Friday, November 21, 2014

November Memories

Tall Pines in November Along Raymond's Gut

Memories are funny things.  Some get stronger with age and some seem to fade away.   November is a good month for memories because of Thanksgiving.  Our family happens to fall into the category of families having mostly good memories about holidays especially Thanksgiving.

There are no pressures to give gifts and even most of us males can manage to be helpful during Thanksgiving by peeling potatoes or washing dishes.  Generally the weather is not so bad that a nice long walk is out of the question.  With traffic getting more and more challenging, the actual time during Thanksgiving that people are together seems to be getting shorter and shorter.  Thanksgiving is an easy holiday to enjoy.

Thanksgiving is also a holiday that often brings transitions.  It often is the first big holiday that you spend away from home.  I still remember the oyster stuffing that I had at a friends home when I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home in 1967.  I can well remember that first Thanksgiving four years later in 1971 when several of my college friends came to visit my old farmhouse in Saint Croix Cove, Nova Scotia.  It was the first Thanksgiving dinner that any of our crew of friends had ever attempted without a mother being cook in charge.  We pulled it off and it is still a special Thanksgiving to me. For me it became the celebration dinner for the first chapter of my sixteen years in Canada.  Those years are a big part of our book, A Taste For The Wild, Canada's Maritimes.

Certainly Thanksgiving is the holiday that most people want to be home. Because of that, there are sometimes subtle changes in our lives that first show themselves at Thanksgiving.  For years we traveled to Mount Airy, North Carolina, to have our Thanksgiving in our home place at 347 West Pine St. which is now Sobotta Manor Bed & Breakfast.  Our family enjoyed Thanksgiving at that same Pine Street spot for nearly 100 years.

My mother, Blanche Sobotta, held sway there on Pine Street for many years.  Her story is certainly a big part of my own story and for several years I can remember my wife, Glenda, driving down from Roanoke, Virginia, a day or two early to Mount Airy, to help with the Thanksgiving preparations.  It was always a great feast held in the formal dining room.  Mother was an expert at preparing large meals and as she got into her eighties often started the preparation a week ahead of time.  I can still remember the hot rolls and other wonderful dishes.

Then there came the time when it just seemed right for my wife and I to host Thanksgiving at our home on the mountain.  I do not exactly remember when it started happening but it was likely sometime in the mid to late nineties.  We have been hosting Thanksgiving since then and only one year did we venture out to have it with one of our children. Eventually we were bringing my mother to our Roanoke home from a nearby assisted living place in Salem, Virginia. Then we moved from Roanoke and Thanksgiving came with us to live out a dream on the North Carolina coast. This year it looks like we will be in transition once again.

With traffic so bad in the DC area and a new grandson too young to travel on the other end of North Carolina, our three grown children will be own their own with their turkeys this year.  They are a lot older than I was when I attempted to do my own turkey in 1972.  No one told me about the extra parts on the inside of the turkey. One of them has already done several turkeys on her own. One does not like turkey and the other would prefer someone else put the white meat on the platter for her.

Even so our children will likely remember this year because it is a little different since they will not here on the Crystal Coast with us. They might not have the energy to cook up everything that is on our traditional menu that accompanies the turkey and which our son prefers to the turkey.  I know that we will be paring the menu down a lot if only the two of us will be eating it.  Still it will be another Thanksgiving to remember and perhaps a memory that will stand as tall as a big pine instead of vanishing.

November is also the time when we moved to our much loved farm in Tay Creek, New Brunswick, where we lived for ten years.  The snow was on the ground that first year when we moved in and it did not leave until the first week in May.  We got twenty-three feet of snow that year and at times we did have six feet of snow on the ground. It was to the eaves on the barn.

I went on my first business trip for Apple in November of 1984.  I still remember how cold it was walking around Montreal in a suit and dress shoes with snow on the ground.  Then there was the November of 1989.  We had just moved to Roanoke, Virginia, and it started snowing early that month and stayed on the ground until after Christmas.  The road got so icy that neighbors got together and chipped a path one half mile down the hill.

Of course November was often the time for Apple sales conferences.  I remember the wonderful one in 2001 when I won the award as national business sales manager of the year. The next year in Toronto our federal team was treated as heroes because we had done the impossible.  We had become a very successful enterprise sales team right in the heart of the very consumer-oriented Apple.

