Storm of the Century

The crickets don’t seem to know we’re in the path of a hurricane.  They’re in fine form, chirping away outside my studio window at pre-dawn.  Girl Kitty is calm, sleepy on her pillow, no running in circles (yet).  It’s hard to believe what is apparently (very apparent on all TV stations) lurking down south.

We are very much water-based on Martha’s Vineyard. This is the harbor, three blocks from my house, normally beautiful and tranquil; now it would be called “living on the edge.”  The words being used to describe this storm are frightening: weather people are giving us “Tips for Survival,” (Survival, couldn’t they just say “safety?”) — talking about: Devastation and Massive Tree Damage. We should “Develop a Plan for a Week Without Electricity,” they offer Live Team Coverage, Unprecedented Coverage of Historic Proportions; because it’s a Disaster, there will be Toppling and Crushed Cell-Phone Towers (they say, “Keep your cell phone sealed in a plastic bag!”); 2.5 Million People Under Evacuation Orders; NY City evacuating for first time in history!!!  Surging, Flooding, Bashing, Storm of the Century, remove all Projectiles from your yard!  Any minute they’ll announce Godzilla is in NY and heading for the island. They’re scaring my parents who’re calling me from out west. Twitter friends are worried about us.

 An Adirondack chair is now considered a Projectile.  Joe moved them all into the barn yesterday…. see those three trees next to the house?  They don’t look so big in the picture, but they’re over a 100 years old, HUGE, and 6′ from house.  We clearly do not stand a chance here, on this little blip of an island, out in the ocean.  While I listen intently, try and get Joe’s attention to discuss the situation, he acts like nothing is happening. He thinks the media is so madly in love with itself it has started manufacturing hurricanes.  I’m forced to have a screaming fit be stern with him in order to get him to put the projectiles away, to watch the TV with me.  He will be having his hurricane on the end of that wharf in the first photo … who is crazy, him, or me? I don’t like my choices, either I’m a cynic, a lemming, or an idiot.  I choose lemming.  Out I go to do away with more projectiles…These must go…

 Of course they must, especially that frog, everything comes in to the pantry until this is over.

Better safe than sorry.

Although I can’t bring myself to put my cell phone in a plastic bag, we are ready. In case of power loss, we have a gas stove, (we can cook, no going without tea); the fridge is full of food and ice; I made a big chicken salad; we have ice cream, we have chocolate sauce; we have candles; we have Rummikub; we have wine (probably the number one ingredient for a hurricane, but they never mention THAT on the TV); we’re on town water, so we’ll have water; our house is on a hill so flooding shouldn’t be happening here. Didn’t bother to fill car tanks with gas; there’s no place to go.  But batteries on phone and computer are revved.  Most important, the cameras both have full batteries in them!  We won’t miss a thing.

This just in:  Dr. Nab, Hurricane Expert, says, “Well, it’s been downgraded, it’s a weaker storm than I thought, not as big as expected.” He sounds so sad and deflated, I almost feel bad for him.

 This just in from Nags Head NC, “I have to say, I thought it would be gustier at this point.”  Hope is seeping into the picture; but it can turn on a dime.  I’ll keep you informed, Video, as they say, at 11. (Not really, I’m in bed by 11, but video, when there’s something to take a video of . . . 🙂  We will survive!

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130 Responses to Storm of the Century

  1. Jacqui G says:

    Glad to see you are prepared! Stay safe Susan and let’s hope the storm continues to downgrade. Those of us that have been through hurricanes know it’s serious stuff- that’s why your girlfriends are concerned about you…we love you!

    • sbranch says:

      I had a tree land on my roof in one of them, I have learned to be respectful of Mother Nature when she is in a bad mood.

      • Tiina says:

        Praying for you and Joe that this thing blows over soon and things will go back to normal. This too shall pass…and hopefully with everything still intact. Keep us posted.

  2. Debbie says:

    I’m so thankful this storm has been downgraded. Always better to do too much than too little! I surely hope your beautiful trees are not damaged. We live in a 130 year old neighborhood and the old huge hackberries have been coming down with the wind or destroyed by rot in the lasts few years. We have one on our kitchen side. Guess I hadn’t thought much about ‘projectiles’.
    Hope to hear good news out the other side of this situation.

  3. I left my parents home in Oak Bluffs yesterday and headed off island, back to Boston. Hubs made sure they had their generator in running condition~but your husband may be right, it always seems the weather people make such a huge deal about things, and then it fizzles out with a light rain….here is hoping they are overdoing it again!
    Agree with putting away all projectiles, and I also endorse having wine on the premises during such emergencies.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Living in Massachusetts has been a real challenge this year, the January snow storms, the tornado that traveled 39 miles, right through Springfield where I work….microbursts which took down 6 trees in my neighbors yard that fell into ours, the earthquake that we felt this week(we had to evacuate the city blding) and now the hurricane! Yikes! But we New Englanders are a hearty bunch, as the words of Mark Twain, if you don’t like the weather wait a few minutes and it will change (something like that). My husband went down to the shore yesterday and pulled our boat out of the marina, we’re not taking any chances! When hurricane Gloria hit here it took down a huge oak tree in our front yard, so when my husband cut it up, i took a wedge from it and painted it into a slice of watermelon which still gets put out on my front porch today! I’m hoping the news is just hyping this up but we are prepared, (we purchased a generator after the tornado) but I plan on doing some cooking and baking today just in case. I hope
    you stay safe Susan, we’ll hunker down and go through this together! Don’t you think its kind of exciting though?

