Edgewater couple and their pup are three of many people I’ve met along the way
I met Bill and Marie Reinauer of Edgewater as they walked their dog Fiona at the Best Western in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They are continuing onto New Jersey to be with one of their daughters, we are staying here, because we have family here.
Bill Reinaur said they learn from each hurricane experience.
During one hurricane many years ago, they took two cars to evacuate.
“We won’t do that again,” Reinaur said. “You can’t switch drivers when one gets tired. It’s too much trouble.”
In 2004 they decided to stay at home during Hurricane Charlie.
“We learned from that one, and won’t do that again,” Reinaur said.
Bill Reinaur, who will be 90 in February, and his wife were like most of the people I have met -- worried of course, but taking the time to share their stories.
The mood is unusually light. People are swapping stories about where they are from, how long they have been on the road and where they are going. One woman told me she left Sarasota at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, and didn’t get to Georgia until 7 p.m. At the time we were at a gas station in South Carolina. She was headed to New York to be with family. That’s a common denominator - people aren’t just evacuating this time, they want to be with family.
I met John in South Carolina. As he sat on the curb behind a Hardee’s restaurant, and loved up on Kodi the corgi, he told me he was homeless, and living the work trailer attached to his van. It had Missouri tags. As he petted an appreciative Kodi he commented about how many dogs he had seen in the past few days. I wanted to know more about John, but we had to get back on the road.
This is not a vacation, but it is an opportunity to share stories, meet people and see new places (we took detours when we could, to avoid the congested highway traffic) is the silver lining in this for me. What waits at home? I don’t know. I know I can’t do anything about it and try not to dwell on it. We have friends, family and I am blessed with a caring employer, so whatever happens – we will be OK.
If you are reading this at a shelter, hotel, or maybe with family and friends, I strongly suggest getting to know your fellow travelers. You have everything in common on this adventure and it’s a wonderful distraction from the news.
A note to the Reinaurs: I hope you have a safe trip, and I hope to hear about the rest of your trip when you return.