I can hardly believe that Carol and I and a couple of our friends just got back home after spending six days in Walterboro, South Carolina. We were told by Governor Haley to evacuate our county by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The hurricane (Matthew) was rotating around the Bahamas, Haiti and the eastern tip of Cuba and would soon be upon us. Anyone who was not 100 miles from shore, would, most certainly, be in danger.
We called the office in our community and a woman who answered told us that 50 miles up the road was Walterboro. We would be sure that we would have electricity there because a grid existed right down the road. Carol called around for a hotel that might accept pets. Our friends had a dog each and we had three cats. That is a chore for anyone running a hotel or motel. We finally got rooms for us at a Red Roof Inn right off route 95.
The motel was a family operation. Other than Mr. Mike, a person from Edisto Beach (50 miles away) who seemed to be a volunteer, the motel was run by the Patels. They could not have been more welcoming or helpful. We told them that they did not have to clean our room. With the three cats there, we would do the vacuuming and such ourselves. We did not want to chance having the cats leave. Anyway, one of the Patels was severely allergic to cats.
The first days were us getting used to the town and discovering an interesting restaurant. This place offered a buffet (really good) at a modest price and promised “Good Country Cookin’ that would make you Good Looklin’. Of course, after we ate, Al Richter asked for a mirror to see if it was true. Would you believe our waitress brought him a mirror and he was satisfied? The rest of us made no comment.
Would you believe that we discovered that there was a Walmart in town? Since we had packed rather quickly, we all traipsed over there to the personal care section to pick up a couple of things. This trip continued for the next four days. While all other stores were closed, Walmart remained open. Our daily chore was to go down separate aisles and see what we could see. We even bought some things that we ran out of. Since I had only brought pills for 4 days, it was imperative that I get refills. The pharmacy was very cooperative and got permission to get me three days’ worth of what I needed.
Next door to us, a Quality Inn was populated by an African American Motorcycle Club. These folks meet there every year and have a barbeque. They bring their entire family with them. Unfortunately for them, most of their group was not able to get to Walterboro. It was a shame for them because the persons responsible for setting the event up had all of the food.
What was a shame for them was a bonanza for us. They made the barbeque and we were able to get some really great chicken and ribs, gumbo, collard greens and string beans and other assorted delicacies. Of course we paid for the privilege.
We did get a day and one half of really strong winds and rain. At one point Rte 95 was closed. The police in Walterboro created a curfew. We were kind of stuck. Even more difficult was the restriction of driving a car. The police just wanted everyone off the road. Our three couples had prepared for such an eventuality. We had snacks squirreled away in our luggage. It was a treat to eat apples and peanut butter and milk with candy bars. It certainly was nutritious.
We even brought some treats for the cats. They seemed to be perfectly at home in our room. If only the smell from the litter box in the morning wasn’t so strong. We did bring along Arm and Hammer litter box deodorant.
After exhausting all of the aisles at Walmart and hearing that we were going to be allowed to return to our home, we took off on Monday, having been in Walterboro for 6 days. It was kind of a slice of time taken out of our lives. Back to the real world of the presidential election and Designated Survivor (hmm…).