Medieval night with Hurricane Rita
Tonight, the very muggy weather and the threat of Hurricane Isaac is giving me déjà vu. I've never experienced the full force of a hurricane firsthand. But I did have a surreal secondhand hurricane experience, one humid night in southern Tennessee that comes to mind tonight
Keely was still in college in September 2005, and she was a member of SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), a medieval reenactment group. Her group was attending a reenactment near Columbia, Tennessee, so Isaac and I went along. We arrived late on Friday night in torrential rain, and decided to sleep in a motel instead of setting up our tent in the downpour.
On Saturday, the sun was shining. We drove out to the site, found Keely's group, set up our tent, put on our medieval garb, and had a very hot, humid day of medieval entertainment and activity. That night, we enjoyed a nice medieval meal with several courses. That ended the official activities, so Isaac and I wandered back to our tent and settled in for the night.
|Hurricane Rita, September, 2005|
I couldn't sleep, so I turned on my little radio and put on my headset. The emergency broadcast of a Mississippi radio station was coming in clearly, and I listened to it for the rest of the night. Tornadoes, high water, toppled trees, downed electric lines, impassable roads, emergency vehicles-- I participated in a long, dangerous night on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, as I tossed and turned and dozed in my tent. The hurricane in my ears that night was the closest thing to a real hurricane that I've ever experienced.
At daylight, the radio waves became faint, and static overrode the voices. I turned off my radio and got up from my air mattress, tired and sticky. The camp was quiet at last, except for the twitter of birds and a few loud snores.
We packed our tent and headed back to Kentucky. Somewhere between Columbia and Nashville, we stopped at a Waffle House and had an exceptionally good breakfast. I mentioned that Waffle House breakfast to Isaac a few weeks ago and he remembers it, too.
Oh yeah, definitely surreal.
I do not mean to speak lightly of the dangerous, very real hurricane that people faced that night. As I remember the terrible storm I heard described on the radio, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Isaac. Please be careful.
Hurricane Ike in Christian County, KY