I stayed overnight with my brother, sister, uncle, and son at a beachfront house, presumably somewhere on the East Coast (since we had a lot of beach, there were a lot of waves, and it was on the right).

I awoke to the sensation of my cell phone, which was set to vibrate; I never answered it, and had apparently been not answering it for some time, based on the amount of calls. I turned on the TV (or radio - I don't remember), and found out about a hurricane warning for the area; it would be approaching in the next six hours, and they were evacuating the area for obvious reasons.

We immediately packed up everything we had brought; my version of packing was throwing everything on the bed and pulling the sheets up and around, then throwing it all in the trunk of the car. The exception was my sister, who insisted on sitting at a table, staring at a puzzle she had done the previous night. (Puzzles were something of a tradition on beach trips in my family.)

It started thundering, and my son was really scared, so I picked him up and held him tight. I remember his eyes being very wide, though his eyes are usually very narrow. My brother and my uncle were standing outside, looking at some extremely large sand sculpture we'd made the night before, most of which was destroyed and/or covered by the water at this point.

My brother and uncle insisted on leaving immediately, but my sister refused to go; she had brought her own car, and felt no obligation to leave with them. I knew I had to make her come with us, so I made them leave while I begged her to come along. I was still holding very tightly onto my son with one arm, using my other hand to literally pull her out of the side room she was sitting in.

She told me the real reason she didn't want to go home - she didn't want to be forced again to watch some documentary on Quakers that my brother and uncle had watched the night previous. I wanted to slap her silly, but there wasn't time; the sky was getting very dark, filled with ominous-looking clouds. I finally convinced her to leave, and she began dragging herself around, tracking her belongings down. I looked back out at the beach, and the sand sculpture was nearly gone; at this point, I grabbed the entire tablecloth from the kitchen table, and its contents, and threw it in the car.

I finally got her out to the car, and my cell phone rang again; it was my father. He'd been calling to tell us about the hurricane warning; I told him we knew, and we were leaving.

The reception started cutting in and out. I yelled, "Dad?"

It kept crackling.

"I love you, Dad!"

The phone cut off. I don't think he ever heard me.