    • sbranch says:

      It is, one thing we can say for this neck of the woods, it’s never boring!

      • Suzanne says:

        Yes never boring is right! My kitty girl Maggie wants to send Girl Kitty best wishes and not to worry, she’s curled up in her window seat totally relaxed and calm just watching me type away, she knows she has a snuggley home and is loved alot as she knows Girl Kitty is. They are lucky little munchkins!

  5. I really hope all goes well with you. We live along the east coast of Florida and my parents called from Maine and asked if we were still on the map. The media had hyped it up SO much up there and we didn’t get but some rain and a little wind.
    Keep us posted!

  6. Sheryle Towle says:

    Stay safe! Glad I am not the only one running in circles. Projectiles = umbrellas, flags, barn star, bird feeders, chairs. Is a bird bath a projectile? Groceries bought & yes, plenty of wine! Mike LOVES storms, also. His cameras are prepared with all his lenses. I keep thinking that I should go back to the store one more time….not sure what else we need….maybe chocolate kisses? Sending you a big hug for a safe weekend, Susan & Joe!

  7. Betsy says:

    Hello from Pennsylvania! We don’t have city water or sewers. If we lose power we are up the creek! How to prepare……the chocolate chip cookies are baking in the oven now! One must be ready for all emergencies. Best wishes Susan to you and your Joe!

  8. Patricia says:

    I have to agree with Joe on this one…I think the media have hyped this thing up. I live in NY and the only precaution I’ve taken is to get lots of candles in the hopes that if there is a power outage it will force my husband into being “romantic”. 🙂 Either way I’m looking forward to your posts/videos from the storm (I always look forward to them anyway so it’s nothing new.)

  9. Nellie says:

    Susan, I’m continuing to hope that Irene forgets Martha’s Vineyard is out there in the ocean. It does sound a bit more hopeful this morning, but conditions seem to be able to change at a moment’s notice. Staying safe – that’s the most important thing! xoxo

  10. Kim S says:

    I have been thinking about you guys since I heard about the storm taking a northern path. I think you are right to be better safe than sorry, but I hope you will miss the worst. Thanks for posting for all us worrywarts. lol

  11. joan says:

    I’m glad you get tons of warning time. In tornado alley, our warnings can be just minutes. Stay safe, keep the kettle on, and make sure the wine is chilled in case the power goes out. 😉

  12. Bernie says:

    As a Floridian of over 50 years, I’ve had more than my share of first hand experience with hurricanes. (Cat 1-4) Yes, there is over kill on the media with non stop coverage for days. Having said that, do not get complacent. I hope you have coolers for your ice, because a freezer full of ice, and no power (for days, or maybe weeks, will just leave you with water)…which you will need, and spoiled food if you dont have a generator and gas to keep the fridge going. Speaking of a full tank of gas, its not that you want to go anywhere NOW, but after the storm, no power, means no pumping at the station if you DO want to go somewhere. You also want to fill your bathtubs with water, so you can “bucket flush” your toilets. If you are on a well for your fresh water, fill containers now while you still have power. No power, means no pumping to get it out of your well and up to your faucet. I found it is easy to live with no lights, but no water is another story. Even a Cat 1 is still a hurricane. Dont diminish the possibility of small objects becoming projectiles…it happens. I hope you fare well, but being over prepared is far better than under

  13. Sandy Smith says:

    I live in NC-about 1 1/2 hours from Cape Lookout. Things are not to bad here-just no power and a lot of wind. It seems to be weakening, so maybe by the time it reaches you it will be downgraded more. I hope so because I would hate to see anything happen to that beautiful place you call home or the people that live there! Stay safe:)

  14. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Morning all: OK, we’re all out here in CA on pins and needles (ouch!) hoping you’ll all be safe on the East Coast, but waiting for your (or should I say Joe’s) video and first hand, up close and personal reporting! Sounds like you’re using good scouting techniques – be prepared, just in case! My husband just told me we have two storm surges on the stove……I ummmm, forgot to go in and turn down the eggs and potatoes boiling away (need potato salad today, a birthday bash on the river) because I needed to check on the SB/JH household! Be safe! Hugs!

  15. Barb says:

    You took all the words right out of my mouth. Men seem “oblivious” to disaster, unless of course, they are in front of a camera, and it becomes their mission in life to scare the be-jezzes out of you!
    We live on the Eastern Shore of MD and know all too well about “projectiles” and flooding, and scary water stories. Given that Irene is paying us a visit on the heels of an earthquake we felt here – minding our own business, mind you – on the shore, people are “antsy” at best. Earthqake – on the shore? Hm?
    Anyway – we’re hunkered down – watching the skies – and the wind – and the rain!
    I’m thinking it’s time to cut quilt pieces or scrapbook. I’ll blog about the event after all is said and done! Tee-hee.

    • Holly says:

      Hi Barb! Not sure how long you’ve lived on the Eastern Shore but do you remember Hurricane Gloria in 1985? My family rode that one out – I was a teenager at the time and was terrified!

  16. Marcy Hail says:

    I am here in GA hoping that all turns out to be milder than predicted. Please stay safe. New Englanders are a tough crew and will handle it well.

  17. queenmum says:

    Stay safe Dearest Susan! I also believe that storms are “overhyped” by the media. We live in western New York snow country and the Buffalo/Rochester news stories each winter have us ready for the 4 horsemen to come riding down the road at the first snowflake. We take it all with a grain of salt, but stay ready! Glad THIS storm is not as bad as first predicted so that you can ride it out…and yes, wine helps!
    xox from the boonies

  18. Cheryl Egan says:

    Hi Sue, I thought you’d get a kick out of this quote I heard on NECN as I was getting into the shower in a panic (like it was the last one I’d have for DAYS or something). The reporter announced that “for all those who ignore the manditory evacuation, they have brought in body bags”……Jeesh! Tell Joe that one! Be safe and enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dear! I guess we’re supposed to be happy they’re so prepared?

