2017 Life Logs, Day 267: GLORIOUS DAY—Contact with Justin and Jo
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Weather: Gloriously Sunny; High 80, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It was a GLORIOUS DAY. Jose left us yesterday and this morning it was bright and sunny for the first time in days. The sunshine felt great, but there was still no word from Justin and Jo. I went to West Falmouth Harbor to help Bruce and his son Eric get Pooh out of the water. More about that in a bit. I came home for lunch and to check the Rincon Facebook pages for new information. I got an email from Jo’s family and emailed back to them, that I still had heard nothing. Just as I sent that email, the phone rang. It was my niece Janet calling from Nashville. She asked if Heather or I had heard from Justin. I said no, and then she said that unless she was crazy, she had just gotten a message from him on Facebook that said, “We are okay.” She had been madly sending messages on Facebook contacting anyone she knew to see if they had information, and her timing was perfect. Just as she was doing this, Justin, Jo, and kids were at the townhall in Rincon where they were using the town internet to check Facebook and do Skype messaging. (They can do this, but not receive email or do internet searches.) They were both posting to Facebook when Justin saw Janet’s plea and answered with the okay message. Janet sent a message back to him immediately and he said to tell her to have me get on Skype. He called, but I could hear nothing. So, then we started writing messages back and forth. If you are a parent, I’m sure you understand just how relieved I was to read these words, “Things are OK here. We are fine and fed, the kids are doing well. The community is holding together so far.” Then I got ‘I Love You’ messages from Ziggy and Coco followed by this very five-year-old message from Coco, “I wish we could see you one day. I hope you have a happy holiday.” Since the kids are out of school, I think Coco believes she is on holiday! Then there was an eight-year-old request from Ziggy, “Please send chocolate!” Yep. He’s my grandchild. For those of you not on Facebook, I am copying Justin’s post at the end of this email. The bottom line being they are safe, their home served as a mighty fortress during the hurricane, they have plenty of food and water for now, and now they are trying to gather information in order to make a decision on what to do next. Justin asked me to get the Skype app on my phone so he can contact me when he has the opportunity. I have done that and will wait for the next contact. Thank you to everyone who has been watching and waiting with us. Your comments on Facebook and in emails have helped me through this and your offers of helping in some way are most generous. There is nothing we can do just yet. We just have to wait and see if mail service resumes or if there is any other way to send things.

It was a great morning for getting Pooh out of the water—warm, very little wind, and high tide. We had trouble getting the motor started, but finally we were underway. We brought Pooh to the dock so we could offload the mast, boom, gaff pole, and other boat ‘stuff’. When we got to the dock to unload, I heard familiar voices. I looked up and saw Mike and Gretchen Coughlin, good friends from the Concord Yacht Club. Gretchen’s family home is almost across the street from the dock. They were visiting this weekend and getting ready to launch their new-to-them beetle cat boat. It was quite a pleasant surprise to see them. We talked while Bruce and Eric got the things off the boat. Then Bruce and Eric went to the launch ramp and I motored the boat to them. We thought things were going perfectly at first, but we had trouble getting the boat centered on the trailer and then a tiny disaster hit. The winch we were using to reel her in broke. The inner workings of the winch handle stripped. That meant we had get the boat on the trailer by physically manhandling her. Bruce was concerned that we were holding up others wanted to use the launch ranch, but lucky for us it was just Mike and Gretchen and they were very understanding. Finally, Bruce found a way to jerry-rig the winch handle and we got the boat on the trailer and pulled her out of the water. Lucky for us it was just Mike and Gretchen that were waiting to use the ramp and they were very understanding. We finally got the boat full on the trailer and pulled her out of the water. I said farewells to Mike and Gretchen, and we were off to take Pooh to the Woodin’s. All is well that ends well.

Here’s the post from Justin’s Facebook page:

Hi everyone – so, Maria hit us hard. Power is out and will be for a long time. Right now I’m using the town offices internet, they are running a generator, no idea how they have internet. Gas is out. Ships are coming in starting tomorrow I think – there is no way to communicate here – not sure if cellular will come back up and if so when – it could be a very long time judging by the conditions.
Because there is very little news we don’t know what is happening. I’ve heard it is possible another storm is coming through Sunday.

For those that are worried, the dam that may collapse would not directly impact us (as in, our house wouldn’t get washed away) but obviously if the 20,000 people in the path of that are impacted the refugee situation will be serious.

There has been some violence and looting. There is a 6pm curfew in effect. We are keeping safe.
Our house is fine. Our farm is injured. We only lost one chicken, but so many trees. We used to live in a forest, now we live in a field of sticks. The trees that are standing don’t have any leaves. Many trees are down.

Our house is amazing. It is a little ship. We boarded up all the windows. It was quiet. Ziggy said – “That was so weird. We were like ‘Let’s watch a movie.’ Hey what was that sound? ‘Oh, nothing. Let’s read a book.’ Hey, what was that sound? ‘Oh, nothing.’ Hey look – the whole world is gone.”

We are OK. Heather M. Handley Goldstone, please let folks know. I’m not sure what is going to happen. A lot of people are leaving. We are trying to figure it out step by step.

2017 Life Logs, Day 268: Busy Monday
2017 Life Logs, Day 266: The Wait Continues