Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane quotes

I was supposed to be flying up to New Jersey today for a big family get-together at my cousin's house over the weekend, but "due to Hurricane Irene's insistence on crashing this weekend's party", as my cousin put it, the whole thing has been cancelled.  I'm disappointed that I won't get to see everyone, but relieved not to have to travel in that mess!

I thought I'd share a few quotes from the OUTLANDER books in honor of Hurricane Irene:

1) As bad as it is to experience a hurricane on land, I think it would be much worse in a tiny wooden sailboat on the ocean.
I was sitting on the deck, legs splayed, with the mast at my back and the line passed around my chest.  The sky had gone lead-gray on one side, a deep, lucent green on the other, and lightning was striking at random over the surface of the sea, bright jags of brilliance across the dark.  The wind was so loud that even the thunderclaps reached us only now and then, as muffled booms, like ships' guns firing at a distance.

Then a bolt crashed down beside the ship, lightning and thunder together, close enough to hear the hiss of boiling water in the ringing aftermath of the thunderclap.  The sharp reek of ozone flooded the air.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 63 ("Out of the Depths"). Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
2) Can you imagine being caught outside in a storm like the one Claire found herself in?  I would have been terrified.
Sheet lightning shimmered far away, across the mountains.  Then more bolts, sizzling across the sky, each succeeded by a louder roll of thunder.  The hailstorm passed, and the rain resumed, pelting down as hard as ever.  The valley below disappeared in cloud and mist, but the lightning lit the stark mountain ridges like bones on an X ray.

"One hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three hippopotamus, four hippopot--" BWOOOM! The horse jerked and stamped nervously.

"I know just how you feel," I told it, peering down the valley.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 23 ("The Skull Beneath the Skin"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
3) Thank God, all storms come to an end sooner or later!  I remember all too well the eerie quiet the morning after Hurricane Fran came through Raleigh in 1996, leaving us without power or phone service for several days.
Then I woke, to find the wind a little quieter.  The seas still heaved, and the tiny boat pitched like a cockleshell, throwing us up and dropping us with stomach-churning regularity.  But the noise was less; I could hear, when MacGregor shouted to Ian to pass a cup of water.  The men's faces were chapped and raw, their lips cracked to bleeding by the whistling wind, but they were smiling.

"It's gone by."  Jamie's voice was low and husky in my ear, rusted by weather.  "The storm's past."

It was; there were breaks in the lead-gray sky, and small flashes of a pale, fresh blue.  I thought it must be early morning, sometime just past dawn, but couldn't tell for sure.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 63 ("Out of the Depths"). Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
4) And here's a little taste of what it must be like on Ocracoke Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, during one of these storms.  (Ocracoke was evacuated on Wednesday, in advance of Hurricane Irene.)
It had been raining for days, and the footing was uncertain, slippery and boggy by turns.  The wind was high, and the storm surge pounded the beaches; they could hear it, even in the secluded spot where the portal lay.

"We were all scared--maybe all but Rob--but it was way exciting, man," he said, beginning to show a glimmer of enthusiasm.  "The trees were just about layin' down flat, and the sky, it was green.  The wind was so bad, you could taste salt, all the time, because little bits of ocean were flying through the air, mixed with the rain.  We were, like, soaked through to our choners."

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 55 ("Wendigo"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Good luck to everyone who's affected by Irene!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Hi, Karen,

I always think of both Fraser's Ridge and you whenever North Carolina is mentioned! I hope you won't have any damage, or lose electricity. We live in NJ, and canceled our plans for a weekend trip to Massachusetts.

Thank you for these vivid hurricane quotes! I knew Irene would inspire something interesting from you. Maybe tonight and tomorrow I'll be rereading them by candlelight! I hope not.

Funny thing: my husband's first comment to me about preparedness was that I'd better charge up my Kindle! This in a house with over a thousand books!

All the best,
Susan H.