Saturday, October 29, 2005


For the first time we had good information. She began to pick up steam as the evening progressed. We had no light other than one candle burning and a flashlight that we positioned by the bath room area.

Joe and Dave sat at the back window with the slats open keeping an eye on the little slice of the world behind the school room. It became darker, then night fell. Wilma began to rage.

A very nice couple from the Chicago area, Loretta and Tom offered us one of their blankets. Joe took it and handed it to Dave. Most of the others began to go to sleep. I doubt that they were sleeping, they were laying still and praying. I know that I was. I was saying the rosary using my fingers as beads.

The only thing you could hear was the wind. It is impossible to describe it. It raced down the channel beside the wall and the side of the school. You knew it was raining, because it was pushing itself through the wooden slats. people shifted trying to not lay in water. We heard objects flying in the night and landing with hard crashes. Joe would open the slats and peer the flashlight out hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever it was out there.

Sometimes there were lights. People were out in the hurricane. Walking the perimeter. Occasionally you would hear dogs barking. Mainly you just heard the overpowering monstrous fury of Wilma. She was a Category 4 all night long. Winds were 150 to 140 mph.

Around 10pm Tom offered me his bed. He told me he wanted to sit up with Joe. It was the kindest gesture I have ever been offered. Despite the violent storm raging two feet from me, I feel into a drugged sleep for about two hours.

That is how we slept. Several hours here and there. People moving in almost reverent quietness to visit the back window and sit for a while.

We were all silently praying.

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