Hurricane Maria: Jangled Nerves and Prayers


My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean islands, and with Mexico. This afternoon, I’m thinking of the people of the small Caribbean islands, who are currently suffering the devastating effects from Hurricane Irma, and who face the real possibility of more devastation with Hurricane Maria. It’s unthinkable, yet a reality. I wonder if Barbuda will ever recover and if Barbudans will return to their beloved island. I worry for the people of Dominica, Tortola, the British and US Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Guadalupe. And of course, I am beside myself with worry for my family and friends in Puerto Rico.

I know the resiliency and courage of the people of the Caribbean, but Hurricane Maria is a beast. I’m grateful to the countries helping in the recovery and rebuilding efforts throughout the islands, and I’m especially proud of my fellow Puerto Ricans for welcoming and assisting our Caribbean brothers and sisters to our island–Puerto Rico is truly a beautiful port in a storm for many. And what a storm is coming tonight and tomorrow morning.

On Monday, I spoke with my family members and friends in Puerto Rico. My aunt and cousins in Ponce and San Juan assured me their homes are physically prepared to “welcome” Maria. Well, as prepared as you can be with a Category 5 hurricane coming toward you. Emotionally? I’m not entirely sure, but I know their nerves are jangled at this time and stress is high. Our family members in the United States join me in praying and hoping against hope that Hurricane Maria goes far north of Puerto Rico and doesn’t make landfall on any Caribbean islands. That seems implausible with all the hurricane models and weather reports I’ve seen, but nonetheless, that is my prayer.

All the unknowns of a hurricane make this event very frightening. Like millions of others, I’m finding it difficult to concentrate with so much happening around the world with other hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. So, the candles are lit and I will pray–that’s what I can do today. Be present, be still, and pray for my family, my beloved island, and for mankind.



Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the award-winning historical novel, A Decent Woman, published by Scarlet River Press. Her debut novel, set in turn of the century Ponce, Puerto Rico, garnered Second Place for Best Latino Focused Fiction Book, English, at the 2017 International Latino Book Award with Latino Literacy Now. The book was awarded an Honorable Mention for Best Historical Fiction, English, at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards with Latino Literacy Now. A Decent Woman was selected as a Book of the Month by Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club in 2015, and Eleanor is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses, edited by Mayra Calvani.

A writer, artist, and photographer, Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, The Laments of Forgotten Souls, set in 1927 Puerto Rico.

Eleanor’s book, A Decent Woman, available in paperback and ebook format:

Please visit Eleanor at her website:









Has Mercury in Retrograde Left the Building?

So, Mercury came out of retrograde on July 1, 2014.  I was happy to hear this because June was a tough month for almost everyone I know, including me. Delays, challenges, problems, and a little bit of chaos flavored June. I don’t read my horoscope on a daily basis and I know next to nothing about astrology, but Mercury in retrograde got my attention. I wanted it to leave and never return.

By July 1, I was ready for peace of mind, a bit more tranquility, and some forward movement in many areas, but Mercury was dragging its heels and not going out gracefully. On Tuesday afternoon, my small city in West Virginia saw some of the worst winds, sheets of rain, and long-lasting thunder and lightning we’ve experienced this year. I sent a text to my neighbor asking if we were in a tornado watch or warning–it was that bad. My Pug and Chihuahua followed me, whining from room to room as I made sure all the windows were closed. They hate thunderstorms. I turned off my laptop, unplugged my phone, and waited for the beast to pass. It lasted an hour. My yard was beyond saturated. I shot a video of water coming from the house behind me, flowing over the retaining wall that resembled a waterfall. It was crazy and kind of cool.

Twenty minutes after that, I watched two enormous branches break off my neighbor’s tree and land in my yard onto my flower beds. My jaw dropped. With thunder and lightning practically over my head, I ran outside and managed to pull the lower branches onto the grass and off my flowers. They survived and so did I. I love my flower garden.

I called the owner of the rental next door informing her that this was the second time her tree had wreaked havoc in my yard. It’s not a sturdy tree, not an oak, maple, nothing like that. It was a weed that grew into a weak tree.  I’d already cut down one such tree in my yard when I bought my house and cut lower branches of her tree that shade my flower garden. In June, we agreed the tree had to go…last month. Nothing happened. As of this writing, I still have two enormous branches killing my grass. Patience, Ellie 🙂

Happy 4th to you! I’m headed to a neighborhood BBQ, and fishing on Saturday!

Have a safe and fun weekend!