Dear Matthew,

Last Call

When your cousin Hermine came to visit, I was sitting on my porch and watched how she snapped large branches from our pine trees with her 40mph winds. I wondered to myself what twice the wind speed would do? Little did I know at the time that only a few weeks later much of the East Coast got a taste of that and then some. Your visit did not come unannounced and I kept my eye on you.

I started envisioning that instead of the usual annoying evacuation and reentry procedure, I would stand up to you even if you knocked out the power lines and messed with the water supply. I envisioned a weekend or longer without power, TV or internet finally giving me a much-needed break for introspection and I could find time to finish some books I started and play some chess with my wife. I had just finished the best bolognese ever cooked with garden grown herbs and mixed in with the pasta in a iron pot ready to be heated on the gas grill if needed when Nikki convinced us on Friday that there is still time to leave and it would be a better idea since you were determined to pay the Lowcountry a visit – who can blame you, millions of visitors before you have discovered why this is one of the greatest landscapes in the world. You must have been upset I didn’t stay to welcome you with open arms so you showed your displeasure by knocking down every tree on our property your hands could reach while sparing my neighbor across the street. It took him an easy two hours to clean his yard after returning.

Your visit was expensive and left many scars but it also served as a reminder that we should not take life for granted and that there are higher forces at work. It brought strangers and neighbors together and rekindled the great American pioneer spirit that lives deep in all of us.Dear Matthew There are moments we need to lean on each other in order to make it through challenging times. It came as no surprise to me that the residents of the Lowcountry showed their resilience and great community spirit and that while bruised and hurt we will emerge stronger out of this experience.

Now that you’ve had your long overdue visit, don’t even think about making this a habit; we’ll keep this privilege for our visitors who don’t destroy the beach they play on!

Onwards! No really, let’s get on with our lives. It will be great again.

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