It is amazing what you take for granted. It is easiest to lose track of the little things. May 30, we were waiting for sub-tropical storm Beryl to show up in our neighborhood.
Last summer we survived Irene, and there were no severe weather warnings with Beryl. No one was expecting much. I got up to mostly clouds and light rain.
I enjoyed an uneventful first cup of coffee. My normal walk to get the morning paper was in heavy, warm rain. I intentionally left my footwear, a pair of Crocs, in the garage.
I walk a lot on the beach and just the other day I noticed the tread was worn off those Crocs. I have learned from experience that tread-less Crocs and wet concrete are a lethal combination.
Without any serious thought, I walked out to get the newspaper in my bare feet. I have done it many times. Sometimes the concrete is too cold or too hot, but I have managed to survive it one way or the other even in the rain.
Often like on May 30, the walk without shoes is comfortable and reminds me of my youth in rural NC in the fifties when shoes were optional in the summer.
After returning with the paper, I checked the rain gauge before I went inside. I made a mental note that we were not far off the one inch per hour that the weather folks were predicting.
I made a second pot of coffee since it was raining. We all sat around and talked for a few minutes as the rain poured down and our granddaughter played. I went upstairs and to the back of the house to my office. I was thinking about taking a small movie of the rain from our deck and comparing it to the one that I did with Hurricane Irene.
My wife, youngest daughter, and our granddaughter were all down stairs close to the front of the house. I just had a hand on the door handle of the door leading to our upper deck when things got very weird.
I remember it getting dark and noisy, and the next thing I knew a pine branch exploded one of the upper windows in our house. Luckily I was in another room.
Even more fortunately my daughter, granddaughter and wife managed to get into closets because they saw something happening out the front windows.
Everything was over in just over a minute. An EF1 or EF2 tornado slid by our neighborhood in Bluewater Cove. It seemed to have gone through the backyards of the houses across the street from us.
Not long after the tornado passed through the rain stopped, and everyone came out to survey the damage. With just one window gone, we were lucky. Some homes had damaged roofs and a couple of trampolines were mangled and relocated. Lots of trees were down. One large boat was turned upside down.
Other homes less than a mile from us were destroyed.
The tornado came through just an hour or so before the garbage truck was due in the neighborhood. My can was turned over, but only one, easily retrievable bag had escaped. Other cans were not so lucky, but our neighborhood was very lucky. No one was hurt and no homes were destroyed.
Amazingly no one in Carteret County was injured.
Though it was just a little thing, the storm spread glass all over our driveway. It has taken two days of picking up glass before I could comfortably ditch my shoes again for my bare foot strolls down the driveway.
Walking down the driveway without shoes is not a big thing, but it disappeared in an instant. We aren't masters of our world. While we could prepare for Hurricane Irene, it is hard to prepare for a tornado which came without warning.
There is no doubt that the weather is the master of us. We cannot accurately predict it. We just have to be on our toes and be ready for whatever might happen. Expect the best and prepare for the worst as the old saying goes.