21 April, 2016

R is for Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach was the main resort town near my home in (a smaller resort town) in Delaware. It’s where I worked, where I played, where I ate, where I went to the gym, where I did the Polar Bear Plunge…
image: tripadvisor.com
Rehoboth has a cute downtown - "The Avenue" which leads from Highway 1 to the boardwalk. No chain stores (or not big chains) and no chain restaurants along the Avenue. It's all cute, locally-owned, beachy and artsy shops and eclectic restaurants.

The Avenue is about 70% closed during the winter. The less-touristy places are open year-round, but that's about it. Window shopping.
That's the winter.
Unless there's a hurricane. When a hurricane is imminent, windows are boarded or steel hurricane shutters rolled down for protection from Mother Nature.

Geographically mid-Atlantic, hurricanes usually were downgraded to tropical storm status by the time they reached us.
But not always.
Irene was pretty wild.
Image: rehobothbeachfever.com
Hurricane Irene was headed right for us. As her arrival neared, the State issued a mandatory evacuation for anyone living within 0.75 miles of the shore. My tiny house was just one block from the beach.

Image: weatherimagery.com
I taped my windows – this doesn’t prevent damage, but makes it easier to clean up any broken glass.

I elevated books and electronics that were on the floor.

I unplugged everything.

Then I packed for two nights (just in case) and went to stay with a friend who lived in a town a few miles inland.
image: movieposters2038.net

She kept the door to her back deck open so we could hear the wind and watch the trees blow, and we watched The Shining.
(No correlation; I just hadn't seen it and it was on.)

The next morning I was able to get home with no problem. (No damage, either.)

Right around that time, a tornado touched down in my little coastal town. We never get tornados. Hurricanes, sure. Tornados? Not on this side of the Chesapeake!

AND...Not too long after that, we all experienced the earthquake that struck near Richmond, Virginia. Yeah.

Next time I was down at the boardwalk, I saw someone selling t-shirts boasting: “I survived Irene, the tornado, and the earthquake!” There’s one in every crowd.

Moral of the Story: Board your windows all you want, Jack Nicholson's breaking in the door!


  1. Wow. You'd almost think someone was trying to send...a message! That's all crazy! I'm glad you made it through without damage, though. Especially from The Shining. That movie is so creepy, and you can never look at Jack Nicholson the same way again.

    1. I have since married a horror-movie aficionado. They aren't as bad as I always thought. Although I've not re-watched The Shining.

  2. Good one, Red. I've been in Rehoboth only once or twice, believe it or not. We missed the tornado here in Kent County, Del., but I was caregiver for my mother at the time and was meeting with some people regarding her care. We were sitting at the dining room table when the chandelier began to sway. I thought I was back in California. "We're having an earthquake," I announced, casually. The quake was short and mild. But then there was Irene, mild, too, thankfully. Though, what a phenomenon -- thinking you're out of reach of these geological critters, and yet....

    1. I was on a conference call during the earthquake, and someone in a northern office said, "wow - what was that" at the same time my office-mate and I were looking at each other with the same thought. We ended the call pretty quick!

  3. I've spent 95% of my life in Tornado Alley, so I guess we just get used to certain phenomenon. Although, I still want to experience a hurricane.

    1. I've spent plenty of years in tornado country too, which is why I always pooh-poohed whenever the weatherman mentioned the possibility of tornadoes. This one, like the hurricane, didn't cause much damage.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.