      • Sarah says:

        Oh, there was a worse one than that when we lived through Hurricane Ike when it hit Houston a couple of years ago. We were without power for TWO WEEKS. But prior to the hurricane hitting, they were saying on the news to write your Social Security Number on your arm somewhere so they could identify you!! My parents called from Indiana FREAKING OUT when that went on to the national news. Such sensationalism doesn’t help anything. And the reporters DO seem deflated, like you said, when they can’t make such a big deal out of it. We are in northern Virginia, and we are getting some quite nasty rain right now, but not much wind yet. That’s what makes me nervous. We too have 100 year old trees on our property, and old, big trees trying to hang on for dear life to soggy ground in gale force winds is not an ideal combo. 🙂 I am ready for this to be over. While the advanced warning is always good, by the time it actually gets here, you’ve kind of lost interest. Storm weary. 🙂

  19. Lori says:

    Praying that you (and everyone) are safe!

  20. Isn’t it great that we have all this advance warning about Hurricanes…not usually the case with tornadoes. I was reading the list of important papers to pack into your evacuation supply…makes one want to have multiple copies of everything so there could be one envelope to grab as we head out the door….since we had ‘April’s Fury’ here in the south, I say take serious the suggestion that you photograph your home inside and out and put those photos on a disk…there might not be a house there when you return and you might have to prove otherwise……..
    Be safe!
    Mama Bear

  21. laurie says:

    wow, who would have ever thought a frog would be a projectile,, be safe,,

  22. Gigi says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’ve been wondering about you & hoping you’re not in harm’s way. Here’s hoping mean old Irene poops out soon – long before she gets to your part of the country! I’m in North Carolina – but in the western part of the state — happy to say it’s sunny & dry here.
    Be safe!

  23. mommastinkyface2 says:

    Hi Susan,

    Living in Florida I will tell you to ALWAYS be prepared, hope for the best but be ready for the worst. That being said I will also tell you, the news makes a mountain of a mole hill when it comes to hurricanes… atleast down here. Not that disasters don’t strike, they do, we have seen them. I will pray for you and I will pray that this is just a mole hill. Good Luck.

  24. Lesley says:

    I love your positive attitude. Sounds like you and your Joe have taken all the right steps towards safety. My prayers to you and all others on the East Coast area. Hugs.

  25. Carmel says:

    dear, dear Susan you are doing the right thing. It’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. I’m in Arlington, VA and cleared out my huge balcony this morning of things I perceive as lovely (garden stone bunnies, ducks and flower pots, chairs,etc.), but would become projectiles in high winds. I feel it’s another way of taking care of my neighbors too. My local weather (they have an excellent track record for accuracy) says that even though there’s a downgrade, the storm is just as dangerous. I’m even praying for our old trees in the neighborhood. I hate to lose them – I consider them family. California is my former home state and this is only my second hurricane. Isabel left us without power for 4 1/2 days. I bought some canned goods yesterday that I would never normally eat (high sodium and fat) but I’m grateful to have some survival food if the power fails. Thank you for the Gozilla remark – I laughed and laughed. Between the earthquake Tuesday and now this I told an elderly neighbor ( I took her out for her birthday yesterday) that I’ll be on the lookout for locusts. We had a little laugh. We will all get through this. I’m finishing up my final preps and praying for everyone. I made sure I got chocolate yesterday! I’ve “known” you and Joe since your first “Willard” and love you both (kitty too) and will be thinking you.

  26. Francine says:

    Stay safe Susan and Joe! You are in my thoughts and prayers. In case you need a place to stay….come to Wisconsin! We could cook, work on a craft project, play games, have some drinks! That would be fun, at least for me!

  27. jeanine says:

    I’m so glad you’re getting prepared, but as someone who lived through both Camille and Katrina (and had to ride both of them out), the media is not making stuff up. Don’t take it lightly, because it’s serious. If you are prepared and it downgrades to a rainstorm, it was still worth it. Stocking up on non-perishable food, water to flush your toilet (city water doesn’t always work after, ours didn’t), drinking water (even if you have city water, it will not be fit to drink), and having an alternative way to cook like a coleman stove or grill, is essential, even if you have a gas stove. You just cannot assume utilities will be in working order. If you can get off that island, do, and take your pictures and things you hold dear. My aunt (and countless others) went home to find it all gone. I hope this thing fizzles, but I had to say something because all I’m seeing and reading makes it plain that a large percentage of people are not going to be properly prepared. That’s the most frightening thing to me but I’m not in harm’s way this time. I hope you will be safe, along with everyone else in the path of this storm. We always stay in the center of the house (our hallway) on a mattress and listen to the radio when we can get a signal. Your cellphone might work, but it will be almost impossible to get a call out because everyone else is trying,too. Take care, and leave if you can.

  28. cynthia says:

    Sounds like you are totally prepared!! lol I lived in Florida and it seems to me that the media does sensationalize the storms and they are usually downgraded. Now and then though, there are some monster storms so I guess it is better to be prepared. I love you, your creativeness and I’m so glad I discovered your blog 🙂

  29. Amy says:

    Checking in from Baltimore…we’re supplied with oil lamps, candles, wine, jambalaya in the crock, zucchini bread and a Scrabble marathon scheduled. One of our kitties is very earnest and worried today and following us around meowing. Good luck, Susan!

