of the yachts took off as soon as they predicted the hurricane. Everyone was getting ready to hunker down for the worst.

Jack and Sally’s little log cabin was darling. It was really only 3 rooms though. No second floor and no basement. There was no bathtub. Before a hurricane, one thing they tell you to do is fill the tub in case you need it to run your plumbing in the aftermath. So we filled big jugs of water. We got the recommended 3 days of food, plenty of bottled water to drink and plenty of candles and matches.

We were up the cliff so there was no evacuation order. What I was worried about was the winds whipping through those massive pine trees. I was afraid one of them (or even more than one) would fall and crush the cabin.

The skies did get very dark. The rain came in torrents and the trees whipped, but as old as they were, not one of them snapped. We played games by candelight listening to a portable radio as Hurricane Gloria did her damage outside.

At the end, I thought I had been in worse blizzards in Wisconsin. I wasn’t impressed with Hurricane Gloria but as Wikipedia pointed out, by the time it got to Maine it has pretty well petered out. (That’s a term my mom used to use…petered out).

As I write this, my thoughts are with clients and their families from Texas all the way up the East Coast. And of course, let’s not forget Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. I hope they all fair well.