Thoughts after Irene

I’m supposed to have some kind of profound thoughts about having weathered Hurricane Irene, and instead I just have thoughts. Thoughts about how in what’s supposedly the information age, I feel like I know less than Ma Ingalls did when it came to the basics of survival.

Thoughts about how my Patient Husband and I divided the duties when preparing. He said, “You did all the hurricane preparation. I only folded the laundry, washed the dishes…” In other words, he did all the housework in order to free me up for hurricane preparation.

Thoughts about how I suspect my guardian angel found us four D cell batteries, because after BJs was out, I felt a very strong urge to fill up the cars at the more expensive gas station in Angelborough (the only one where there were no lines, by the way) and their convenience store would have them. I went. And yes, they did. No one else had any.

Thoughts about how it feels to hear that gunshot snap in the woods behind your house, knowing it means a tree just gave way, only you can’t see it because of all the other trees.

Thoughts about how it feels to awaken feeling a breeze in the closed bedroom, and a moment later realize that means your ceiling fan has turned on, and this means you have power again after eleven hours, and all your nightmare scenarios of being without power for a week and unable to keep food cold for your kids, or heat it up again, won’t come true after all.

Thoughts of gratitude for the power crew that sent people up the utility poles at ten o’clock at night in the rain and 20 mph winds to restore power so my milk wouldn’t go bad. I pray for the power crews whenever we have storm-related outages, and last night, after the power came back on, I asked my guardian angel to find them and bless them.

Demented late-night thoughts about why this little Swamp-land community had power longer than its surrounding towns and got it back again so soon. Thoughts about when we moved here and my neighbors said, “No, we never lose power,” whch made our Ugly Move seem even uglier in that we did lose power for ten minutes right as we did the walk-through before buying the house. Thoughts about what the army probably has penned up in The Creepy Zone, with its spray-painted “KEEP OUT” signs and stared-at silences.

Although in all fairness, my Patient Husband said, “I don’t care if they have aliens in suspended animation cryochambers out back if it means they restore our power faster.” ¬†

But mostly I’m thinking thankful thoughts that we got through without serious damage, and that my family members who had to evacuate are all safe. We’ve been praying for everyone affected by the storm, and I hope you guys weathered it fine too.


  1. Cricket

    No matter how many times we do laundry and dishes, they’re still on the list. We wash, dry and put away every dish in the house, and a few hours later it’s back on the list. Most projects at least have a deadline and are done, but those just hang on and on. It seems like we have power over them — they’re small, simple, easy tasks — but they keep eating at our time, and if we don’t do them they get in the way of other things like eating, which in turn has to be done if we want to be even-tempered.

    The gift of a few hours without them on your list, of a clean kitchen to do the rest of the preparation in (including your family’s tradition of baking), is precious.

  2. Cricket

    BTW, since I know my husband reads this, I felt the same way when he gave me the same gift last night.

  3. Eliza Tilton (@ElizaTilton)

    g;ad to hear you made it out ok. Lot’s of power still out on Long island and flooding, but I was lucky, didn’t lose any power and only a slight damp carpet in the backroom. Amen.