  30. Val says:

    Oh, Susan, I hope the storm weakens before too long. I’ve never experienced a hurricane–It sounds like such a scary thing. Your preparations sound smart. If you guys could transport yourselves to Pittsburgh today, I’d offer ice cream and Scrabble games and sun tea. But it sounds like you’re stocked up on that type of thing, so I offer prayers instead. 🙂

    And a happy-but-brief distraction I can offer you is the knowledge that our cats look like each other. 🙂 Some “Stuffed”-related posts and pictures are here:

    Much Love, 🙂


  31. mari1017 says:

    Well, I’m going to chime in here, Susan –
    I’m a very few blocks from the bay in Norfolk VA ~ mandatory evacuation ~ but I’m at friends’ house – hunkthe waterered down – just had pancakes breakfast with sausage and fresh coffe and mimosas ~ the fire dept and the police have already been by to get us out, but we are fine ~ there’s also 9 animals involved here, and can’t leave them. It’s good to be with friends (my house lost power last night) ~ and I believe with all my heart that we’ll be ok. We have all been through hurricanes, Nor’Easters, and the hubby here and many on the block are all Navy. We have taken all precautions and use common sense.
    You and Joe are taking precautions, and you are in a house that has withstood many storms like this. Irene looks to decrease as it heads that way, but who knows? Just be smart and be safe – we’re praying for all of you up there!!!{{{hugs}}}} mari

    • sbranch says:

      Take care Mari! I’m looking at Virginia Beach on TV, it looks pretty bad . . . I couldn’t leave my animals either!

      • mari1017 says:

        Thanks ~ my friends weathered Isabel here, and they know how high the water came up ~ they were fine, and I trust them. The winds are definitely increasing, but right now it’s no worse than a Nor’Easter. We are more sheltered and up a river than what you see on tv. Not trying to minimize the danger as it picks up, but this is a good house, we know what happens in this area, and I trust my friends and am happy to be here with them. You all take care up there !!!

    • Bernie says:

      I hope you are right. If I lived in an evacuation zone, I’d get out. Just dont complain if you have to wait to be rescued after the storm, because you didnt heed the warnings before. Police and Fire rescue dont need to put their lives in jeopardy trying to save those who think they know better. I belive its far better to leave and wish you hadnt. than not leave, and wish you had.

  32. Pat Mofjeld says:

    We’re watching the weather station–watching for my friend Sandy and family in Boston/New York as well as you and Joe! I’m hoping your trees don’t go, too–they are old and beautiful and give you shade! It is sort of like when a tornado is predicted here–sirens go, the radio announcers are busy telling all to take shelter. We turn the deck furniture over and move it from near the patio door. Norm laughs at me but I tell him that he won’t think it is funny if it flies through the patio glass door and is in the dining/living room! You don’t know whether to get in a shelter area or not but experience tells you “Better safe than sorry!” when you see what happens if it is a direct hit. It does feel as if they hype it all up too much and then when it fizzles, it makes all seem like the story of the little boy who cried wolf! But then, again, better to have people be safe than risk it. Mother Nature can be unpredictable and hurricanes, as well as tornadoes, can be deadly…Keep safe! Will be watching “Susan and Joe’s MV hurrican watch team reports” but later tonight, as we are heading to friend’s farm today to help process sweet corn for our freezers. Should I “beam” you a dozen ears of wonderful sweet corn to have with your chicken salad? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      That would work for me!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        We processed 35 quarts of sweet corn! Wish I could have sent you some, it is the best sweet corn we’ve ever had! We glad you on MV and Boston area are okay. Really feel bad for people in Vermont, etc., that are having all the flooding!

  33. Pom Pom says:

    Yikes! Praying for safety for you, SB!

  34. Cheryl says:

    Not to be a downer, but I gotta chime in here. You are in the direct line of a HURRICANE. Not a storm, not an noreaster. This wind is totally different. The last time the north east got a hurricane was 1820! Was your house there then? They are expecting a 9 foot storm surge. Is your hill that high? The President has left even.They have closed down the subways in NYC and streets could be filled with water. What is Martha’s Vinyard gonna be like? Talking about better safe – I would leave while you can.
    I know sometimes the media hypes it up, and it seems to be getting weaker, but it’s still a category 1.
    I don’t want to be a projector of doom and gloom and I pray it IS all for naught – just want to make sure you and yours are well.

  35. Christy says:

    Hi Susan! Please stay safe. Praying that the storm of the century will miraculously weaken or change path.

  36. CarolK says:

    Susan, sounds like you’re ready for the storm. Even though we’re in Central Jersey the wind and rain can still get to us. We’ve tied down all the deck furniture, taken in the umbrella, taken in all the flags and put the potted plants in a safe place. Since we’re on a well system and the pump runs on electricity, if the power should fail we can’t run the taps or flush. Oh Boy! My hubby had put several buckets of water in the tub for that emergency flush and I think I’ll make some cookies for the cookie jar. Cell phone and camera is charged and ready for action if need be. Better to be safe than sorry is my motto. What more can one do but wait it out and hope for the best. Stay safe you all….

  37. Nancy Paine says:

    You and all my friends on the east coast are on my mind, and in my prayers. Hopefully this will only be a time for cuddling under blankets by the fire, with hot tea, and milder than they think it will be. Hugs!

