Blogmas · Life & Family

2018 Highlights

2018 was bananas. I don’t just mean the country falling down around us, or Earth continuing its slow decline because we’re killing it, or the general insanity that has come to what feels like the entire world. Though all of those things are also true. It’s just been a crazy year, personally. I won’t remember the insanity in the future {yyaaaayyy bad memory}, so I thought I’d write up a few of the ‘highlights’ of the year. I’m intentionally avoiding the worst things that happened this year, by the way. Keeping it positive, but adding in some things that were just unique. I’ll have a normal end-of-2018 post later on, with stats and such.

  1. I have a nephew! He’s a chubby little ball of love and I can’t handle how cute he is.
  2. Hurricane Florence has to take the {almost} top spot, right? It was our first evacuation.
    • Shane and I took our boys and fled to the mountains of North Carolina. We didn’t spend that long up there, but I really feel like the weekish we spent dealing with the Hurricane put me behind on my to-do list by several weeks. I never recovered, and have been playing catch up since September.
    • Thankfully, my area of MB was fairly unscathed. Our grocery stores weren’t stocked for awhile and the roads were so flooded that we couldn’t leave town for awhile, but that was really it. Other people had it much worse. I still wish I had volunteered to help out, but maybe next hurricane.
  3. Shane got a new job! He had like 3 or 4 interviews for it, then started the week after his last one.
  4. We moved to Myrtle Beach in a grand total of 4 weeks from the day of his last interview. He had his last interview on April 12th and my parents drove the UHaul down on May 12th.
    • I had to pack the old apartment up without a lot of help because Shane had to be here to work. He did help when he could.
    • Tau immediately got a UTI when we got here and has been a different {re: needy} cat ever since.
  5. We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary by forgetting it, packing all day, then saying ‘Happy Anniversary’ exhaustedly on the couch. Classic us.
  6. We visited Washington, DC in February {I had a conference} and Nashville, TN {I had another conference} in December. Both were cold, rainy, awesome trips.
  7. We discovered Huntington Beach State Park which has quickly become one of our favorite places in MB.
    • Turns out I like taking pictures of birds.
  8. Driving back to spend a day at work means I have to drive up the night before and I have dodged the following:
    • A tornado. A real, touched down a few miles from my car tornado.
    • A thunderstorm complete with hail.
    • Two separate hurricanes.
  9. I gained 20 pounds since we moved here.
  10. Moving here has been a hard transition. We don’t know anyone, we’re in a place neither is very familiar with, and it’s really lonely sometimes. I do like that Shane and I get to spend a ton of time together.
  11. I started this blog and I’ve really enjoyed blogging!
Life & Family

Hurricane Florence

Myrtle Beach initially escaped Hurricane Florence with fairly little damage. My building lost a few shingles and the trash compactor enclosure lost a board on the gate. Dunkin’ Donuts lost part of their sign, the intersection I use to get out of my area blinked red for quite awhile, but really the damage was fairly low.

It’s the flooding that’s getting us. Well, not me personally, I live far enough from any river or waterway that our only flooding is in drainage ditches and retention ponds. So many people’s homes are flooded that long term rentals are getting harder and harder to find as they try to find a new place to live. Conway is just under water. Many roads are closed, rivers are far above historic flood levels, and trips that should take an hour take several.

I don’t even know what else to say – Shane and I only had to evacuate and all of our stuff is fine. We lost a freezer and fridge full of food and stressed the heck out of our cats, but that’s it. We’re incredibly lucky and I feel guilty even thinking about that stuff.

If you want to do something, volunteer with the Red Cross (if they ever have shifts I can work, I’ll be there), or donate money to Florence relief – especially if the funds go to Wilmington, NC. Our grocery stores are at least getting partial shipments, they’re still fairly isolated and need a lot more help than we do.

-S-

 

Beach · Life & Family

22 Things I’ve Learned Since Moving to the Beach (feat. Hurricane Florence)

**I didn’t post this week because we evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence. I had already written this post, so I’m just adding to it before posting.**

I’ve been living at the beach (in a tourist town) for almost 4 months now, so I’m clearly an expert on beach living. I’m kidding, I’m still brand new around here, but I have learned some things and I’d like to share. Also, be aware I make sweeping generalizations & completely make up statistics.

