Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It Was a Dark and Rainy Day

When I was 11 and starting my sixth grade year, we were threatened with Hurricane Gloria. I remember that they talked about it on the news for days, non-stop. Adults fretted like they are prone to do, and we all mostly ignored it. My mom got the idea in her head that she should tape up all the windows in the house, just in case the wind broke them, so that the glass didn't shatter everywhere. She used masking tape, which still amuses me to this day. They cancelled school, and all we got was a really tropical day, with some rain and mostly just wind. The neighborhood kids, free from the obligations of higher learning, all got together and we played a pretty rocking game of kickball for the afternoon. The wind added a challenging aspect that we enjoyed every minute of.

For the past week, the news staff put all of their attention on Hurricane Irene. We watched, and listened, and kept close track of the projected path, as it was due to come right through our back yard. (figuratively speaking). The Boy™ asked me to pick up 4 gallons of water when I did errands early in the week, and we put some plastic over a spot on the side of our house next to where the addition joins that we have noticed leaking from during the past few heavy rains. Further investigation shows the clapboard has rotted from splash up from the roof, but there was no time to fix that before the storm. As the storm got closer, they started talking about how it was going to past straight over our part of the state. How the parts of the state to our east would get heavy winds, and how the west of us would get really heavy rain. On Thursday morning, I brought in ALL of the items from my yard. The swing, the grill, the furniture, bird feeders and baths, garden stuff, my bench.. it all came in. I figured worst case, they were wrong and it wouldn't be that bad, and I'd lug it all back out again. I wasn't taking any chances on it becoming a projectile, or being damaged by falling trees or limbs.

As you know, Saturday I spent the day baking, out of both necessity and nervous energy. The eye was projected to travel straight through my town and continue up the state. On Sunday morning, they shifted it a little to the east and put us in the heavy rain/eye track. The call came in at 8:04am for The Boy™ to head to the Fire Department to open the Emergency Operations Center, and I stayed at home to wait it out. When the storm finally arrived, it broke apart into two. One part headed off to the east and one part went west, right through Vermont. Vermont, expecting only a bit of heavy rain, wasn't prepared for the storm the way we were. I've seen footage of whole buildings swept down river, a car containing people that got caught in a river, and sadly watched as two covered bridges were washed away. They will be cleaning up from this for a long time. Parts of western MA took a very heavy hit, as did areas of NY.

Being in the path of the eye, we were very lucky. We did have some heavy rain, and winds. A few trees in our town went down, taking out the power with it, but we only lost ours for a short time. In my own yard, we lost some dead limbs from the maple trees in the back yard, and some small branches all over the rest. Lots of leaves came down, and as some of them are starting to turn already, it looks a lot like fall. All of it is superficial. We are safe, our friends are safe, and all of our family members are safe, and that is what really matters.

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