  38. Kln says:

    Love it! You made me giggle… We were hoping to hear from you regarding the “Storm of the Century”! Glad you are prepared. We know you and Martha’s Vineyard will be safe!

  39. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    I’m thinking of those beautiful shutters Joe just put up! If that storm, hurricane or whatever come through – something’s gonna happen. This doesn’t sound good . . . My family lives in the D.C. AND NY City area. They’re pretty prepared too. Just hoping they and you don’t lose your lovely trees or have water damage. I’ll be checking in with you and the weather channel. Prayers to all of you on the East Coast…… KEEP SAFE! XXXOOO

  40. Lori says:

    Checking in to your blog to make sure your beautiful little home on the vineyard is ok. Stay safe and well. Blessings from Colorado!

  41. dawn says:

    Oh Susan, I never watch the news so I didn’t know what was going on. I’m sending you and Joe and every soul on the East Coast my prayers of safety! Guardian angels are surrounding you as I write…
    Our morning was extremely hot, and then, around 2 o’clock, there was an intense wind which brought black clouds and sent some branches crashing down. We are in the middle of a storm now, hard to believe since the morning was so hot and still! Nature is so powerful.
    Please, please keep us posted on your welfare if you can!
    Lots of love and protection,

  42. Katherine says:

    Hi Susan
    I hope you stay safe and your house is okay.
    I am currently at my country house on the North Fork of Long Island. We are the third house from the bay and next to a marina. Yikes! We hope all will be well— we have an old fashioned wood burning stove to cook on and kerosene lamps to read by. The neighbors have a dinghy so worse case we row away… My dad, who I am with is a lot like your husband!
    Good luck,

  43. Judith B. says:

    We witnessed Hurricane Ike in Houston, Tx almost 3 years ago….never want to go through that again. Lost 5 major trees; one missing our back door by about 1 foot. We were prepared and was without electricity for about a day and half; others in this big city had to wait for weeks before regaining electricity. My back yard never recouped and how I miss my trees. Out of all the things one must do to get back to normal, I think trying to get one’s insurance company to comply to the policy was the worse, ie, money to cut trees and build new fence, plus. I learned a lot! Be safe Susan and Joe.

  44. Pat says:

    I hope you are safe and dry. In Illinois there are no hurricanes but when I lived in Florida was on the alert all of the hurricane season. It is a little scary but it sounds like you have it all under control. Good luck.

  45. Liz says:

    I am at the Jersey Shore, we got evacuated from our vacation on Long Beach Island but live in another beach area. Just starting to get the heavy rain and the wind is picking up. Be safe!

  46. Deborah says:

    hoping the best for you in this approaching storm. Sounds like you have done all you can do, we are suppose to have some follow up effect tomorrow, but it’s can’t e very bad. Praying for a smooth trip through this one for you and your neighbors.

    • sbranch says:

      Me too… right now we closed windows, turned up fridge to get it colder just in case the electricity goes out for a couple of days…I think we have a long way to go, but it has started raining a bit. When I see the map of where it’s going, it doesn’t look like it’s coming here anymore, but it sure feels like it is!

      • Rae Ann Roche says:

        Thinking of you from northern Michigan…we evacuated our house on Skidaway Island in Savanna GA 1999 when hurricane Floyd was headed right toward us…it took us 8 hours to drive the usual 3 1/2 hours to Atlanta…we were lucky…the hurricane missed us, but I kept all my precious things ready to load back in the car for the next time we had to evacuate…

      • Deborah says:

        keep us posted, and have as much fun as you can!

  47. Susan, you are too funny! (ice cream and wine?) I hope if I’m ever in the path of a hurricane path I’m in it with you! They haven’t wanted to evacuate MV?! I’m just on the edge of it in central Maryland. Wind-downed trees might be our only problem and loss of electricity here.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what we’re expecting here, trees and electricity. No talk of evacuating the island…great comfort is our house was built in 1849, good chance it can withstand!

  48. Victoria Miller says:

    My Massachusetts grandmother used to talk about being in a hurricane back east. She was on a train at the time, and clearly it was pretty scary. Part of the reason I’m in California is because I don’t weather wind well. When I was a tween, I was in the attic of our house in Lakewood, Ohio, during a bad wind storm. Suddenly the lights went out, and a few minutes later our tall brick chimney came crashing down. That experience gave me an enormous and profound respect for what wind can do. When my neice was 3 or so, she woke up one morning after a bad storm that had blown many trees down, looked out the window and cried out, “Oh, Mummy, who done it?!” To me, the scariest part of the Wizard of Oz was when the house blew away. Sooooo, earthquakes tend to scare me, too, but at least they resolve themselves a lot quicker; at least, most of them.
    Here in California, many of us are thinking of folks on the east coast having to endure Ma Nature’s latest show of what she can do. You sound well prepared, hatches all battened down, and hopefully by the time it gets there, Irene will be weary and not do any damage. Hopefully there will be no frog projectiles of any sort, and trees and chimneys will stay where they belong.

