The road ends, but the journey continues...

Fatal Family Ties: Hugo, Matthew, Harvey and Irma

In these days before Irma’s impending impact upon this evacuation city of Florence, South Carolina, I have been overly sensitive to the fact that we will not be here during her arrival. Instead, we will be ‘going through Irma’ while driving on-the-road to Colorado.

Already this town’s hotel rooms are filling up with evacuees from Florida, leaving less space available for later local evacuees coming from areas such as Myrtle Beach.

Irma is a very real threat, especially in light of Harvey’s tirade. Residents here are keenly aware of the dangers ahead. Yet our own prepping for it involves continuing with our travel plans. A form of voluntary evacuation, if you will – though hardly intended as such. Also as of this writing a new twist has been added to the mix: a resemblance to this area’s worst hurricane on record, that of Hugo in 1989. Hugo landed inland and did his damage as if the midlands of the Pee Dee were the Carolina coastal lowlands.

We have just now updated our departure for Saturday afternoon rather than early Sunday morning.

I have been packing for our trip with a slant towards ‘damage control’. In addition to regular travel items, I have been trying to prepare contents within our little rental for possible interior water damage. Guessing at possible damages after an unknown event is quite exhausting.

Being detail oriented, it’s hard to not get bogged down with nits. But bottom line is that I’ll be elevating instruments I’m not taking on the trip for recording sessions on our bed, stacking the banana boxes of stored photos on top of the kitchen table and placing the random pieces of packed artwork on top of chairs.

Last year, while I was busy planning Dad’s funeral in Colorado, hubby was getting ready to embark on the two day drive to join me…from South Carolina.  Hurricane Matthew descended upon FloTown more quickly than anticipated, taking everyone by surprise. Hubby’s plan to leave town was instantly upped. He barely left an hour after Matthew hit.

I often lovingly joke that he drove through a hurricane to come be with me.

The priorities in weathering/surviving/enduring a hurricane are: safety first then salvage afterwards. So this trip is our ‘safety’ without it being planned as such and our ‘salvage’ will be delayed due to our trip.

While continuing to work through the long process of settling Dad’s estate, we’ll be ‘going through’ Irma in Colorado – but what will we come back to in three weeks?

One thing’s for sure: we will weather it together – whatever we find.


  1. Robin O Cochran

    Laura, belatedly I am offering my condolences on the loss of your father. I am very sorry to hear this.
    I don’t know the circumstances but even at times death may be a relief from pain. . .even then, those left behind are bereft.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I agree, all death is hard – no matter the circumstances.
      Thank you for your condolences…comforting, as they conjured up fine memories and made me smile about times with Dad.

  2. Andy

    I recently commented on Laura’s blog about how relatively good we Brits have it. We have no (of any great strength) tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, dangerous and/or poisonous animals.
    We have had a weather warning here in the North-West for rain and strong winds coming in tonight, up to 70mph, though this pales in comparison to what you guys over the Pond face.
    Some areas are hit with flooding, though. I suppose it’s all about perspective, and acknowledging how powerful and untameable this natural world can be.
    Stay safe you guys!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, Good ole Mother Nature does have a way of keeping us lowly humans in our place.
      Thanks for the interesting comparison…had no idea Brits really have no ‘natural disaster’ type stuff. Plenty of awful war-time disasters, though.
      I’m wondering if you’re aware that the British territory of the Virgin Islands were greatly affected by Irma?

  3. Jane Chesebrough

    It is interesting to keep up tabs with the storms, though am shocked at the level of the destruction. Always good to pack water. I wonder if prices will sky rocket on your trip as some will want to “cash in ” on others’ need for supplies. I wish you well on your journey.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Irma’s trajectory has changed again to where all of FL will be engulfed, but might loose strength by the time she gets to GA…South Carolina seems to have been spared the worst of it – but of course will still be affected. Price gouging can definitely be a problem…really takes all kinds, doesn’t it?

  4. Anna Scott Graham

    I’ll be praying for you, as well as the rest of those affected by Irma, as you head west.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Anna. Enjoy your stitching this weekend!

  5. Janis

    I have been reading so many of these first hand accounts on various blogs. We all hope Irma takes a sudden right-hand turn and stays off the coast, but hoping does not make for a good plan. I’m glad you won’t be there for the storm, but I can understand your trepidation about what you might find when you return. Be safe.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Many locals went to TX to help with Harvey victims & loss. I hope (that’s a good word) they won’t need to return home to do the same here. Not at that scale, for sure.

  6. Sue Ranscht

    May you travel safe and return to an undamaged home. <3

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Sue.

  7. L. Marie

    Oh, Laura! Definitely praying for you and your family as well as the others affected by Irma. What a year this has been for storms.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, as I understand it, this is the beginning of hurricane season…so still have more storms to traverse.
      It looks like Irma’s trajectory has shifted once again in a more favorable track for other states after FL. Unfortunately, all of FL is in the storm.

  8. Irene Frances Olson

    You are brave and steadfast – qualities that will get you through this storm, and any others.

  9. Jill Weatherholt

    I’ll be praying for you and your family, Laura. Drive safe. xo

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Jill – don’t think you guys will catch much wind/rain, but still: be cautious!

  10. Martha

    Traveling mercies, Laura. Be safe.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks…and you guys on the Black River Swamp/Dabbs Crossing (have I got that right?) be safe also.

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