It was only one year later in 2003 when we were treated as outcasts because the company had been unable to ship the product that we sold.  That was the year and the November that I vowed that I would never return to Cupertino. I was gone from Apple eight months later and you can read the story in my book, The Pomme Company.

Beyond business, turkeys and snow, I first started kayaking on the White Oak River in November of 2006.  I have also enjoyed some of my most memorable fishing during November including this cooler full of fish.  There have been some wonderful Novembers here along our piece of coastal paradise where sometimes the weather is so nice that you have to worry about someone pinching you and waking you up from a dream.

Then there is that memorable for me day, November 23, 2004, just one day shy of ten years ago when I published my first blog post, My Welcome To Windows.  I have written thousands of posts since then. Many are scattered all over the Internet but there are links to a smattering of them on my homepage.  Just a little over one hundred of them are located here at my Ocracoke Waves site. There are lots more at my Crystal Coast Life site and almost fifteen hundred at my View from the Mountain blog with hundreds more at  my Saltwater On My Feet blog and my Applepeels site. The four hundred plus posts which were once at Applepeels were the basis for our first book, The Pomme Company.  I have written a few other books along the way and I just started my first truly fiction book. It comes as no surprise that I started it this November.  That might become another good November memory for me.

I am going to look forward to the memories that I make this November.  There will be yet another turkey to carve, mashed potatoes to make, and this year I am in charge of rolls.  There is also still time to catch some November fish and finish a few November chapters of that new book.

I hope that each reader makes good memories of their own this November 2014.





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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Appreciating the shallows



When you look back, much of your life has revolved around the big things like graduating from high school or college, getting married, having kids, and getting that great job.   Those big events remind me of deep waters where you cannot see to the bottom.

You face a lot of deep, dark waters during your life.  When you join a corporation, it is unlikely you have any idea how long you will be there, what you will accomplish, or how your career will end.  Certainly I had no idea my time at Apple would end so abruptly right at the very moment when my team was achieving such amazing success.

When you commit yourself to spending your life with another person, there is no way to read those waters and what will happen over the years.  You just have to prepare yourself for the ride and hope you can keep your love and friendship alive.

Children are much the same.  There is no way to predict what kind of person that wonderful toddler will be in twenty years.  You do the best to guide them, provide some advice, and try to be a good example.  I know my parents were very surprised when I graduated from college and headed off to Canada to build a cattle operation in the hardwood hills of New Brunswick.

As you get beyond some of those milestones in life, the water get a little shallower and it is a little easier to see to the bottom or you could face next. Life always holds plenty of mysteries, but you often have a little better idea of what will happen if you do a certain thing. You have done a lot of things over and over and some of your actions reliably produce a consistent result. There is some comfort in that. If I go to church every Sunday, pay attention in the pew, and try to live better, I end up feeling better about myself and those around me.

I know that if I go out and walk five or six miles during the day, I will be really tired at night and likely sleep really well.  If I also do a lot of yard trimming and gardening on the same, there is a good chance that I will be so tired that I will have trouble sleeping. I seem to feel the best when I walk three or four miles in a day.

We know if we call our older daughter at 9 PM on Sunday night, it will be a short call.  That is when she is watching one of the few television shows that she enjoys. My neighbor enjoys washing his cars early on Sunday morning. Sometimes he washes them when even he admits they are pretty clean.

We understand that when beach season arrives that shopping in the grocery stores is a lot more challenging.  We try to shop for our groceries between Monday and Thursday and typically we avoid buying groceries on  the island from early June until late August.  It is part of the rhythm of life here on the coast.

While you can never predict what the future holds, experience teaches us much over the years and as the water gets shallower or our time horizon gets closer,  you do get better at navigating the waters. Know even a handful of things that you can comfortably count on to happen removes a little stress.  If life was always as mysterious as that first day on a new job or as stressful as a move to a new city, we might be perpetually stressed out.

There is some comfort in shallow waters whether you are fishing in them or living them.  Almost eight years ago when I moved to the Crystal Coast I had no idea that I would be so at home among the oyster rocks that once appeared so threatening.  Now I would rather go out on our river to fish when the tide is falling and the water shallow.  It is easier to sit alongside an oyster rock and fish.  When the tide is in, I cannot see the oyster rocks, I have no place to rest my kayak, and I am also unlikely to catch any fish.