  49. Joann says:

    I’m tickled pink that the storm is losing its force- weather forecasters LIVE for these days!! They love to stand in a gale-force wind with rain lashing down upon them while they stand sideways telling US to get out of harm’s way….
    I’m thinking the East Coast got pretty lucky on this one. But good to be prepared anyway….and a glass of wine on a candlelit evening is not a bad thing at all……
    xoxo Love from Colorado,

  50. Karen C says:

    Here’s wishing you the very best. Mother Nature is so unpredictable. While Joe is correct about the media, a little caution is never a bad idea. Make sure you have any insurance papers handy, hopefully you won’t need them. Otherwise, it sounds like you are ready. Looks like Irene is ready to leave our state of NC. I wish everyone north of us much luck and good fortune. Hopefully MN will be out of her bad mood very soon. Susan thank you for keeping us informed on MV. Love your blog, and looking forward to hearing good news from you very soon, xoxo from NC

  51. Dee Van Ingen says:

    LIVE at the beach in Delaware, but FAR enough inland not to be evacuated. Piece of siding came loose on the back of our house around lunchtime – husband HAD to go out with the ladder in 40+ mph winds/driving rain in his BATHING SUIT (I might add) to WEDGE that piece of siding into place…………we’ll find out tomorrow morning if it holds – TONIGHT is our real test with possible 74+ mph winds!!!!!!!!! When he came back into our sun room to towel off he said the pelting rain felt like hail hitting his skin……..ALL SNUG indoors now. Stay SAFE up there on Martha’s Vineyard and ENJOY your wine with Joe!!!!!!

  52. Barbara says:

    Well…just in case be careful. Projectiles can come from anywhere. But if Joe is out on the wharf, hope he gets some good pictures!
    Stay safe, warm and dry.

  53. Hollace says:

    The big winter storm that was supposed to happen here last winter never came. They spent days ‘preparing’ us for the big non-event. It conditions us to tune the media out.
    But then we have horrible surprises, like the tsunami in Japan, that people have no time to prepare for…

  54. Jessica says:

    Too funny! I always get more worked up than my hubby…I think it’s best to be prepared…what harm can a little extra ice cream and wine do? Here in Seattle we get some pretty good windstorms, no hurricanes attached to them though, still, the trees don’t much like 70 mph winds…that’s my worry for you. It does look like Irene’s knickers are unwinding a bit though, thank goodness…we’ll see, let’s hope she truly fizzles out, and very soon!
    Take care and be safe…♥
    xo J~

  55. Courtney says:

    We went through Hurricane Ike in Houston – trees were down everywhere, and my family went without electricity for 15 days. Projectiles are not a joke – if the winds can take down trees, they can pick up your lawn furniture! We made it through with an old camping percolater for coffee in the morning, batteries for the cd player for jazz music, and two ice chests in the middle of the kitchen for our “fridge.”

  56. Pat Richter says:

    Susan, I know how you feel I am at the NJ shore. Almost had to stay at a work all week end but the AC casinos shut down and now I am home with family. A better place to ride out the storm. You made me smile about the Wine. So True!!
    Hope you do well in the storm
    Be safe

  57. deezie says:

    Hi Susan,
    Be safe there on the Island. We are on the Coast in Ct and they have already said we had to leave but we are staying. We took everything in like you and are just hoping for less than what they are saying. Most of my neighbors boarded up their windows. We thank God have a generator we purchased last year so we can hook the frig up if needed. And thank God again for a gas stove, I am with you, can’t go without my tea 🙂
    be safe

  58. Sophie says:

    One of my first thoughts yesterday while listening to the news about the path of Irene was for you and Martha’s Vineyard… I hope your beautiful island will be spared… that this hurricane will have weakened to just a regular storm when it crosses your area… That you all will have been worried for no reason. Yet, better be safe than sorry, so do all what is necessary! Take care, Susan!

  59. Evelyn says:

    We’re having a light rain here where I live NW of Philadelphia, Pa. No wind, heavy clouds of course…lots of scary news and warnings on tv. We’re supposed to get 2 inches of rain overnight and 2 inches tomorrow. I’m prepared with food, drinks, snacks, goodies and wine. My kitty is all stocked up with his needs. Got my gas tank filled up yesterday on my way home from work. I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. We’ll see what happens. Just stay safe.

  60. Gert stevens says:

    Oh my dear Susan..after reading this..this have been on my mind and in my prayers. That being said it sounds like you guys are prepared with all the essentials! Smile sounds like you have what you need! Ice cream..& chocolate sauce..yumm

    Please stay safe!

    xoxo Gert

  61. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    Hey, Susan….just got the door and came right in to see what was going on. I think you’ve got lots of good energy coming your way. I did hear something funny in the grocery store a bit ago. Now bear in mind that I leave in Columbus, OH which is in the very center of the state and is in the MIDWEST. I was picking up eggs and I overheard a wife say to her husband that he should pick up a couple extra dozen cartons because you never know when the storm is going to hit!!! I pretty sure she wasn’t be spiritual…I’m just thinking she’s very confused. Someone needs to let her know that central Ohio is kinda off the beaten path of this storm!! Sorry, it tickled my warped sense of humour. I chose to leave her uninformed. I’m going now to make sure I have back up supplies….just in case. Stay safe, Friends!!

  62. Carolyn Ann says:

    Once, we were ordering a pizza to go when suddenly emergency sirens sounded and firetrucks starting driving around sounding their horns warning everyone of a possible tornado. So immediately my husband, my kids, and I drove home without the pizza. Once we were safely at home, my husband insisted on going back out by himself and getting the pizza we had ordered, even though tornado sirens were still going off in our neighborhood. I also had to talk very sternly to him (have a screaming fit). What is it with men and danger? Anyway, I do hope you and Joe make it safely through the hurricane and don’t have any property damage. Enjoy that wine and ice-cream!

  63. Karen P says:

    Oh boy! Take care, sweetie! You’re smart to take care of whatever you can be make yourselves safe (and protect those lovely garden items, too! It would be a shame if they pulled a “Wizard of Oz” and flew off into some other land!) Keep us posted and we’ll keep watch on the news and pray for your safety. xoxo…kp

  64. Sandra says:

    Irene has turned out to be a whole lot of nothing much and thank God for it! It could have been so much worse but I do agree, the poor weather folks seems almost disappointed -smile-.

