Matthew was wake-up call

3 mins read

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

June brings so many gifts to our beautiful seaside town. Farmers markets burst with color, flavor and summers classic benefactions. Hemlines get shorter, days get longer and boat rides endemic. Not yet consistently sweltering, early June serves as a preface to the brutal heat of Southern summers. 

With all the splendor also comes hurricane season, something we once only gave brief notice. 

Confident and somewhat naive prior to Matthew, it was nothing more than a menace to insurance premiums and an annual risk to our seasonal strut. 

Complacent and comfortable, we gave an obligatory nod but never full attention to the season’s flair for the furious. After all, nefarious winds typically danced away from our shoreline. Until the night they didn’t.  

This year is different. Matthew’s sojourn changed more than our landscape, our schedules and our whimsical view of Mother Nature.

Unwelcome and underestimated, Matthew reminded us of both the fragility and strength of our precious paradise. Battered, bruised and irksomely interrupted, beautiful Beaufort felt the blunt of displeasure and the pang of meteorological misfortune. 

Although weathered and worn, our roots dug deep as we shielded our weaknesses and tended to the tattered. Quickly we gathered our uninvited despair and rebuilt our homes, docks and confidence in our way of life. 

As all great Southern insults, it was quickly swept underneath our sea grass rugs, tucked beneath our petticoats of perfection and hailed as triumph rather than tragedy.  

Like an opinion from the over-served, we excused it away with poetic persuasion moving purposely towards remedy instead of resentment. Matthew left his mark but we refused the scar. 

Here we are once again on the calendar of the unwelcome. Feeling as though we have paid our dues, done our time and served our duty, we are slightly more aware and persistently more indignant. We acknowledge the arrival of the season of sun, sand and sudden chaos. 

Generators purchased, insurance obtained and grit packed tightly, we give watchful eye yet dare not to disturb our most social of seasons for the illicit, ill-tempered and intolerable guest of summer. 

Cherimie Crane Weatherford, owner of SugarBelle boutique, real estate broker and observer of all things momentous and mundane, lives on Lady’s Island with her golfing husband, dancing toddler and lounging dogs.

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