The storm started kicking up the high winds after eight on the night before. Mom put me to bed at that time and left the door open to the great room where she and my Aunt Sylvia were sitting and talking. They had two kerosene lanterns ready for when the power went out. As I was lying there trying to get to sleep, each gust of wind made spooky whistling noises and the house gently swayed as it was designed to do on the stilts above the sand. I finally fell asleep only to awaken around two in the morning to an unusual sound. Soon I realized what it was; the seashells were washing under the cottage as the waves lapped over the beach dunes and the previously gusty winds were now steady above hurricane force.
I looked out the door into the great room and realized the power was out. Mom and Aunt Sylvia were still seated and talking, looking eerie in the shadow of the hurricane lamps. I didn't want to be alone, so I walked into the great room and Mom called me to her side. She told me not to worry for everything was fine but we would face a few inconveniences after it ended for several days. Then Sylvia came over and told Mom she would sing me back to sleep and she did, singing Jesus Loves Me just like we did in the children's Sunday school class. It worked and I fell fast asleep.
When I awoke, the seas were receding, the wind was still blowing a gale, Dad had his legs sanded by an early morning walk about outside, but the hurricane was over and the wind had changed direction to a fetch out to sea from the west, calming the beachfront waves. We had no power for three or four days and the road was underwater, but the cottage was high and dry with nary a missing shingle. There was sand up the two feet deep on the screen porch and it was an arduous job clearing it and the driveway. We ate cold cuts, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drank bottled water and were fine. Then once the power came back on, Dad took us all to the Jockey's Ridge Restaurant for some fried flounder and hush puppies with slaw and I thought it was the most wonderful supper I ever had.
Oh, the memories from "Summers at Old Nags Head," even after a big storm. It was the most wonderful place a boy could ever go for a summer, returning on Labor Day with a tan everyone envied until winter came and we turned pale.