Rain drops speckle the murky gray floor of the balcony outside as a chiffon haze blurs the horizon of ocean and sky. The wind tousles the magenta petals of the blooming Rose of Sharon outside our living room’s picture window as I sit on the over-stuffed, upholstered ottoman with my laptop, an eager spectator, documenting the prelude to the storm.
The salty tang of ham, dry singe of toast, and delicate breath of sweet cream butter and scrambled eggs linger in the room mingling with the pungent chocolate nuttiness of coffee. The dishwasher gargles and swishes obtrusively, emulating the churned song of the Atlantic ocean’s white-capped waves crashing with increasing frequency in the shallows.
Mike just let me know that there were reported sightings of a tornado in Ocean County, the next county south of ours. Time to relocate to a new writing spot downstairs.
I part the checkered white and gray curtains in the guest bedroom to let in the coastal gray light and switch on the nightstand lamp, a bronze candlestick base with a fabric shade printed with pink roses, for a cozy glow. The guest room is furnished practically with a bed, area rug, two nightstands, and a dresser in white and cool coastal colors. The closet is mostly empty save spare bed pillows, a welcome basket for the guests we will someday have, and our additional sleeping arrangements – a twin-sized, tri-fold floor mattress and camp cot, each accessibly tucked away in their compact carry cases. The only excess in here are two of my paintings from college all set in their new frames, ready to be hung up on the walls.
Outside, dark wispy clouds drift northeast over the ocean. My cozy glow flickers.
I usually love a good coastal storm, but when a storm is classified as a Tropical Storm or Hurricane, the love flickers, freckled with apprehension. We knew rough weather was a risk when we made the decision to move to the shore, but the reality of a storm hitting close to home, well… hits close to home. Still, I am glad to be safe inside on a day like this without the immediate need to run out for supplies. If the power goes out, there is nothing we can do, so why fret about it now?
The wind is picking up. Gusts are estimated to reach up to 45-55 mph. We brought the balcony furniture into the living room last night in preparation for the storm, but it appears that not all of our neighbors in the condo complex did the same.
The breath of the storm whistles and heaves. My cozy glow flickers again.
Rain tap dances on the pavement outside as a gust of wind shrieks like a poorly rosined bow stroke on a cello’s strings, the overture to the show about to begin. The time has come to turn off electronic devices, sit back, and absorb nature’s entertainment for the duration of its performance… or maybe close the curtains and retreat from the windows.
My cozy glow extinguishes. The show is starting.