  65. Laurie says:

    Gotta love those husbands like Joe who take this “hurricane” in stride. Want to trust their “manly” judgment but hoping I can bite my tongue from saying “I told you so” if the boat that wasn’t taken off the mooring in W. Chatham takes a hit. And isn’t a hurricane like a winter snowstorm? SO looking forward to feeling snug inside with those you love! Not to mention cooking a great meal tonight in case we lose power tomorrow!

  66. All together now – everyone pray that the storm will move out to sea and harm no one and do no damage. Prayer does work.

  67. Carol Deiber says:

    I agree with Joe!

  68. Sandi says:

    I have been keeping you in my thoughts lately. I live in Lafayette, La where we have seen many hurricanes in my lifetime. I feel the weathermen get a lot more excited about potential bad weather than they used too. The news as a whole is now a daily reality show. I remember in one hurricane we had friends and family bringing frozen food by the cooler full to our home, which had electricity. We cooked 3 meals a day for a week for huge amounts of people. We have the works. My hubby did the BBQing. Breakfast was the works. Supper was 3 entrees with all the sides and dessert. We had to get rid of all the food before it went bad. And also we had to make sure the men and boys that would go out each morning early to help anyone that needed help had plenty to eat. It was truly amazing how everyone pulled together. Some slept at our home, some at neighbors. I have never washed so many bath towels in my life. Do make sure to have plenty of water. Without it life gets really difficult fast. Stay safe from a Cajun.

  69. Bev says:

    Hey Susan…loved this blog…especially the wine part they do not mention on TV and yes when it is downgraded, they sound so sad…and yes we can all survive with ice cream, fudge sauce and wine!!! Hang in there and you are in our thoughts!!!

  70. Doreen Strain says:

    Hang onto your hat girlfriend! The winds are a comin !!! I’m like some of the others that live in FL., the media does make it sound worse than it really is but let me tell you, I have witnessed lawn ornaments flying through the air during hurricanes. I think you and Joe have done all you need to do. I will pray your trees don’t get damaged (funny how we grow attached to them isn’t it?). I think you should do what Patricia is doing…making it romantic with the candles….and with that wine your planning on indulging in….I think you’ll have a wonderful time! Sounds like something I would do! Hahaha! Or should I say something my husband would do for me to enjoy. Be safe, honker down and ride out the storm. I’ll keep my eye on the blog for up to the minute reports and I’ll be sure to tune it at 11:00. LOL! Seriously, be safe and enjoy making some fun memories during the whole ordeal! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  71. Claudia says:

    Been sayin’ a prayer for you every time I hear them say “Martha’s Vineyard!” Having survived two terrible California wildfires (evacuating twice…it came to the end of our street!) I CAN report, you are left with a priceless new sense of what is really important in your life. Stay safe, and make that man listen to you!

  72. Peg says:

    Please enjoy the adventure and be safe! It always takes a few days of discomfort to really make you appreciate Thomas Edison and all of his friends
    but at the same time it is an adventure that we just don’t get enough of when we are so busy just trying to carry on with our lives. Everything will be brighter tomorrow!!!!

  73. Marilyn says:

    It’s much better to be safe than sorry. Even if the storm is nowhere near the intensity that was predicted, you have had a good emergency drill. In schools and office buildings, they don’t wait to have an actual fire before implementing emergency evacuations. You practice, practice, practice before an actual event so that you’re organized and know what to do.

    I’m glad to hear that you are preparing and planning! Stay safe to all in her path.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  74. Stephanie says:

    Your blog has been the highlight of my day. I’m on Long Island and supposedly we’re right in the path. I’m in one of those “we’re not going to make you, but you really should leave” parts of the north shore of LI – but I decided to stay. After doing laundry, cooking and drying my hair (all things requiring electric) and putting away lawn furniture – your blog was a joy.

    I love Joe’s attitude. Even though I am freaking out, I love when a relaxed, sane person says “this is fun”! It put’s it in perspective. Reading your blog and his comments calmed me down and made me smile today.

    Winter snow storms are so much fun. I make a fire, light candles, make soup, tea, cookies – I read, I knit. I kind of like being stuck in for a few days. This doesn’t feel like fun. We’re told we may lose electric and water for 3-5 days. I need my air conditioner – so that’s a bummer. I’ve never been without water – so that sounds like a pain!

    I even took in my front door welcome mat in case it became an evil “projectile”!

    Let’s hope we all laugh about this on Monday! 🙂

    Stay safe. Don’t worry about those trees. They love living with you. They won’t commit suicide in this storm!

    • sbranch says:

      You’re making me laugh about it Now! Yes, something much more homey about a winter storm compared to a hurricane!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Snow-Storms are Always so Much Better Then those Creepy Hurricanes! More Fun to Stay warm & cozy in front of a Fireplace….then all Hot & Balmy & wet….lol….”Poor Me” lol I Love You Sweet Sue! there was so Much Damage in all those East Coast States…all that Flooding…keeping Everybody in Our Prayers Mother Nature was in a Very Bad Mood! Yikes! xoxo Poof!

    • Jeannie M from NC says:

      Hope you made it through, do you have power?

