Stranded at sea, everything's going to be alright
Through the wonders of modern technology, I am writing to you from a cruise ship just off the coast of the United States. We are THAT ship - the Carnival Ecstacy - that cannot port in Charleston.
Hurricane Matthew has us stuck out here. There is a group of us from Laurens County who cannot get home. The Coast Guard and the Port of Charleston must do a post-Matthew assessment. They might let us dock Monday.
Our trip has been extended. When we dock and disembark, the crew will clean the ship and another group will get on and sail away. Their cruise will be shortened. The Charleston paper says they are "irked" I guess I would be, too.
As things stand now, I'm not "irked," well maybe a little. I need to be home, writing my Clinton-Newberry football preview article on my home computer. Later today, I'm going to try to write it and send it from sea. I need to be home doing what journalists do.
It was 27 years ago I was home in Newberry listening to Hurricane Hugo. Our son Patrick was going to be born any minute. I could not go to Charleston to help my parents who were stranded in Summerville wondering about their house on the Isle of Palms. But if I had been in Charleston I would have been worried about my family back home. I guess it's the curse of journalists - needing to be "in the action" - worried sick about what they've left back home.
Patrick's birthday is Tuesday. He was almost a hurricane baby - Victor Hugo MacDonald (of course, I'm a literature major) - now he will be 27, and there's another hurricane. And I can't get back home.
Along with the evacuees, who are frustrated. They are wondering now why they left. A dinner table mate wondered the other evening why the evacuation was so early, why the news made such a big deal about the hurricane. I told her the Hugo story about the people trapped in the gym of Lincoln High School in McClellanville. They went where they were told to go - rapidly rising water nearly killed them all. WHAT IF there is no evacuation. And 600 people die in one flooded building.
We would forever be THAT STATE.
That state that didn't do everything it knew to do to make people safe. Already first responders are risking their safety to save the non-evacuators. Just like they did during Hurricane Katrina. Just like they are doing to dig out the bodies in Haiti.
So while we are stranded, we can be thankful. We survived the great flood of October 2015. We survived the great war of the 1860s. We are sailing back to survivor city, the Holy City. We will see its church steeples and magnificent bridge very soon.
Like a son of Charleston, Darius Rucker, sings, "I've got a roof over my head ..." everything's going to be alright.
(Vic MacDonald is editor of The Clinton Chronicle. Reach him - when he gets back to dry land - at 833-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His blogs appear at MyClintonNews.com.)