When I get up in the morning, I no longer have to worry about the implications of every email that I write or each decision during the day.  I am no longer in the high pressure corporate world that defined my life for twenty years.  Now I try to please my wife, keep the commitments that I have made to myself, my family, my community, my church, and also to my boss who is not rich like Tim Cook at Apple but happens to be a whole lot better leader.

We have been here on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina long enough to appreciate how spring can start cool but easily rush into summer and quickly deliver us to beach season.  There is comfort in worrying about when the tomatoes will get ripe instead of when global warming will reach the tipping point or whether Apple will be able to deliver promised products before the end of the year.

Perhaps the choice of living here in Carteret County is a choice of shallower water than Reston, Virginia, where I worked for so many years.  By moving here we escaped from the city and found a less complicated life where you are more likely to be something more than just another face in the crowd.

I have written in our Emerald Isle Travel Guide that Carteret County is a lot of water spread mighty thin.  Maybe life here on the Crystal Coast is easier to take just because of that.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Arrives With Wind & Rain

Raymond's Gut, whitecaps of the White Oak River in the distance

It seems like fall just arrived and my friend Scott in his post, We Was Robbed, is hoping for his Carolina friends or actually me to "get plastered by the big storm" that just passed us.  Perhaps I upset his midwestern soul by offering to send him some tomato plants as this November was drawing to a close.

I guess that I can publicly break the news to Scott that while the storm huffed and puffed and threw some rain at us, our little piece of paradise along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks survived.  Morehead City and Atlantic Beach which are both about twenty miles east of us did get visited by a confirmed tornado.  The general area damaged is close to the big bridge across Bogue Sound just over the word City in this map of directions to Harkers Island.

Eastern North Carolina is no stranger to tornadoes but they rarely reach the intensity of ones seen further inland. Our subdivision, Bluewater Cove, just off the White Oak River only got some soggy ground from the storm which visited just as Thanksgiving guests were arriving.  Our wet ground from the storm's 1.7 inches of rain will be gone by tomorrow.

We did not even have to empty our rain gauges for that storm unlike the one which visited us in September, 2010. That localized rainstorm which still defies description gave us 20.25 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.  After that storm I decided it was far better to live in area where the drains are big like the White Oak River's nearly two mile width than it is to live in the mountains where three or four inches of rain can cause flooding.

In the seven years that we have lived on the Crystal Coast, one waterspout coming off the river turned into a tornado that brushed our subdivision.  Tornadoes are scary events and almost no seems out of the reach of them these days.  Our friends in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, near Pulaski can testify to that.

If you live on the coast, you are no stranger to serious weather.  Hurricane Irene was an impressive weather event and I am happy that Irene is the only serious storm to visit our area since we have been here.  Irene taught us to be prepared for dangerous weather, but it certainly did not shake our love of living along the coast.  It turns out that few places are immune from bad weather.

We were months away from finally selling our longtime home in Southwest, Virginia in the summer of 2012 when the area was hit with a Derecho.  The power in our mountain home was out for over a week since the storm took down some of the power transmission towers from West Virginia that provide electricity to Roanoke.  Until that summer when we moved, Roanoke seemed one of the safest places on earth.

Coastal weather sometimes appears to be a riddle that few can decipher.  We have the dry spells that inland areas often endure but we can also get some serious wet spells.  Like most places we take whatever the weather brings us and try to go about our lives with minimal disruption.

However, we can count on the North Carolina sun to give us a long growing season.  My Northern friends are likely upset that I will be ordering my tomato seed this weekend.  The plants will go into the ground around the middle of March when we often get wonderful weather.  We usually have plenty of tasty homegrown tomatoes by the end of May or early June.  I had so many tomatoes in 2011 that we loaded them in boxes and took them inland to some relatives that who were still waiting for their first tomatoes as July rolled around.  We even had enough that year to supply the tomatoes for our church's Fourth of July cookout.

