Post-Irene Thoughts

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who asked about how I and the animals were doing. We’re doing very well having suffered no more than a small tree down, the worst of which I’ve already cleaned up, and a power outage of about 12 hours.

What lingers is the awareness of what a huge difference a relatively small shift in the storm’s track made. Not that far to the west, the flooding and destruction in Vermont is heart-breaking. Ironically last week I was kidding one of my clients who lives in a hard-hit area about all the flocks of geese that were flying over my house from Vermont. I jokingly wondered if they knew something we didn’t. Evidently they did.

Sunday morning, the track was forecasted to go pretty much right over me. Ditto the town where my plumber lives which I discovered when we compared notes Tuesday. (He stopped in to put together a do-list for some repairs that need to be done, not to actually do them.)  The Sunday of the storm, he and I had both secured our places as much as we could, although he then held a pre-hurricane breakfast for the guys he does guy-things with, completely with bloody Marys. But then the winds picked up and everyone left his party and went home. While he did that, I did some grocery shopping then drank coffee and read the Sunday paper.

He also experienced the same strange combination of expectation and malaise that I and others felt. That waiting for the other shoe to drop feeling you get when the shoe-dropper has more power that you can begin to fathom. He took a nap; I watched an old movie (Fiddler on the Roof) while I rolled newspapers to use to start fires if it got really cold and the power was out for a while.

And then…nothing happened. Some wind, a fair amount of rain, then a gazillion stars gleaming overhead. Followed by that sense of survivor’s guilt because, if it missed us, someone else really got pounded. And the final assault, that the worst flooding and damage was done after the storm had passed and the weather was gorgeous.

As I was clearing my little tree with very big thorns—a black locust—I couldn’t help thinking about how the storm also had washed away all the inane political drivel that’s been cluttering up the media with the rest of the detritus. Maybe nature was as sick of it as the rest of us.