  75. Sarah says:

    How do you pronounce Rummikub? Is it “roomy-cube,” or “rummy-cube,” or “rummy-cub?” None of the above? Just curious. 🙂 The rain seems to have abated here in Northern Virginia, but the wind is still here. This is a slow moving gal, this Irene. 🙂

  76. Evelyn says:

    I think we’re in the thick of it now Susan. It’s raining pretty hard and the wind has picked quite a bit, but, not as wild as some of a non-hurricanes I’ve experienced. Hopefully by the time it reaches New England it’ll be much weaker and played out. Stay safe and enjoy your chocolate sauce. Sounds yummy. Just might make a batch for each of my co-workers.

  77. Hi Susan,

    When you write about your husband and hurricanes, I am reminded of the opening pages of John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley” where he talks about his efforts to save his boat during Hurricane (I think) Betsey in 1960 (might have the hurricane wrong). You might want to take a look at it. It’s so funny to read, for me anyway, because he just charges out into the hurricane whipped ocean to untie his boat, anchor it in open water and then swim back to his very annoyed wife. I suppose the humor of it comes from the fact that not only would I never have the guts to do such a thing, I would never even THINK of doing such a thing.

    Hope everything goes well for you and everyone on the other side of the country.

    All the best,


    • Jeannie M from NC says:

      Oh! I loved Travels with Charley! I read it when we were traveling around the country in a grey panel truck with a dog named George, a german shepherd wolf for 7 months. It urged us on in our travels and experiences!

  78. happy zombie says:

    ONLY YOU, SUSAN! Only you could have me worried about you, come here to see how you’re doing… and then suddenly crave chocolate sauce? You are more powerful than Mother Nature, Susan. S’nap – take that, Irene!

    Kidding (and cravings) aside, hope you and Joe are fine and all is well and safe with you guys! XXOO!

  79. Kirsten Wichert says:

    Oh, Susan! I am so glad to be reading your blog everyday! Even when you are writing about possible disaster you lift my spirits…..I love your writing and sense of humor. You’re a native westerner moved to the east……I’m a native easterner (N.J.) moved to the west (Ca.). My mom had a vacation house in Edgartown many years ago. I do feel like a kindred spirit as Anne would say. I have said a prayer for all on the east coast in repentance of laughing at the reaction to the “major earthquake” that our media reported you suffered! As I usually read my emails late night, I’ll probably be your last comment posted most of the time.
    I was so please to get your response last time! Thanks.

  80. madame samm says:

    Hi Susan..looks like it passed you? I don’t think you can ever be too prepared for anything Mother Nature wants to pitch that day… I say my prayers and lately many of them for all those along the coast….that they too be safe

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s turning out to be more like a Nor’easter for us…it’s windy outside, but not scary at all … unless there’s something we don’t know! There is a crazy man on TV who has been soaked and dripping wet for three days now, he’s now standing in the middle of the street in NY and saying he thinks it’s like a nor’easter. We could still lose power, as an island, that is what we do!

      • Sarah says:

        I am happy to report that Irene has now passed us in Northern Virginia. I spent a worried night because we got those rain bands all day, then the winds started in earnest last night around midnight. We too have very old trees on our property. I did an inspection this morning and a few lost a couple of their arms, but the mighty sentinels are all still standing. 🙂 It’s still very windy today, but the rain is gone. I’m hoping the same good fortune for your trees! They didn’t get this big by being wimps! 🙂

  81. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Yes Susan, you will be safe, you’re the unsinkable Susan Branch! But do get all the projectiles into safety, wouldn’t want them broken! Please go to the side of the house as far away from the trees as you can! You have lots of prayers out here in blog land! We had alot of wind yesterday in WNC but not strong.

  82. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    Yay, I think you’re gonna be just fine. Whew. All your trees and plants will get a fresh drink from MN and your beautiful island will be fine and get a nice bath to shine it up. We’ll still pray though – just in case.

  83. Doreen Strain says:

    Hi Kids, just saw a post from Peg on FOSB Facebook page. News in from MV…all is safe and well, no damage, just a lot of wind and some rain. If Joe knows what’s good for him he won’t breathe a word that sounds like….”I told you so” ! Hahaha! Happy to hear your save and sound. Tomorrow the birds will be singing and the grass will be standing at attention along with all the trees that got a nice drink today! I feel another song coming on…”The sun will come out tomorrow, bet ya bottom dollar that tomorrow…they’ll be sun. Just thinking about tomorrow…! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  84. Cheryl says:

    Thoughts and prayers going your way for safety. I so hope the storm leaves your trees and property alone. Take care and know we all are wishing you the best.

  85. Laura says:

    Bless your heart, Susan, for your humor and levity. Hurricanes are scary; so much scarier than earthquakes (where, as you know, we Californians go about our business until they surprise us; then we clean ’em up)! The media always whips things to a fever pitch by showing the same frightening scenes over and over again. Best to take it all with a grain of salt (but your mama didn’t raise no dummy…so if a hurricane’s comin’ ya still gotta be smart…and bring in those projectiles (good job, Joe)! 🙂

  86. Shasta says:

    Stay safe Susan! You and Joe are in my thoughts, we love you!

  87. Katie says:

    Even if you have no place to go you can use your cars as generators. Get gas! 🙂

  88. Hi, Susan. I know that by now the hurricane has passed. I send my prayers to you from here in North Carolina. These things are not fun.

  89. CAROL O. says:

    Hi Susan….Just read this today….ok…It turned out ok for you….thank goodness…but reading your Blog….(and I know it was a serious situation) I started to LOL….you made me…… when you said….GODZILLA IN NEW YORK….wow that brought back memories….glad you are ok…and no Godzilla…xo
    Carol O. in California…..

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