The last few years we have enjoyed wonderful crops of winter lettuce.  I am hoping we get a regular winter instead of one of those old fashioned winters which could put a damper on our middle of the winter lettuce.  We are just getting ready to cut our first heads of fall Romaine.  We have already enjoyed some arugula and our butter crunch lettuce is not far behind.  We still have high hopes for our peas and of course we are still cutting broccoli from our fall plantings.  Our cabbage have just formed their heads so we will likely have one of those soon.

All of that sounds like we have a huge garden, but that is not the case.  We just use all the space that we have available including planting lettuce between our ornamental bushes.  We have a small lettuce patch in an area we call the solarium.  We grow tomatoes in the same spot during the summer.  Along our driveway we have another lettuce patch.  The same area is used for tomatoes in the summer.  Our English garden peas are in an area along our bulkhead where we grow green beans and cucumbers in the summer.  We also have a few spots where we grow herbs.  While some of our winter vegetables get a little frosty they usually recover without any problems.

Our biggest challenge is that some of our ground gets very little rest.  We are trying to get ahead of that problem with composting and perhaps even expanding our garden area with some additional raised beds next year.  I am hoping to have some cherry tomatoes in January of this year.  I have one plant that is in the ground near the water where our ground stays frost free the longest.  I have resorted to covering it during this colder than normal November, but so far it has not only survived but is blooming.  I have another couple of cherry tomatoes that are in pots.  They go out in the solarium most of the time and come into the garage on cold nights.  One of them actually has tiny tomatoes on it.

I wish my friend, Scott, lived closer to us than Chicago.  We have some beautiful Romaine lettuce and nearly perfect broccoli that I would love to share.  He could join us for a peaceful Thanksgiving along Raymond's Gut and leave the holiday madness of the city far behind.

However, he is going to miss this year's turkey so hopefully he will not be upset if I send him pictures of my cherry tomatoes when they get ripe in January.

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Fall On The Coast Hits Its Stride

Fall Sunset Near Raymond's Gut

One of the best things about fall on the North Carolina coast is the great weather. While a visit to the Southern Outer Banks does not come with a guarantee that the fall weather will be fantastic, we have enjoyed some spectacular fall weather since we moved here in 2006.  Each summer we eagerly await fall.  Our August humidity usually disappears as fall comes and any lingering crowds from summer quickly disperse and best of all we hardly ever have an early cold snap that actually produces serious frost or below freezing temperatures.

There are exceptions like the October 28, fishing trip that I took the year before we moved here. I nearly froze while fishing a few hundred yards from Beaufort's Front Street.   Fortunately I caught enough fish that the weather did not really matter.  In 2013, we got a touch of frost in a few spots on October 26, but I had some uncovered tomato plants that the light frost did not harm.

A good part of the reason that we have such temperate weather in the fall is that there is water all around us.  From our big coastal river, the White Oak,  to the waters of Bogue Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean,  the warm water surrounding us helps keep early fall cold spells inland.  In spring as the water is slowly warming it keeps us cool in the early part of summer.  Often it takes so long for our water to cool down that we stay relatively warm through early winter.

In addition to temperatures that please almost everyone, our fall skies are often a gorgeous blue like the ones in this picture taken while I was kayaking on the White Oak River.

While it might be hard to believe, I wore a bathing suit and waded in the surf with bare legs when I went surf fishing on the Point at Emerald Isle this past first weekend of November 2013.  With a surf temperature of 60F, the water was a little chilly but not bad for a few minutes at a time.

As one of the rare places which consistently amazes me, the Point was spectacularly beautiful this weekend.  I posted several pictures of my Sunday, November 3, hike on the Point.  While the fall scenery, weather, and quiet waters make the Crystal Coast really special during the fall, one of my favorite things about living on the coast is that as the holiday season approaches things get more peaceful here on the coast.

There is a little bit of a reverse migration as December arrives here on the coast.  Even the most hardy visiting fishermen generally take leave of the area.  On top of that many residents who have welcomed visitors all summer take the opportunity to go visit inland relatives during the holiday season.  Some restaurants close for a month or two and we actually seem to miss the holiday rush here on the coast.  It is fine with me.

If you have never had the opportunity to enjoy a vacation on the coast in the fall, do not miss the chance if you get it.  It you need help planning your fall vacation or Thanksgiving at the beach, check out our Emerald Isle Travel Guide.

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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Who Raised Those Folks?