1. Very few people are *from* Myrtle Beach, most people here seem to be from somewhere else.
2. People who are from MB hate the beach with a passion and may go to the actual beach once a year. Maybe.
3. There are distinct ‘tourist’ vs ‘resident’ areas & while residents will go to tourist areas they will complain about it the entire time they’re there.
4. Yes, 501 and 17 are nightmares. Robert Grissom will get you almost anywhere you need to go.
5. 3 out of 5 people here are from New Jersey/New England/Ohio.
6. Those people still drive as if they live in NYC or Boston.
7. A visible majority of year round residents are retirement age or older. Many jobs traditionally held by teenagers are held by retirees – most of the teenagers work on/near the beach.
8. There are more golf courses than should be allowed in one area. Several large roads have golf cart bridges, which will never stop boggling my mind.
9. Myrtle Beach is the land of gated communities. They’re everywhere & don’t mean that the houses are particularly expensive.
10. Real estate is surprisingly reasonable (for the most part). If you want to live on the beach on Pawley’s, you’ll pay a pretty penny but other areas are much more reasonable.
11. The SC State Parks pass is a *must* if you live here – beaches at the state parks are so nice and far less crowded. They let you get into parks & park events for “free” (or at a reduced price) – the pass costs $100, but it paid for itself in the first 4 months we’ve lived here.
12. The “feels like” temperature is often 10+ degrees higher than the actual temperature and jeans will kill you. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe.

Since I’ve written this post my wee family had to flee Hurricane Florence, so I thought I’d go ahead and add 10 things I’ve learned about beach living during hurricane season. Most of the following are based on pre-aftermath, since Florence hasn’t hit MB as of this writing & I probably won’t be able to update it for awhile afterwards. Keeping that in mind, many of the things I’ve learned could be totally wrong and I make no claims that they’re true.

13. Nothing is worth your life. We left a lot behind in our apartment and I get sad thinking that if something happens to the building I’ll lose family heirlooms, my entire book collection, the sweet sweet soundbar in the living room, our nice tv, etc. but Shane and I are safe, sound, and dry with our cats. We’ll all survive the Hurricane and while the blanket chest my grandfather made may be lost, that’s the most important thing.
14. My mind only deals in worst-case scenarios, apparently. It decided that all my belongings were gone the second we left home. Which I guess is okay, since if nothing happens to anything, it’s a happy surprise.
15. Don’t stock up on freezer goods. At least not during hurricane season. Though we are repaying our hosts with lots and lots of food from our freezer, it was very heavy to get in the car & we tossed a bag of fish fillets I was excited about.
16. All diets are off during an evacuation – I’ve eaten more doughnuts in the past few days than in the months before. And I ate peach cobbler. And drank 4 sodas yesterday. I don’t really drink soda except Sprite/Ginger Ale when I don’t feel well.
17. If you have time & it fits in your car, don’t feel bad about bringing it. I packed too many books for our journey into the mountains, but books are easy to pack into small spaces & I didn’t put us in any danger while we were getting ready to leave, so why not bring too many?
18. If you have security cameras, set a couple up to look out of the window. We’ve been checking them periodically to see how the weather/storm is progressing. Right now, it’s a bit windy/rainy, but it’s early yet. I like looking at the two we have set up looking outwards instead of the one facing inside because the action is happening out there.
19. Even if nothing happens, you should probably leave if things look really bad. I guess if your house has lived through 17 Category 1 storms, it’s fine to stay for another one, but if it strengthens to a Cat 2 you should probably get out. There are reasons not to, obviously. Money and employment are the biggies and if skipping a shift will get you fired, I can see needing to weigh that against everything else.
20. Take a pack of cards. Put a pack of cards in your car just in case of a surprise evacuation. They’re super handy to entertain kids and pass some time. Also crosswords or something, if you’re so inclined. The app I use to do crosswords only works when it’s connected to the internet. And if the power’s out, I need to save the battery.
21. Stress is a weird thing. I’m okay, but sometimes I just get really quiet and stare at something. I’m also really really exhausted even though I’m sleeping fine.
22. There is no place like home. Even if it’s only been home for a few months.

-S-