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Hurricanes and So Much More

31 August Posted by Emily

What a week we had – an earthquake, aftershocks and Hurricane Irene.  We barely felt anything in Centreville and Manassas.  I happened to be in Centreville rolling a few of our flour bins around and was surprised by my strength.  Then the settling noise made me think twice about someone jackhammering away!  Victoria called to check in since her chair was shaking in Manassas.  We realized it was an earthquake when the light fixtures were slightly swinging.  But no harm was done and everyone was safe and sound.  In honor of all that happened last week, I thought you would enjoy a fun story about my brush with Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

Zachary is my firstborn, so as you can imagine, I was a very nervous first-time mother.  He was born on Monday, September 15.  While waiting upon his arrival at the hospital, the news coverage was about a Tropical Storm Isabel that was turning into Hurricane Isabel.  We thought it was funny since we considered the name Isabel if the baby was a girl.  It wasn’t meant to be, we had a beautiful and healthy baby boy, Zachary, who passed all the tests, so we got sent home after a few days of recovery.  Just in time for a Thursday night Virginia Tech football game and a hot dinner cooked by my father.  I remember sitting on the couch resting, my father cooking away in my kitchen, and my husband, Ray, anxiously setting the television for his beloved football game.  Then our electricity went out.  Hurricane Isabel was knocking on our door and she was not going away easily.  We quickly got some flashlights and ate the parts of dinner that were cooked and put away the rest.  My father and Victoria went home for the evening, but my mother stayed to help us through our first night home with an infant.  That’s when the fun began.

We suddenly heard a huge crash on the back side of the house.  Ray and I went to check it out and we discovered a neighbor’s very large tree had fallen into our yard, breaking the fence and clearing the house by about 10 feet.  We were very lucky and thankful.  That was the scene all over the region.  We didn’t sleep in any bedrooms at the rear of the house since there were a few more large trees.  Yes, we slept on couches and pullout beds while Zachary got the changing table pad on the floor next to us.  What a sight we must have been.  The hurricane had us down for about 10 days – we had no electricty due to some trees hitting the poles, no phone service due to the amount of water, and no safe water in Fairfax County due to the power outage.  What an unforgettable time in our lives!

The bakery was more fortunate than us.  The electricity only flickered, but remained on.  Since we also use Fairfax County water there, we had a slight problem – safe water for our baking and cooking.  Well, we raided all the stores for bottled water.  We brought it in by the casefuls!  So for Zachary’s first birthday party, we had to put this history onto a cake.  We had a serene blue sky with the sun shining through, an upright tree with birds in it and some flowers underneath.  If you look at the bottom corner, you can see the wind currents of the soon-to-be Hurricane Isabel!

Come join us for another fun-filled week.  I am ready for the school year to start.  But until then, come try our special chicken salad of the week.  We decided to take our already fantastic chicken salad to another level this week – we added some champagne grapes and pecans!  The combination is delicious.