White Oak River, Three Miles North of Swansboro, NC

We were driving back from church recently and had stopped at one of our area's few stoplights.  As we stopped, a big truck towing a large boat ran the red light. The light was red before he even got near the intersection.  The first thought that came to mind was one of my mother's favorite sayings, "Who raised those folks?"

Mother believed that you needed to learn certain things while you were growing up and that it was the parents job to make sure children took those lessons to heart.

Having a proper respect for authority was near the top of her list as was knowing how to properly hold you knife and fork especially when cutting meat.

There were some other things that drove her crazy. One was people who littered.  Seeing someone heave trash out of their car offended her sensibilities and inevitably brought the comment that the people doing the littering did not have a proper upbringing.

She also believed in respecting our President no matter what his party affiliation.  Voting was something she did all her life.  She could not understand people who complained about the government but were too lazy to vote.  She would be quick to tell you whether or not she liked who was in office but I never heard any disrespect of an elected official come from her.

She also believed in keeping a neat house including the outside which she believed required flowers and well trimmed shrubbery.  I do not believe there were many excuses that she would accept for uncared for homes.  In some ways I think she believed more modest homes offered more opportunity for flowers and showing how much you loved your home.

I suspect my mother would have a hard time in our country today.  So many people never consider that their laziness is just going to cause more work for others.

As we finished our drive home from church, I noticed that the state or county had cut the grass alongside Peletier Loop, one of the rural roads leading to home.  Normally mowing the grass makes things look better, but in this case the road looked worse because the mowing just chewed up all the trash that people had thrown out of their cars.

I wonder what kind of an upbringing makes it okay just to heave your trash out the window.  It is not the worse thing that makes me think that we should license people before they are allowed to have children, but it is one of the more visible things.

There are other less visible things which bother me more.  One is how in some families women are not respected or are even belittled.  In some families women's opinions or all their hard work are not even taken seriously.  That would not have worked well with my mother.

She was the matriarch of our extended family.  She did not tolerate anyone treating another person badly. I can still remember the story of her standing up to her stepmother who was mistreating one of my mother's sisters.  I think a cast iron frying pan was involved.  The way I heard the story the stepmother never bothered my aunt again.

Mother would have not have been pleased with the inconsiderate boaters who rip and tear out on the river or who have not a clue about the rules of the road for the water.   Fortunately as Labor Day 2013, slides into memory most of the holiday boaters will go back home and we will be able to enjoy our waters safely once again or at least until the Spot Flotilla with its once a year boaters shows up.

As many people found out, my mother was quite willing to share her opinions when something bothered her. Sometimes her unvarnished truth was a little brutal, but most of the time you could stay on her good side with a well mowed yard, a clean car, neatly cut hair, good manners, an empty plate and a proper respective for authority especially hers.


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Muggies

It is that time of year when it becomes challenging to tout our weather here on the Crystal Coast.  It is usually pretty warm, humid or just plain muggy.  There are a number of reasons that this is one of my least favorite times of the year. They might surprise you.
  1. It is hard to get really nice colors in your pictures and I spend an inordinate amount of time keeping my camera lens from fogging up.
  2. The water in our river, the White Oak, is almost too warm for fishing.
  3. We are sometimes without any breeze.  Having spent years in Nova Scotia, I am actually quiet fond of a decent breeze.
  4. It often looks like it is going to rain but it rarely does.
  5. We are between early and late crops of tomatoes.
  6. Our tourists seem to worry that summer is disappearing and get a little more frantic.
  7. We often get tropical downpours even if the hurricanes miss us.
  8. It is the least comfortable time of year to mow my yard.
  9. Our centipede grass is starting a quick downhill slide and I have to start fighting weeds.
  10. Until the kids go back to school, this is the worst time to find a parking place at the beach.
I could go but you get the idea. Obviously there is not really anything very significant to complain about in my list but it does mean that I have to work harder to see the bright side of things.

I am a very visual person and what I see early in the morning often sets the tone for my day. When I go for my morning walk, I love to find a great photo or two.  Getting a great shot of a bird or the water can add just enough excitement to get me pumped up for the day.   I find late July and most of August the most difficult months for great pictures.  Even the sun when it sets often slides down behind a persistent cloud bank.

