Minasan ohayoo gozaimasu, (good morning everyone)

I’m in Okinawa, Japan, visiting my daughter Christina and her family. The island is located right in the middle of Typhoon Alley. It’s rained almost every day I’ve been here. As we prepare for Typhoon Chaba, I’m reminded of a nursery rhyme poem.

Rain, rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again!

The typhoon is expected to hit the island on Thursday. Christina deals with tropical storms at least six times a year and she’s calm. But I’m terrified of all the howling wind and rain we’re already experiencing. She’s stationed on Kadena Air Force Base and most of it (schools, businesses, etc.) is closed to prepare for the storm. The patio furniture is still put away because of the weather that hammered the island two weeks ago, so we don’t have much to do outside. We’re just loading up on groceries and water.

My grandsons, Triston and Ivan, are more interested in the movie Star Wars Clone Wars than the swaying palms and slashing rain. Triston is serious and older than his seven years, while Ivan is playful and still carries his Blinkie (a worn Winnie-the-Pooh blanket) everywhere he goes. Here are a couple of pictures of them playing their favorite sports.

Aren't they two cuties? The top picture is of Ivan; the bottom is Triston and Christina.

Now back to the storm.  Preparing for severe weather on a military base is a group effort. A soldier doesn’t hesitate to help someone in need, so everyone is pitching in to help their neighbor. This outpouring of love and care reminds me of my military days. Even then nothing compared to the camaraderie soldiers show to each other.

Everyone tells me not to worry. That the worse of the storm will go in another direction like the one did two weeks ago, but I’m still leery. I grew up in Virginia and New Jersey and never worried about typhoons, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Oh, my!

Right now I feel like one of my heroines in danger. If nothing else, battling this storm gives me an authentic experience to write about. Hey, that’s the first ray of sunshine I’ve encountered all morning.

If you’ve went through a harrowing experience or endured something that gives a personal touch to your stories…please share it.

Until later,

Pamela Varnado, AKA: Pamela Vee
AFTER GLOW available now (http://www.thewilderroses.com/)


  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // October 27, 2010 at 6:25 AM  

    Good morning Pam, it early here in Georgia, just barely past 6 a. m. and here you are all bright eyed and bushy tailed! Your daughter takes after her momma and is a beautiful, strong woman. The boys are precious. I'm sure this new and exciting experience will add much realism to one of your stories. Stay safe and dry, we miss you. Can't say that I've experienced anything like you're going through now. Although I was in Alpalachiacola a few years back when a hurricane was headed that way and hightailed it back to Georgia. It was more tramatic for the DH because he had, against his better judgment allowed me to go down by myself to write. When he saw the hurricane heading that way, he was beside himself until I arrived home. The most stressful part for me was finding gas for the drive home. I'd neglected refilling the tank on the way down, he always tells me not to let it get below half. He wasn't with me, so you know what happened. Anyway, no credit cards to be used, cash only at the pumps and a twenty dollar limit at that. Fortunately, that twenty was enough to get me home. Long lines of traffic headed north, but we were well ahead of the storm. The worse part was leaving the cute little cottage where I'd hold up to write. Enjoy your visit with Christina and the boys.

  2. Nightingale // October 27, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

    Good to hear from you Pam, but not good about the storm. I weathered a couple of tropical storms in Miami so I can sympathesize

  3. Connie Gillam // October 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

    Good morning, Pam,

    They are sooo cute and growing up so quickly.
    My husband, son and I traveled from Indpls to Cleveland in one of the worst snow storms in the history of that area. Twenty four inches of snow fell in 2 hours, straying motorist on the highways. The interstate from Columbus, Ohio to Cleveland was a parking lot. My husband decided to take the back roads home. It took us 10 hours to travel 120 miles. The kicker was we were driving a MGB- a British two seater sports car that I swear wasn't two inches off the ground.
    We laugh about it now, but then, I didn't sleep the whole way home.

  4. Carol Burnside // October 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

    I once drove from Oklahoma City to Austin after a freak snowstorm that left most of Texas under a thick sheet of ice. Advisaries were to stay off the highways, but I was determined to get home for Christmas. I made it by driving in the deep ruts left behind by large trucks. Looking back, I realize it was way dangerous, but I guess it illustrates how a character, properly motivated can do foolish things.

    Earlier in my life, we lived close to a small natural gas refinery. One of the huge gas tanks blew up in the middle of the night and we had to evacuate our neighborhood. Now that was scary, hearing the blast, seeing the sky lit up with flames and not knowing whether our little corner of the world would be intact when we returned.

    Even with the storm coming, it sounds like you're enjoying being with your family. You'll have lasting memories of this, I'm sure. Stay safe!

  5. Mary Marvella // October 27, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

    My goodness, Pam. Please stay safe and keep the boys safe. Those kids get cuter each day. Of course with such a gorgeous mama, I would expect nothing less.

    We're having tornado warnings and watches here.

    Years ago, when I was in Macon visiting my folks, a series of small tornadoes or "storms" hit a couple of miles from my house and the family photography studio. Both escaped damage, thank God. Knowing what was happening had me on edge, waiting for calls from home.

  6. Mona Risk // October 27, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

    Pam, I spent a day in Okinawa two years ago. It was sunny and beautiful. Thank God we were lucky. The weather you describe reminds me of our Floridian hurricanes. Terrifying. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures of your grandsons.

  7. Cyrano // October 27, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

    Such a gorgeous family Pamela!! it makes sense though, their grandma is a beauty:)
    Funny you should be speaking about rain, I know were not in store for a typhoon, and a named one at that, but it's been raining today here in good old Georgia like a hurricane is on it's way in. it hasn't let up.
    Sorry it's been such bad weather there. I'm sure little smooches and hugs and "I love you grandmas" make up for the rain though, huh?
    Thanks for sharing the pics, and I hope the sun comes out soon.
    Love and miss you much!!

  8. Mary Ricksen // October 27, 2010 at 6:54 PM  

    What a beautiful family you have. Just like you Pam.
    I hated after the hurricane here a few years ago, no electricity for three weeks in 95 degree heat! Ugh!
    I also remember an ice storm in Vermont which pulled all the power lines down for days!
    So Pam, no matter where you are stay safe for us!

  9. Autumn Jordon // October 27, 2010 at 10:15 PM  

    Pam, Your family is gourgous. Please stay safe. We're praying storm passes over.

  10. Judy // October 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM  

    Pam, glad you're with your kids but wish you'd have better weather! We had just moved to Kansas when a tornado siren went off. I grabbed my two little boys, 2 and 4, my heart pounding, and headed for the basement. Once I got them settled, I dashed upstairs for a quick look, and realized all of my neighbors were outside, talking to one another, checking the sky, unafraid! I went back down to the basement with my boys!!!

  11. Judy // October 28, 2010 at 1:25 PM  

    And, Pam, yes your family is beautiful...forgot to mention that. I just assumed you'd know I thought so!! LOL

  12. Mary Marvella // October 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM  

    Hope my BFF is safe in Japan! (grin)

  13. Pamela Varnado // October 28, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

    Hello ladies,
    I survived! Everyone is safe and not to much damage was done. The lights, cable, internet, phone, and AIR CONDITIONER went out, which made life uncomfortable for about 26 hours. Between the heat and wind, I got no sleep. Now we're putting everything back in its place and cleaning up debris (trash mostly).

    While I love being here with my family, I miss the safety of Georgia. As Dorothy would say, "there's no place like home".

  14. Mary Marvella // October 28, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

    Thank God you're safe.

  15. Joanne // October 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

    I'm posting late, but hope the rain and high winds have passed by now. Japan must be such an interesting place to visit. And thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.