Hurricanes are not usually something that we have had to deal with. I love living in the middle of Canada where we have been spared any major natural disasters and I like it that way. Unfortunately, though, I still own a house on the south-western coast of Newfoundland and as I write, it is in the direct path of Hurricane Dorian.
This time last year, I had just purchased an adorable old house on the Atlantic Ocean, with 6 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 bathrooms, including a designated grandma suite. Our family, including my daughter and 4 grandchildren stayed there for several months within this last year. Although we are all back home to Ontario, the house is still in our name and our belongings are still there.
A new family took over the house as soon as we left; however, the purchase is a rent-to-own and is still in progress. Although I have the best insurance possible, I must admit that I have been preoccupied with following Hurrican Dorian’s destruction and path throughout these past several days. This morning, Dorian is now expected to be in Newfoundland and I am on pins and needles waiting to hear an update.
I took to Messenger to stay in communication with the family living in our Newfoundland home. We have been chatting often, as we have been working on getting our belongings shipped back to Ontario for several months now. That, in and of itself, has been a nightmare, with unpredictable weather, a 7-hour ferry ride between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and the 24 hours of driving between Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Three transport companies, who were supposed to take our belongings, have not worked out. We kept getting bumped for larger loads and customers who booked with them last minute, who would make them more money. As such, we have had a large load boxed and ready to ship for months, on the waterfront in Newfoundland.
It is the being on edge this week that has been hanging on my mind. I have attempted to stay positive, pray, be informed, stay in contact, make suggestions for preparations and ensure that the occupants and our home are as safe as possible, but I am feeling particularly useless as I wait, without news. The first reported power outage in Newfoundland happened only minutes away from our place.
With several meters of waves expected and the water only feet from the front windows of the house, I think that is my biggest worry. Being so close to the water was a blessing while I was there, but also a concern when storms come in. When one of the storms happened last year, I was bundled up in my bedroom listening to the wind hammering the house and hoping that our roof would stay on, as I attempted to sleep.
In the morning, I inspected for any damage and the only issue was my shed door had blown off. It turned out that the same storm ripped the roof right off of the waterfront restaurant down the street. The next storm we lost power for 12 hours and our new television had surged and died, when the transformer in front of our house blew. All of us were bundled up in winter gear, including newborn twins, running on one generator to power a heater and essentials.
That same storm, a neighbour’s cargo trailer also ended up down the bank and on the edge of the water. The wind apparently picked it right up and landed upright at the bottom of a hill. Garbage boxes were blown all over town, siding had blown off of several places, the local school bus shelter toppled right over, on the water’s edge and I was struggling to hold on when filling up my vehicle, at the local gas station. A tarp blew right out of my trunk, the second I opened it and I watched it in the air, for miles.
Today, as I wait to hear any updates, I am reminded of how grateful I am that all of my family and grandbabies are back home to Ontario. I would likely be a basketcase if we were in the middle of Dorian with such small children. I am
praying for all of our Newfoundland neighbours and people we met along our way to stay safe and protected. Of course, I am also hoping that our Newfoundland home, which we called, “Ontario Place” stays in one piece.
UPDATE: As I was editing the final draft of this article, I received a message from the family living in our home. It read, “All is well! No damages.”
I am feeling even more grateful than before. It helps to be worried briefly, in order to take any action necessary. Then, prayer works. Being grateful works. Reminding ourselves of what is important works. Life is full of many things to be worried about. Instead of remaining in the worry, we can pull out anything we have to be thankful for, look for the positives and take one day at a time.
Prayers for anyone impacted by Hurricane Dorian. May they look for their blessings, continue to have faith and move forward, one day at a time.