a hurricane that wasn’t, a show I didn’t do, and a weekend of changing everything

We’ve been in the crosshairs before, and lost trees and power to Matthew and Irma, so we were prepped and ready for Florence.

I was supposed to do a show in Augusta GA this weekend, a hundred miles up a narrow 2 lane through the Savannah River Nuclear Site, most of which has no cell service whatsoever.  I waffled and analyzed and waffled some more, and finally, when it appeared that the storm would be swinging in over us AND Augusta, I cancelled my hotel and took the “no penalty but no refund” option with the show.

That was Thursday night.

On Friday morning, it was so beautiful here that I took a picture of our back deck, with the sunshine, the sago palms and our adoptive cat.  By Friday afternoon, it was blowing pretty good, so I took in the rest of the seed feeders and hummingbird feeders and made a nest for the cat on a chair out of the rain, and was glad I made the decision to stay home.

Saturday was rainy and windy all day, but it was also clear that we weren’t going to get much of any of the storm itself.  Thankfully.  But Saturday was spent getting in touch with all the members of my husband’s family who were in the storm.  Everyone lost power except us.  Everyone had tons of rain.  Most of eastern NC had far too much.  It was hard to watch.  These are our old stomping grounds after all.  We kept our boat in a stack in Morehead City for years, and all the places getting mashed up were familiar to us.  We could picture the wild horses on Shackleford, and wonder.  We watched docks we’ve tied up to splinter.

We knew we couldn’t help anyone; our family are all adults, and we’re 4 hours away with flooded Interstates in between us.  We know how a simple trip can become a challenge, after the fall floods of 2015 closed miles of I-95.  In that event, coming back from Raleigh, we were rerouted through some of the roads that themselves became flooded and washed away.  And during an early spring hurricane in 2016, I had to ford several roads between 95 and Hilton Head to rescue my work from a belatedly cancelled show, when 4 exits of I-95 were completely flooded.

When I worked on cruise ships, our fear wasn’t sinking, it was fire.  Living in the Lowcountry, the thing you rarely consider is flooding.  We are always surrounded by water.  There is a boat landing 4 miles from our house that will take you to the sea, even though it is over 20 miles away.  The tidal rivers come in past SR 17.  The blackwater swamps come in from the Combahee all around our road to Beaufort.  But generally, all this water means we never flood.  We are built to flood and drain, flood and drain.  But the tidal rivers in eastern North Carolina showed what can happen when all the wrong elements come together at once and there is nowhere for the water to go.

18 trillion gallons of water is a ridiculous number to try to process!  That is what has fallen on eastern North Carolina!  It will be years…..

So, in the midst of the low-barometric pressure headache (always happens) and the cabin fever from 3 dark days with nothing to do, wondering if I made the wrong or right decision about an art show, and a trip home among toppling trees —

I notice that something has deducted almost $400 from a bank account I keep almost nothing in.

Then I find out it’s the website people. They have charged me for a year, of everything, and no, there is no way to have just a website anymore.  I have to have the specialized one with all the bells and whistles.  Very nicely explained, but still….

I have been pondering how to streamline all my social media and generate more sales.   I’ve been trying to figure out how to work smart and not be all over a number of different platforms to keep up with.

So I told them to just cancel it all.  As long as I had my domain name (which I’ve had for a decade or more) I’d wing it.

So, as Forrest Gump said, “just like that, it all changed.”

So now, I am back in the ether, untethered, getting ready to recreate everything, with an eye to spending more time here, with you.  And less time burning up the highways in my Ford Econoline van, hoping this show is better than the last one, and that middle America is ready to buy art again.  The hurricane and big tech forced me out of my comfort zone.  So you’ll be hearing a lot more of my rants and raves and random observations.  You’ll be seeing more individual works of art in a different setting for more convenient acquisition, and who knows what else will evolve?!  I’m planting my flag in this space and building a new camp around it.

It’s time to spend more time in the Lowcountry, on the sofa with my laptop, chatting with my peeps, and getting up now and then to paint something gorgeous for someone I haven’t even met yet! I like the freedom change brings, don’t you?

 

About CJS

living in my beloved Lowcountry, between the blackwater swamps and the saltmarshes, surrounded by pre-colonial history.....thinking about current events....painting the wonderful cities that make up our heroic country....hoping we can save it from apathy, and our enemies....pondering a life of adventure from the comfort of age
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