Just one of the reasons my son is not named Isabel…

As I write this post, Hurricane Earl is about 1100 miles off the east coast of the U.S. Weather forecasters are predicting that Earl will scoot along the coast. The verdict is still out on the exact path the storm will take. Just in case, I will be going out today and stocking up on canned goods, bottled water, batteries and, of course, emergency chocolate.

Every time we face the threat of a hurricane, I can’t help but think of Hurricane Isabel. Isabel slammed into North Carolina seven years ago this coming month. When it hit, I was four weeks away from giving birth to my son, Sean. My husband and I debated on whether we should drive inland or ride the storm out. We reside in an area with lots of trees and only one road in and out. My husband was concerned that, should I go into labor early, we would be stranded. We decided to pack up our dogs and ride the storm out with friends who, at the time, lived in the neighboring town of Edenton. The bad news: as it turned out we were actually positioning ourselves right in the eye of the storm. The good news: I was only a couple miles from a hospital in case I went into early labor.

Isabel was the first hurricane I had ever experienced. It was quite amazing to watch huge trees being ripped out of the ground by the force of the strong winds.

I can still remember our friend Patrick yelling, “Move to the other side of the house! There’s another one coming down!

Crazy!

My husband and I have already decided we will never ride out another storm like that. It was much worse than anticipated.

I will be keeping a close eye on Hurricane Earl. Hopefully, it stays safely off shore. If not, I plan on packing up my husband, my son, my dog and my chocolate and heading west.

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