FRIENDS IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
— God Bess Topsail, God Bless North Carolina. God Bless America
By Judi McLeod, with permission of the author
We may be hundreds of miles away. However not just our thoughts and prayers, but our very spirits are in the Holly Ridge area of North Carolina, where Barbara and Ronnie, our dearest friends on Earth, are sheltering from Hurricane Florence with beach resident friends Ardelle and Dennis, Hazel and hubby.
We had last been in touch with Barbara via email, up to 5:10 p.m, EDT yesterday and naively tried to telephone them at 6:00 a.m., this morning to tell them that not only us, but many of our friends, were praying for their safety.
SOME 400,000 SOULS NOW WITHOUT POWER
With some 600,000 souls now without power, the phone call was cancelled by the system before anyone could answer.
All that was left was an anxiety-ridden search for up-to-date storm information on the Internet.
It was then that we saw a picture that broke our hearts—nearby Topsail Beach in the surge.
We tell our friends that Topsail Beach, North Carolina is the most beautiful spot on Earth.
We first visited it and nearby Surf City in 2005 and returned twice in 2009, including Christmas where we enjoyed our first ever Southern Christmas dinner, when ‘Sir Ronnie’ (our nickname for him) taught us how to cook the perfect prime rib.
A storm Barbara, Ronnie, Ardell and Dennis rated “nothing to worry about” caused us anxiety, and when we returned to our rented house in Surf City, our then little dog, Kiko, wailed like a banshee when he heard the shrieking winds and pounding surf outside.
I had dreamed of visiting the Carolinas long before our first visit there. They far surpassed, and then some, my long ago dreams as a girl in an orphanage.
One of my fondest memories during the trip was witnessing four courteous marines from Camp Lejeune helping a very nervous lady having difficulty parking in front of a small Surf City supermarket. Not only did they stand in front of her vehicle — using arm signals to see her safely parked — they kept reassuring her, as she described her parking difficulty embarrassment, “You’re doing alright”. Then when she exited her vehicle, they extended their hands, waving her inside the supermarket as if she were a queen.
In 2009, we were in Surf City for New Year’s Eve; and as Canadians, we were surprised at signs advising folks to register their alcohol at the door and check in their handguns.
We came away knowing that we would never forget how attendees started New Year’s festivities off with a rousing rendition of ‘God Bless America’.
BACK TO CURRENT-DAY HURRICANE FLORENCE:
In searching for information about damage caused by Hurricane Florence, we read about the people in New Bern desperately waiting for rescue on rooftops.
“More are on the way to help us,” New Bern officials tweeted early Friday. “You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU.”
Surely that says it all about New Bern officials.
We were distressed to see interspersed on many mainstream and social media reports, the topic of the storm being the fault of climate change and President Donald Trump.
Infuriating, when we know some of the same media scribes will be sending useless “our thoughts and prayers are with you” to survivors whose relatives may be swept away in the storm, and to the many who will lose everything they ever had.
Like their progressive political masters, the media politicize anything.
Meanwhile, our spirits will be with Barbara and Ronnie and it will be raining in our hearts until we hear that they are safe.
Please say a prayer for all within the path of Hurricane Florence.
All things pass, including storms like Hurricane Florence.
God bess Topsail, God Bless North Carolina. God Bless America!
WEB ADDRESS OF ORIGINAL “OP-ED”
JUDI MCLEOD’S BIO:
Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.
Judi can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org