|Emerald Isle's Third Street Beach, Fall 2019|
However, we are over a year away from Florence and many of the places have healed physically but it will be hard to forget Florence. We are in our fourteenth year on the Crystal Coast, and Florence was the first time we got a mandatory evacuation notice. We did leave but returned before the floodwaters closed the roads in Kinston. We returned to a loose piece of vinyl and evidence that water made it onto our driveway for the first time ever but we found that the butter in our fridge did not even melt. My skiff, which I always secure on its lift during storms, was also undamaged. All things considered, Carteret County faired much better than other areas. Our schools were only out a couple of weeks compared to over six weeks in adjoining Onslow County. Swansboro, as many people saw in the national news, got over 34 inches of rain and Front Street was completely flooded. There was plenty of destruction to remind us of the power of a major hurricane.
When you live in a coastal area like ours, you expect some risk and the closer to the ocean or the more ocean that surrounds you, the greater the risk as even our good neighbors in Ocracoke will tell you after Dorian devasted them this summer.
However, here in our piece of paradise, we are pleased to come through the summer of 2019 with lots of sunshine. It was a very dry summer and we were in something of a drought until late summer, but that just made it tough on us gardeners and great for beachgoers.
Now, the first taste of real fall is on the horizon. Today, October 30, we once again got up to 80F but this weekend our highs are forecast to be more seasonable and in the sixties. Our lows in the forties will be a temporary shock to the system. It is too early for temperatures like that to take root on the Crystal Coast. Still, we are looking forward to somewhat cooler temperatures since the cooler air will keep our lettuce in the garden from getting bitter as we begin to eat it.
If you hang around here long enough, you will end up agreeing with me that nature's peace will flow into you. Even beyond the beaches, the beauty of the area can take your breath away. That scenic beauty and the peace that permeates the area are two of the many reasons that we have enjoyed living here since 2006. Unfortunately, life is never simple. We are now working towards our next adventure which will hopefully be grounded a lot closer to our grandchildren. The people and places that have shaped us as we lived in two Canadian provinces and three states have made us better and more tolerant people so we go forward hopefully but we truly do hate to leave our spot on the Crystal Coast.
My wife laughs at me because I often choose to drive across the bridge to the Publix in Emerald Isle for groceries. While I can truthfully say that with the new roundabout on Emerald Isle it is just as quick to Publix as it is to the closer Lowe's Grocery which has a few stoplights, the real reason is that I enjoy driving across the bridge and getting a glimpse of Bogue Sound's beauty. It is even more beautiful as the light starts to fade but it is much harder to capture. That is the seductive part of the Crystal Coast, the area's scenic beauty is addictive and hard to leave.