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The Calm Before the Storm

November 5, 2012

Delaware – Saturday, October 27

After I got packed up from camping, Tula and I took another 3.5 mile walk around the state park before leaving. I also climbed one of the WWII observation towers, but wasn’t too crazy being out at the top in all the wind! Tula actually walked right in and started climbing the spiral stairs, but stopped about halfway up when they got a little narrower. Since I was the only one in there, I just looped her leash over the rail and she waited patiently for me to come back down. We walked over the dunes and down to the ocean again, and there was a huge difference in the waves since yesterday morning. The sea was not in a friendly mood today! And it was getting gray out.

Then I stopped in Lewes again (people were starting to board up windows) to ask a couple questions about the donation I wanted to give. In the end, the donation didn’t quite work out as planned, so I ended up making a different one instead – and maybe that is for the best! My original thought came to me when I was in the Cannonball House Museum yesterday, and one of the plaques on the wall caught my attention. The plaque described one of the oldest aid societies in Delaware, which was formed in 1788 to support the families of incapacitated river pilots – it was called the Society for Relief of Distressed and Decayed Pilots. This aid society is still in existence, although the docent told me it is more like an insurance program these days. Making a donation to one of the oldest aid societies appealed to me. But, when I tried to do a little research on it, all I could find about this organization was a bunch of political stuff, and that does not appeal so much. When I returned to ask the docent how I could find out a little more, he suggested contacting people in Dover, the capital; and I also went to the Historical Society, but the lady there wasn’t familiar with it. Clearly the aid society has changed in 200+ years (as well it should!) and I couldn’t find any local connections with it. But I wanted to make a donation of some kind in the First Town in the First State, and ultimately made my donation to the Lewes Historical Society. They maintain about 15 small museums and old buildings in town, and that contributes to the charm of the town – they’re very involved in community activities too. So instead of contributing to an aid society that was formed in 1788, I contributed to an organization keeping history alive from 1631 when the town was formed!

I drove north a bit along the coast, and stopped at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, where I finished my Delaware walking. The boardwalk took me out over marshy coastal waters, and I couldn’t help but think what was going to happen to this whole area when Hurricane Sandy hit. It’s almost incomprehensible.

Then I left Delaware, and drove through New Jersey and the northern part of New York City, and across Connecticut and into Rhode Island again. Since I’d been camping for 5 days I hadn’t watched any TV or listened much to the radio because I was always outside, and didn’t yet realize the severity of what was coming. I thought getting a little farther north, and away from New York and New Jersey would keep me out of the worst of it. In hindsight, I should have headed west from Delaware, instead of going to Rhode Island, but I didn’t.

And, as an earlier post stated, I ended up staying in Rhode Island Saturday night, listened a lot to the news, and made my decision to leave New England Sunday morning while I could get out. It took nearly 2 days to drive to Tara’s house in Ohio – through a great deal of rain, and wind that swirled leaves in big clusters. Traffic was heavy in spots, and even before the storm, I stopped at 2 gas stations that were already out of gas. People were filling up the gas tanks and lots of gas cans. I made frequent stops to top off my gas tank. One guy ahead of me in Connecticut filled his truck and had 6 other gas cans as well. People were definitely worried and trying to plan ahead. Listening to CNN on the radio convinced me I had made a good choice to head away from the storm. It was hard to think about what was going to happen to places I had just seen.

So, good-bye to New England for now, but I will return.

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