Our coastal weather can be puzzling but it can keep you on your toes except when the muggies are here and our weather gets in a late summer rut.  It is still possible to have some magic days on the water.  However, they just seem to be a little harder to find as we get into August.

When we had a house in the mountains, we would often retreat there until September slipped into view. While the mountains in the South often have the same problem, sometimes a change of scenery and some cooler mornings can work wonders.   September can sometimes have a bad case of the muggies, but you know that better weather, the fall season, is on the way.

Many of us who live here along the coast of the Southern Outer Banks rate fall as our favorite season.  The fishing is often great and the beach becomes a little less crowded.  As fall arrives I tend to get some great sunset photos.  This album of photos taken early one October is a great example of the dazzling light that we get in the fall.

If you have children who go back to school in the fall, coming to the beach is pretty difficult, but everyone else should at least consider visiting the coast in September or October.  October especially can be a spectacular month with slightly cooler air and still warm waters.

If you need some specific advice on a beach visit, you can now order a paper copy of my Emerald Isle Travel Guide.   It will also be available on Amazon in a few days and we just have reduced the cost of the updated 2013 digital version to $3.99.


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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Andrea, The First Storm Of The Season

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

It is that time of year for those of us who live on the North Carolina coast.  The first storm with tropical characteristics is headed up the coast.

When you live just up the river from Swansboro, North Carolina, it is impossible to ignore coastal storms.  Yet in the almost seven years that we have lived just  a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, we have managed just one serious storm, Irene, and a brush with Sandy.

As most coastal residents will tell you, beyond the line of homes that are oceanfront or right on the sounds, the areas which get the most damage are often far inland.  Once you get fifty miles inland, rivers do not have the size to handle the torrential downpours that often result from tropical storms.

We live three miles up the White Oak River and the river is between one and two miles wide depending on where you measure it.  It is also a tidal river.   When our tides go out, we lose a couple of feet of water.  If a hurricane is going to hit us and cause flooding like Irene did, it has to hang around for a while.

The worst flooding that we have endured here on the Crystal Coast came from a freak rainstorm in September 2010.  If you compare these pictures with ones from Hurricane Irene, it is a little hard to tell, but I can guarantee you the rainstorm flooding was worse.  Of course there are not many rainstorms that deliver 20.25 inches of rain in less than eight hours.

Fortunately when our nearly two foot tide went out, our flooding from the rainstorm disappeared. If a hurricane surge hits at high tide, it can cause more problems but hurricane flooding is very complex once you get into the coastal rivers.  Wind direction and the angle of the river in relation to the storm's track become very important.

Sometimes a storm surge goes right by an inlet because of the direction of the wind.  Those of us living in newer homes take some consolation from the fact that our houses are built above the level of one hundred year floods, but you still know that the possibility of flooding is always there.

On the flip side of tropical storms is the beneficial moisture that they often provide.  Our area was extremely dry during the month of May.  We received only one third of an inch rain in the whole month.  While the sunny skies were great for vacationers, they were a problem for those growing crops.  Fortunately we got eight tenths of an inch  of rain this first week of June.

That rain probably saved the area's corn crop, and if we get a nice dose of rain from this tropical system it will help us make it through June and into July.  Our sandy soils need about an inch of rain a week to keep our plants growing.  In that respect, we will welcome Andrea.

In July of 2011 it was so dry in Eastern North Carolina that we had some swamps which caught fire.  Given the choice of a scenario of swamps burning or rains from a tropical system, I will pick the tropical system.

Of course that choice is highly location dependent.  A few inches of rain are not a big problem with our sandy soils and river drains that are a couple of miles wide.  Tropical moisture has caused massive flooding in the mountain valleys near Roanoke, Virginia area where we used to live.  Mountains concentrate rain into narrow rivers which break from their banks when they run out of room.  Sometimes the flooding in narrow valleys can turn into deadly flash floods.

We will not take Andrea lightly since we have just returned from trip that took us from Ocracoke Island to Nags Head.  There are still some signs on the Outer Banks of the damage to Route 12 from last fall's brush with Hurricane Sandy. 

Whether Andrea ends up being welcome or unwelcome all depends on where you live.  We are hoping our spot on the Southern Outer Banks remains a good one to weather the storms which are a normal part of summer at the beach.


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