Welcome home….to heavy rain and a flood

Published 10:22 am Monday, September 26, 2016

Eight years later… and I’m back. I would use a smiley-face emoji, but somehow I feel that wouldn’t come out properly in the newspaper.

Some of you might remember me or at least my name from that long ago, some of you may not, and well some of you might not even been old enough to read the newspaper the last time I worked here!

In any case, I’ve been many places and had many jobs since I last worked at this publication in September of 2008….from New York City to the Outer Banks (Kill Devil Hills, NC). I’ve worked everywhere from doing public relations at a non-profit organization in NYC to a tattoo parlor at the beach here in NC as well as home health services there too. I earned my EMT-B certification in Bertie County (thank you SO much to my awesome instructors Willie Davis, Lynn Woodard, and Mamie Chamblee) a few years ago, and went through most of the Dare County Fire Academy last year.

It’s been an exciting yet at times confusing journey, as my travels and various jobs have led me so many different places and at different paces, as well. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned about the differences between the three places where I’ve spent the most time living in the last eight years (or more):

For transportation…

In New York City: Take public transportation, and stay out of the way of taxis while walking.

In Dare County: Bicycles seem to be preferred, and tourists’ driving is much-cursed.

In Bertie County: Must have a car/truck/motor scooter/lawnmower (anything with an engine will do).

For jobs…

NYC: Work long hours but get paid good wages – as long as you belong to a union

Dare County: Have at least 2-3 jobs, but only during the summer since that’s tourist season and then, good luck!

Bertie: Lots of people don’t work, but sit at home, raise their kids, and get a government check for it.

For entertainment…

NYC: Whatever, whenever – the sky is the limit.

Dare: Beach (in season), bars (whenever), bowling, laser tag, paintball.

Bertie: No one knows.

For housing…

NYC: Cut off your arm and your leg and you might have ¼ of one month’s rent for a tiny one-room studio apartment, plus everything you earned that month at your 80-hour-a-week job

Dare: Nearly impossible to find long-term rentals, especially in the summer, and pricey. Good luck in the winter, too… and it still costs you almost everything you make

Bertie: Great prices, but unless you’re looking to buy it’s hard as rentals are extremely hard to come by.

There are many other things I could point out as to the differences between the areas, but I found those to be the most striking. Want to know something else that’s weird? I realized yesterday that the last two times I’ve “moved” back to Windsor, it’s been to a flood – literally.

I grew up here, for those who have yet to meet me, but I moved to NYC when my son was little to get help for his special needs and didn’t move back until 2010. A couple of days ago, I was thinking this was in 2011 – after Hurricane Irene – but today when I looked it up, the Windsor flooding actually occurred after “a storm” in October 2010. I remember my mother picking us up mid-day from the ORF airport in Norfolk, yet not being able to get back into Windsor until well after midnight due to closed roads and flash flooding in heavy rains.

And of course there’s this time… we’ve been living at the beach for a few years now, and of course as soon as I come back into the area what happens? A storm… and a flood. Thursday and early Friday, I literally could not even get out of the driveway of the house where I’m staying with a friend on Church Street due to water in the road. So I went “swimming” – put on my bathing suit and walked down the street as well as around most of downtown in at least waist-deep water, with my camera cradled around my shoulders, taking pictures for the newspaper.

But please don’t shoot me on sight. I promise, I’m pretty sure it’s a coincidence and I’m not a curse. Still, though, it IS a bit odd – that the last two times I’ve returned back to Windsor, I’m welcomed by heavy rain and then a flood.

Jennipher Dickens is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at jennipher.dickens@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7211.