Last year, during Hurricane Florence, I was asked via email, – “Why do you stay? Why do you put yourself and others in danger?” The answers are lengthy and complicated. Living on the island is VERY different than visiting, or even second homeownership. No condescension intended, just the truth. For those folks, there is always another option to go to. For us, there usually isn’t a Plan B. When you decide to live here, you do so knowing how fragile it is; it is a definite commitment. You become in tune with all sorts of things that you’ve never dealt with before: times, tides, wind shifts, ferry schedules…everyone has to make a decision for themselves based on their personal “formula”. Those that leave understand our reasons for staying; and those that stay understand their reasons for leaving. No judgement either way. For those of us that stay, we feel we are far safer here, rather than going inland, where supplies are limited, flooding and power outages are guaranteed, with uncertainty of being able to get back in a timely fashion. We are fully aware that rescue efforts are not in the immediate picture if something goes sideways…that we only have each other to rely on. And we DO rely on each other. COMPLETELY. Those who leave are relying on us “to hold down the fort.” And those who stay are relying on “the calvary” to come home as soon as they are able. There is an unspoken promise to take care of each other. Which is what makes living here so unique and wonderful. We know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we WILL take care of each other. Ultimately, home is home. I’m not sure if I answered the question properly…but that is it at its core. Home is home.